Rutsey's 5 Schizo NFL Teams

Houston Texans running back Ben Tate is congratulated by teammate Duane Brown after scoring a...

Houston Texans running back Ben Tate is congratulated by teammate Duane Brown after scoring a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 11, 2011. (REUTERS)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:00 AM ET

The NFL squads hardest to figure out on a week-by-week basis after the first six weeks in 2011:

 

1. Houston Texans

This is a list the Texans seem to have found themselves on for the past three seasons. They look so good on paper but then they come out and play some head-scratching games. Maybe it’s a question of confidence but the Texans just can’t seem to rise up and win the games that mean the most. So far they are a pedestrian 3-3 and have beaten just one team of quality — the Steelers. Their loses have come at the hands of New Orleans, Oakland and Baltimore and now they have lost two in a row. If at the end of the season they are not on top of their division, it’s curtains for head coach Gary Kubiak. With the Colts winless, there is no excuse this season.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs are 4-2 and tied for first in their division so what’s the big deal? Plenty. On the third week of the season the Bucs went out and cleared a major hurdle when they downed the Atlanta Falcons 16-13 and many thought they’d be on their way. Then two weeks back they travelled to San Francisco and showed absolutely nothing in a humiliating 48-3 loss. However, the Bucs shrugged that one off and last week came up with a big divisional victory over New Orleans. They are still young and suffer occasional growing pains and are a team that really isn’t dominant in any one portion of the game.

3. Atlanta Falcons

Thankfully for the Bucs, the Atlanta Falcons are decidedly off their game this season and look nothing like last year’s team that went 13-3. They are in a lose-one, win-one mode and Sunday in Detroit will be looking to score consecutive victories for the first time this season. The lone quality team they have topped is Philadelphia — but then again, hasn’t everybody — with losses to the Bears, Bucs and Packers. On the whole, quarterback Matt Ryan has looked pretty average and that pretty well sums up their entire team. They are sleep-walking and can’t snap out of it.

4. Dallas Cowboys

All you need to know about the Cowboys came courtesy of wide receiver Dez Bryant. The other day he came up with this plum. “As far as the team, I like our chances,” he said. “I feel like, it may sound crazy, I think we are unbeatable.” I repeat — unbeatable.” That’s some statement for a team that is 2-3 and in third place in the zany NFC East. But Bryant didn’t stop there. “I think the losses, we lost those games ourselves,” Bryant said. “I feel like once we get back in that meeting room and regroup, and we learn from our mistakes, the sky’s the limit.” Bryant’s right, they did blow the games against the Jets and Lions and had the Patriots on the ropes but couldn’t finish them off. But that’s why they’re on this list.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are 4-2 and tied for second in the AFC North but like a lot of teams on this list they haven’t beaten anybody of quality. Their four wins are against Seattle, Indianapolis, Tennessee and Jacksonville. They were crushed by Baltimore 35-7 in their season open and also lost to the squirrelly Texans. Last week they hung on to down the terrible Jaguars 17-13 which says it all. Yes, they have had a bunch of injuries to key personnel but each week they get older. They may be saved by a soft schedule.


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