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The 5 O’Clock Club: With the first pick in the 2019 NFL draft...

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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

2018 NFL Draft Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The 5 o’clock club is published Wednesday to Saturday during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

OverTheCap this week took a look at all the 0-2 teams. Here’s a little bit of what they had to say about each one:

Buffalo Bills

Despite the fact that the Bills were a playoff team last year I don’t think anyone was under any impression that they would be back this year, although nobody expected them to be this bad.

When the Bills brought in front office changes it was clear that the plan was to tear apart what was an aging, overpriced team. They were able to trade pieces away and amass some draft capital but also probably overspent on bringing in Kelvin Benjamin last season when the playoffs were surprisingly a possibility.

The Bills are one of the most “band-aid” teams in the NFL. They rank at or near the bottom of the NFL in home grown players, quality draft picks, and long term deals and at the top of the league in dead money with nearly $55 million. They are way long on veterans, many of whom are minimum salary types and astonishingly just had Vontae Davis retire mid game and literally walk out on the team (on the bright side they will recover most of the $3.5 million they guaranteed him just a few months ago).

As things stand now the Bills are going to come under pretty heavy criticism for not drafting Patrick Mahomes in 2017 and instead trading away the pick to the Chiefs. Mahomes looks like a star and the Bills ended up trading away assets to get to Josh Allen in this year’s draft. Allen may prove to be a star but for this year it will likely look pretty bad. If there is a silver lining in all of this it is that the Bills will have nearly $85 million in cap room in 2019 to try to improve the team around the young QB.

I’ll take issue with one thing in this analysis. I expected the Bills to be every bit this bad.

Houston Texans

I’m not sure what has gone wrong for the Texans but they were a bit of a dark horse Super Bowl pick and they just lost to a team starting Blaine Gabbert and some backup linemen. Unlike many of the others on this list they have been more competitive in their losses, losing by 7 to the Patriots and 3 to the Titans, but the expected explosive offense has been anything but. With Deshaun Watson coming off an injury there may just be some time needed to really get back to feeling right and they have yet to play a game at home so the alarm is lower here than anywhere else, but a win this week is critical.

I believe I picked the Texans to win their division in 2018. Ooops.

Oakland Raiders

Nobody in the league has taken as many steps back as the Raiders have the last two years. They have gone from a playoff team that looked like they were on the brink of greatness to a punchline for a bunch of jokes. The Raiders made the crazy decision to get very old this year which was a reflection on the head coach who comes from an era where older veteran players were often given the benefit of the doubt over younger guys. They spent millions of dollars on short term and mid term deals for these type of players while letting Khalil Mack get away in a trade. Gruden gets the lions share of the blame but the Raiders have also been hurt by continued mediocre to poor drafts and mixed free agency results.

I’ve been pretty up-front about how bad a decision I thought the Raiders made in hiring Jon Gruden. I wonder if Mark Davis has any contingency plan for unloading Gruden and his 10-year contract?

New York Giants

The Giants added at least another year of trouble when they decided to bypass drafting a QB to instead draft Saquon Barkley with the 2nd pick in the draft. The offense looks no different than last season despite the addition of Barkley, Nate Solder, Jonathan Stewart, and Will Hernandez and return of Odell Beckham, who they signed to a $90 million contract.

The offensive line is a major problem and Eli Manning doesn’t look like he is capable of being anything more than a stopgap with a name. Maybe the Giants simply didn’t like any of the QB’s in last year’s draft but my worry was you get so few chances you need to take it when you have a shot (see the Eagles with Wentz). Right now that worry looks less important since the Giants are going to have a top 5 pick for the second year in a row if things continue down this path.

The Giants are now going to enter a phase where they have to dismantle a somewhat expensive team that was built in free agency a few years ago.

The Giants only project to have $15 million in cap room next year, close to the bottom of the league, before the purge. Because they built themselves somewhat backwards with Beckham, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and Barkley all in their primes before they found a QB they may see the logic in going after a veteran, such as Teddy Bridgewater or Tyrod Taylor, to try to get something out of their investments and bypass a top draft pick again.

Right now they have the look of either going down the path of the Bills or the Arizona Cardinals, neither of which is a good place to be for fans of the team.

I’d love to channel my inner South East Omar here, but I don’t really understand his schtick. Something like, Hahahahahaha! Slide the protection. Ha ha ha! Make the Manning face Manning boy! Ha ha ha!

Detroit Lions

The Lions got shelled against the Jets and then lost to the 49ers, allowing 78 points in the process. Those two teams managed to score a combined 28 points in their other two games. The Lions have some talent on the team but for whatever reason it doesn’t seem to click together. They have weapons in the passing game though it is streaky. They have individual talent on defense but something just isn’t right there. Maybe there is still too much reliance on Matt Stafford by the front office and in the locker room and he really is not that kind of player to just carry a team on his back regardless of what his contract says.

Personally, I’m shocked by the Lions looking this bad, though, with a rookie head coach, it could just be growing pains. I was expecting them to pick up some valuable wins in the NFC North this season and help knock the Vikings out of the playoffs.

Arizona Cardinals

Other than the Giants there is probably no bigger disappointment than the Cardinals. The Cardinals have tried their best to keep a window open that really closed a few years ago when they lost in the playoffs off a 13-3 season. They have been 15-8-1 since that time and the two games this year have scored just 6 points. They signed Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon in hopes of finding a starter to give them competent play but its going to look like wasted money. This season looks like it should mark the end of the Bradford money train as well as nobody can look at him as being potentially special anymore. The returning David Johnson has meant nothing to the offense so far. Nothing has really gone right defensively either. The bright light here is that they drafted Josh Rosen so that at least gives them a younger player to potentially lean on next year. Where they go from here is anyone’s guess.

If only we’d realized how pathetic the Cardinals really are, the Redskins might’ve game-planned for the Colts.

A little taste of South East Omar

I invite anyone who wants to try, to do your best South East Omar imitation in the comments.

Poll

Which of the teams reviewed by OverTheCap this week is most likely to have the first pick in the 2019 draft?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    Bills
    (311 votes)
  • 0%
    Texans
    (0 votes)
  • 2%
    Raiders
    (13 votes)
  • 1%
    Giants
    (9 votes)
  • 2%
    Lions
    (10 votes)
  • 25%
    Cardinals
    (118 votes)
461 votes total Vote Now

Poll

We all know that starting 0-2 drops a team’s playoff chances to around 12%. Which of these teams is most likely to beat the odds and make the playoffs?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Bills
    (1 vote)
  • 78%
    Texans
    (323 votes)
  • 6%
    Raiders
    (28 votes)
  • 7%
    Giants
    (30 votes)
  • 6%
    Lions
    (26 votes)
  • 1%
    Cardinals
    (5 votes)
413 votes total Vote Now

Deadspin published one of its usual entertaining articles this week, focusing on Antonio Brown

https://deadspin.com/antonio-brown-is-winless-and-grouchy

Poll

There are two other winless teams in the league; both in the AFC North, and they tied each other in Week 1. Which team will finish with more wins in 2018?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Cleveland Browns (0-1-1)
    (79 votes)
  • 78%
    Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1-1)
    (296 votes)
375 votes total Vote Now