Cutler retakes the reins in Chicago
Buffalo can hardly afford injuries
San Diego Schedule about to get easier
Jared Goff is getting closer to being a starter
49ers Defensive Draft Woes
Quarterbacks are still in short supply, still
Jay Cutler is back and with Brian Hoyer’s broken arm The Bears have avoided what could have been a difficult decision. Hoyer has outplayed Cutler, and people seem to like him better, but Cutler is the better quarterback - or at least the quarterback with better skills. Cutler must realize he is now playing for any starting job next season. If he can rebound and show some more consistency then he has a chance to be the Bears QB until he retires.
Heading into their second game against New England Buffalo finds itself without some key players like LeSean McCoy, Aaron Williams, and Zach Brown. The Bills have played well since the first two weeks of the season, and are about where they should be, but not having their best offensive player and two of their defensive leaders is going to make it difficult going against Tom Brady. Fortunately for the team Marcell Dareus is back in the fold next week and should be a big help to the defense.
San Diego seems to have responded well for Mike McCoy. The Chargers have won their last two, including their most impressive win to date. over Denver, and if they can get past the Broncos in Mile High Stadium this week, the team will have a long run of winnable games before ending with Kansas City in week 17. It is not out of the question for the Chargers to finish with 10 wins, in fact they won’t need to upset anyone to do that. If they can beat the mediocre and bad teams that remain on their schedule they should be a 10 win team.
It looks as if Jared Goff is about to work his way into the starting line up in Los Angeles. Goff has been protected by the team, which more teams should be willing to do, but it appears as if the Rams coaches realize that there is very little to gain from not starting Goff for the remainder of the season. As I said during the preseason, the Rams have no reliable talent at receiver, a very thin defense, and very little draft capital to add new talent. It’s probably better to get Goff in the game now so that he is better prepared to carry this team in a few years when he’ll have no other choice.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the 49ers demise from just a few seasons ago is how spectacularly bad their defense has become. Since 2013 the 49ers have used 10 of 14 picks in the first three rounds to address their defense and have added 2 defensive linemen, 4 linebackers, 2 safeties, and 2 cornerbacks to their roster. All but Corey Lemonier (third round 2013) remain on the team - Lemoine signed with the Bengals after being cut. Still the 49ers have one of the worst run defenses in recent memory. Chris Borland’s retirement after a single year, and the early retirement of Patrick WIllis - who would still be the best middle linebacker in football - obviously hurt, and while several of those players have been impressive, the 49ers aren’t really seeing any productive team play on the defensive side of the ball. Given that GM Trent Baalke insists on taking defensive players early these results are unacceptable.
And Another Thing
It looks like there are about 9 teams that could be looking for quarterback help in the off season. Cleveland, Chicago, and San Francisco are at the top of the list - and the top of the draft but the Jets, Dolphins, Texans, and possibly Broncos, Redskins, and Bills. Certainly veteran’s like Jay Cutler, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Colin Kaepernick will be available but this figures to be another year where quarterbacks are taken early. DeShaun Watson and DeShone Kizer are the two most well known players but Miami’s Brad Kaaya and North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky are also garnering praise from draft pundits. What is interesting is that the class of 2018 appears to be much better than the class of 2017. Josh Rosen, Jake Browning, and Logan Woodside are all better quarterback prospects than any of the members of this class, and while Browning and Rosen are ineligible, Woodside could enter the draft this year. If he does, he might surprise the casual observer and draft pundits alike. Scouts from at least two teams, one of whom will take a quarterback, really like the Toledo prospect.