Yesterday I took it upon myself to cover the winners from the first week of preseason play. Those teams have a lot of optimism moving forward, but today we're looking at a different category. The following teams had high hopes for 2012, but week 1 didn't go their way.
The Bears are the only team on this list that didn't completely destroy my offseason confidence. Sure, they were beaten in every possible way by the Denver Broncos, but they were also resting key players such as Jay Cutler, Julius Peppers and Brandon Marshall. Even so, putting up 3 points is embarrassing, regardless of who's on the field and who's sitting.
St. Louis Rams
The good news for the Rams is that Sam Bradford played an efficient game (7 of 9 passing), and Steven Jackson ran for over 4 yards per carry (although he only ran the ball 4 times). Outside of that, it was ugly. Andrew Luck's first pass went for 63 yards and a touchdown. As a defense, I would rather let a bomb go the distance than Luck's dump-off-turned-marathon to Donald Brown. It's immediately clear that the Rams have a long way to go before they're competitive again.
As I chronicled yesterday, the Arizona Cardinals are still searching for a starting quarterback, and it's starting to become clear that Kevin Kolb and John Skelton are both out of their depth. Kevin Kolb completed just one pass in his most recent effort, and John Skelton was able to connect on just half of his throws, with no touchdowns and one interception. I'm not sure where the Cardinals go from here, but finding a quarterback is at the top of their priority list. If they can't find one, they'll be heading towards rock bottom in a hurry.
Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders and the fans
For those of you that tuned in to ESPN in hopes of seeing a great preseason game, I'm sorry. Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico did their best to salvage what may have been the worst football game I have ever seen, but there simply was no saving the fans from the Cowboys' and Raiders' display of complete incompetence. The good news is that it's likely this game was a fluke for both teams. If it's not, however, these are two teams that are in big trouble.