Mike McCoy looks like he's done.
Colin Kaepernick is back ya'll!
Dallas QB conundrum.
Vikings keep trucking.
Giants offense just isn't working.
It seems like Mike McCoy, a pretty good coach, is not going to survive this season. McCoy’s issues can be largely attributed to the personnel he has been given, or not given as in Eric Weddell, but the Chargers just aren’t a team that knows how to win games. McCoy’s playcalling was questioned after the loss to the Raiders. The lack of veteran leadership on the defense has not, as of yet, been questioned. Perhaps Joey Bosa will be able to make enough pays to excite and motivate his teammates and usher in a new urgency. Bosa had 2 sacks against the Raiders and it wasn’t enough.
Even if his weight isn’t back to where the team wants it Colin Kaepernick is back under center for the 49ers. Kaepernick seems much more comfortable and less defensive with the media this year, and perhaps that is symptomatic of a newer, looser, version of him that will finally start to achieve his potential. Blaine Gabbert has been terrible for the 49ers, not so much because of the plays he makes, rather the plays he doesn’t make. Gabbert routinely forces throws downfield with open receivers underneath at inopportune times. And at the times the team could use him to launch a deep ball he looks to dump the ball off short. Kaep isn’t much more accurate, naturally, than Gabbert but he does have a stronger arm and more willingness to throw deep. He’s also a lot better running the ball. The 49ers really have nothing to lose here and can’t, realistically, get much worse.
Dallas finally has a good dilemma. Dak Prescott has led the Cowboys to a 4-1 record during Tony Romo’s absence. Jerry Jones has said that Romo won’t lose his job due to an injury, but he might lose it to the late season inconsistent play that he is known for. Dallas’s schedule is about to get much harder with games against Philadelphia, Green Bay, and Pittsburgh on the horizon so the Cowboys will be hard pressed to continue their impressive winning streak, but if they do, it will be almost impossible for the team to bench Prescott.
No team has been harder hit by injuries than the Minnesota Vikings who, astonishingly, remain the only unbeaten team in the NFL. Sam Bradford has played his best football as a Viking and the team was able to cope with the losses of Matt Kalil and Adrian Peterson so far. Andre Smith is not an elite player like Peterson and Kalil but it is a good sign that the organization is aggressively filling their holes when they need to. Jake Long was a disappointment as a the first overall pick in the draft but he is a dependable veteran that should be able to stabilize the right tackle position for the Vikings. Minnesota might not have a better situation than they have this year with Peterson aging rapidly and Bridgewater being an unknown heading into next season so the Vikings are committed to winning while their window is still open.
A lot of talk heading into the season was that the Eli Manning had more weapons than he has ever had and could have a career year. As it turns out, Manning is having one of the worst statistical years of his career, and the GIants are suffering for it. For some reason, the team has shifted their offensive focus to the players around Odell Beckham, as opposed to targeting Beckham early and allowing his play to open up the offense. A big part of the problem is the Giants offensive line, which looks pedestrian at best, and their lack of a running game with Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen both out due to injuries. These aren’t new problems for the Giants, however, and in years past Tom Coughlin was able to solve them before they got out of hand. Ben Mcadoo, in his first year as a Head Coach, has been unable to push the right buttons offensively so far. He’ll need to adapt quickly if this team is going to compete in a winnable division this season.
And Another Thing
The news that Eric Decker is done for the year is quite possibly the killing blow for the Jets 2016 season. So far this year the Jets have seen age catch up with Darrelle Revis, Dee Milliner - Revis’s replacement - get cut due to injuries and poor performance, and Ryan Fitzpatrick come back to earth after a career season in 2015. As of now the Todd Bowles era is beginning to look a lot like the Rex Ryan era. But the cupboard is far from bare in New York and the Jets, with an infusion of talented players, are still capable of competing after this year, if the ownership gives Bowles some more time. That’s a big if given the expectations surrounding this season.