Sorting the NFL Week 3 Pile: Steelers, Colts look like teams who could start to panic early

Three weeks into the NFL season we’re beginning to get a bit of little bit of readability on numerous groups. Certain, we have now no freaking clue about sure groups — the Saints and Pats are nonetheless absolute enigmas — and a few groups — Jacksonville, each New York groups — are simply clearly horrible. 

However for different groups who fancied themselves contenders or fringe playoff hopefuls, life is coming at them quick. There is no time to sit down round and odor the roses while you’re panicking. To not say that anybody who’s 1-2 or struggling basically has to seize a brown paper bag and begin respiratory heavy.

There are groups who must be occupied with panicking although. Let us take a look at a couple of examples and charge them out on a 1-10 scale of terror.

Ought to we be fearful the Chiefs are final within the AFC West?

First off, hopefully every thing is OK with Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who was taken to a hospital after the sport in an ambulance when he did not really feel effectively. He has been launched from the hospital, however the best way Peter King described it on NBC Sports makes it sound possibly a bit of dicier than we had been led to consider primarily based on what the Chiefs mentioned after the sport. Reid’s well being comes earlier than anything, in fact. However given he might probably miss a while and given the Chiefs are in final place on their lonesome within the AFC West and given the Chiefs are under .500 for the primary time since Week 10 of 2015, it is a minimum of value asking how massive of a problem this could possibly be shifting ahead.

Defensively, Kansas Metropolis simply is not good proper now. The Chiefs “solely” gave up 352 complete yards to the Chargers on Sunday, however L.A. dropped 30 factors on them and the Chiefs simply could not decelerate or cease Justin Herbert and Co. on the ultimate drive. 

Ok.C.’s schedule is a bit of worrisome as effectively. The Bills, Titans and Packers — all of whom are beginning to play some good offense — are lurking over the subsequent six weeks. Thankfully for the Chiefs, in addition they draw three quarters of the NFC East over that very same stretch, with out having to play the Cowboys. Even when the protection cannot determine issues out, Patrick Mahomes and this offense ensures at worst a 3-3 run over that stretch. Extra possible they squeeze out one thing like 5-1 and we’re not sweating this division in a couple of months. However there are flaws to this roster and the remainder of the division is taking part in good soccer. 

Panic Stage: 2.5/10

Ought to we be fearful about these rookie quarterbacks?

In a phrase, sure. Not as a result of they are not proficient, however as a result of all of Justin Fields, Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence seem like in questionable conditions in the meanwhile. That is what occurs while you’re drafted excessive within the first spherical: you are going to a foul group. However these younger sign callers are being put beneath heavy duress early within the season. 

A part of the issue could also be self-inflicted, as Subsequent Gen Stats present Wilson and Fields specifically are holding the ball too lengthy, as famous by NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah.

A part of that is associated to personnel points and scheme issues as effectively. For the Bears, Matt Nagy rolled out Fields as a starter and principally requested him to be “Dude Who Backs Up Andy Dalton” as an alternative of “Insanely Athletic First-Spherical Decide Taking part in Behind Unhealthy Offensive Line.” The transfer with Fields was to make life simpler for him. Transfer the pocket. Get him out on the sting. Lower the sector in half. Run a bunch of RPO’s to tilt the numbers in your favor with a questionable offensive line. 

The Browns have a very good protection and all, however an offensive coach allowed a younger quarterback to go 6-for-20 because the group generated 47 web yards on 42 performs (1.1 per pop!) and one web passing yard. That’s not a typo: the Bears had a single passing yard. In 2021. Throughout a full soccer sport. With 11 individuals on the sector. Fields was sacked 9 instances. 9 instances? Nine times. Get up and odor the espresso, Mr. Nagy.

The Jets could be much less regarding, as a result of they’re a minimum of breaking in a brand new teaching workers that is coping with a talent-bare roster. Versus an older teaching workers with a talent-bare roster just like the Bears. They’re nonetheless sucking the life out of the fanbase with a listless efficiency, nevertheless. 

It is honest to be involved about Wilson’s first season. He was at all times going to be the man for the whole lot of the total yr. Buying and selling Sam Darnold ensured as a lot. Mekhi Becton’s absence continues to be pronounced, with Wilson getting pressured far too often. The run sport has but to present itself and should not till the Jets draw a extra favorable defensive matchup. 

