We are at the mid-season mark and already we have teams talking about moving on from their supposed franchise quarterbacks.
Let’s take a look at who may be leaving their quarterbacks behind.
Carolina Panthers placed Cam Newton on season-ending injured reserve this week, leaving many to question if we will ever see Newton in a Panthers uniform again., especially since they have quarterback Kyle Allen, an undrafted free agent who has played well for Carolina in relief of Newton. He has completed 60.7 % of his passes for 1,291 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions in six games.
The Panthers have gone 5-1 in the games in which Allen has started.
It’s hard to believe we are at the mid-point of the NFL season. As such, there were eight teams starting the year with brand new head coaches. Six of them are in their first head coaching position, while two have held the job before.
In the competition to see who made the best hiring decision, the clear – and only – winner at this point is the Green Bay Packers. Matt LeFleur has this team leading their division at 7-1. Now, perhaps it’s the Aaron Duo – quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back Aaron Jones – who deserve some credit, but there are other teams in this group with talented players who are not even close to being .500. That means I’m giving the Packers an A on the hire. Trust me – other coaches might have found a way to screw up this team so I’ll give credit to LeFleur because he hasn’t.
Let’s take a look at the other seven teams to see how they are faring…
All four of these teams need this break to heal and regroup. What’s interesting to me, is the startling similarities between these four teams.
Two from the AFC North and two from the NFC South. Two struggling with first-year head coaches and sub-par quarterback play, while the other two are dealing with injuries that have taken out their starting QB and left their entire offenses struggling.
But I wonder… will this “Bye” week hurt or heal these teams?
Week 5 didn’t do anything to clear up the picture in the AFC North. In fact, the waters got even more muddy.
The Pittsburgh Steelers lost a close division matchup to the Baltimore Ravens. The Cincinnati Bengals lost a tight one to the Atlanta Falcons. And the Cleveland Browns got ripped apart in front of the entire football nation on Monday night by the San Francisco 49ers.
The Ravens may be at the top of the division with a 3-2 record, but they are a long way from claiming dominance.
Let’s take a look back at the action, and a look forward to this week’s games.
Between the hard-fought ground battle in Baltimore between the Ravens (2-2) and the Cleveland Browns (2-2), to the Monday Night Football showcase of two winless teams, Pittsburgh Steelers (1-3) vs Cincinnati Bengals (0-4), the AFC North is a division undergoing a huge transformation.
How did this week’s games impact the division standings – and what do the upcoming weeks have in store for these hard grinding teams?
Let’s take a look at the first quarter of the 2019 season for this division…
Divisional Match-ups are finally here in the AFC North and there are two great ones this weekend.
Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens (2-1) host the Cleveland Browns (1-2). Then on Monday Night Football, the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3) host the Cincinnati Bengals (0-3)
During the off-season, it appeared that there would be a battle going on in this division. However, a season-ending injury to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has left the team floundering. And first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens is struggling with discipline and penalty issues for the Browns.
Will this week’s match-ups ultimately decide the division?
The Baltimore Ravens sit alone atop the AFC North after one week due to surprising losses by the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cincinnati Bengals loss to the Seattle Seahawks was only surprising in that the game was so very much closer than anyone predicted.
The Ravens looked amazing, but is that because the Miami Dolphins are worse than advertised? And after all the pre-season hype, are the Browns really this bad?
No one was surprised to see the New England Patriots man-handle the Steelers, yet the complete beat-down was unexpected. And quarterback Andy Dalton put up better numbers than Russell Wilson!!!! How did that happen?
Editors Note: OurTurf Football has had a great, long-time friendship with Russell Baxter and we were honored when he asked a few of our writers to do team season previews for his website, PFG Vibe/ProFootballGuru. OTFB’s Kate Arhar wrote up her thoughts on the upcoming season for the Cleveland Browns. The article was originally published on Aug 27, 2019, and can be seen here.
Even with a first-time head coach, new offensive coordinator and new defensive coordinator, the Cleveland Browns have never engendered higher hopes among their fans than they have in this off-season. While a 7-8-1 record is not usually something to give one much hope, the Browns were a combined 1-31 for the two previous seasons.
Their woes at the quarterback position are the stuff of legend – and ESPN film reels. But the drafting of quarterback Baker Mayfield seems to have changed all that. For the first time in my memory, and I’ve been following the Browns since 1975, the talent on this roster may actually be up to the challenge of meeting the fans expectations.
Week 3 of the NFL Preseason may just be an indication of how the entire season will finish up in the NFC South.
The New Orleans Saints had a commanding victory, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squeaked one out with a game-winning field goal and both the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers struggled to find any offense at all.
Panthers QB Cam Newton suffered a foot injury and while x-rays have come back negative, seeing him in a walking boot has to put quite a bit of fear into the hearts of Carolina fans!