Mac Jones had his roughest sport of the yr in Week 3, throwing a trio of picks so unhealthy it impressed nothing however grumpy silence from his head coach after the sport.

If that feels like a person who is aware of he will get requested a lot of questions this week about how effectively Tom Brady is taking part in, effectively, that is what it was. 

Coming off a tough dwelling loss to the Saints and Jameis Winston, Invoice Belichick has to get his rookie quarterback ready for THE RETURN.

Do you assume Brady desires to embarrass Belichick, run up the rating and have the Buccaneers snuff out Mac defensively? As a result of I do. And I feel Belichick does too: he is aware of what this Tampa protection might probably do to his younger quarterback and he has to know if Brady appears nice and Mac appears terrible and the Bucs steamroll the Pats, the streets shall be speaking. Perhaps we oversold the Patriots offensive line and rush assault — Jones was the Pats main rusher on Sunday whereas additionally throwing 51 instances. That merely will not work for New England so far as an offensive sport plan goes. 

Trey Lance stays situational for the 49ers regardless of Jimmy Garoppolo struggling, outdoors of a drive or two on Sunday in opposition to the Packers.

Panic Stage: 7.5/10

Ought to we be fearful about Huge Ben and the Steelers?

Tom Brady spoiled us all: the autumn for many quarterbacks remains to be steep and sudden. For Ben Roethlisberger it appears like he went full Thelma and Louise over a cliff. The Ringer’s Stephen Ruiz minimize up a bunch of Ben’s throws from Sunday in opposition to the Bengals and put them in grainy, wild west-style video footage with saloon music within the background. It was the funniest factor I noticed on Monday, but in addition form of essentially the most miserable, as a result of Ben appears utterly washed.

The Steelers declined to take a position vital sources within the offensive line this offseason and it has resulted in an absence of run sport regardless of drafting Najee Harris within the first spherical. Harris did get 19 (!) targets within the move sport on Sunday, catching 14 passes. Lindsay Rhodes had me on her podcast Monday and he or she dropped this nugget: Harris had 109 yards after the catch on 102 receiving yards. Take into consideration that! 

After which peek at Ben’s Subsequent Gen Stats passing chart, which confirms the scenario. He is received no safety, he does not have the arm power to shortly push the ball down the sector anymore and that mixture principally turned this offense horizontal. 

through Subsequent Gen Stats

The Steelers had been going to hold their hat on protection, however the secondary wasn’t good popping out of the gate and the defensive position, the power of this group, is now banged up, with a number of starters lacking. Most notably is T.J. Watt, who was saved out of Sunday’s sport with a groin harm. The second he went out two weeks in the past the Steelers protection cratered and it was an issue in opposition to Joe Burrow on Sunday as effectively. It is extraordinarily troublesome to see a path the place these issues are magically fastened. 

Panic Stage: 12/10

This isn’t a priority over Carson Wentz’s play on the sector, though Carson Wentz’s play on the sector is definitely regarding. My largest concern for Indianapolis is taking part in Wentz an excessive amount of throughout the 2021 season and having to surrender a high 10 choose on account of the group not being good. 

Life for Indy doesn’t instantly get higher. After a highway loss to Tennessee during which the Colts performed Wentz on two sprained ankles (reminder: individuals solely have two ankles and if each of them are sprained, that is an issue), the Colts now have Miami and Baltimore on the highway. Getting Houston at dwelling in three weeks is good, however the Texans are working like a try-hard group this yr and will not simply roll over and die for a division rival that is solely mustered 56 factors over the course of the season. 

If Wentz plays 75 percent of the Colts snaps this season, the Eagles get a 2022 first-round choose from Indy, it doesn’t matter what the Colts file is on the finish of the season. (70 % and a playoff berth would additionally activate the transfer from second- to first-round for the choice.) At present the choose can be No. 3 total in subsequent yr’s draft. That is … not nice. 

Giving up a excessive second-round choose can be sub-optimal, however freely giving a top-5 or top-10 choose is just unacceptable when it could possibly be averted. The Colts have run 204 performs by three video games and Wentz has been in on 199 of them. That is 97.5 % of the Colts snaps. At a sure level, the Colts need to decide about the place they stand for this season and in the event that they wish to run the danger of freely giving a very alternative draft choose for somebody who cannot keep wholesome or play quarterback at a excessive degree. 

Panic Stage: 8/10 | Sorting the NFL Week 3 Pile: Steelers, Colts appear to be groups who might begin to panic early


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