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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

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Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

1) Five rookie quarterbacks have taken a snap through three games this season, but the #1 overall pick, QB Jared Goff, isn’t one of them. The Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz (1st round/2nd pick overall) may be making the biggest impact, but Dak Prescott (4th round) is having a hack of a season too for the Dallas Cowboys.

Here are the combined numbers for rookie QBs Wentz, Prescott, Cleveland’s Cody Kessler (3rd round), New England’s Jacoby Brissett (3rd round) and Seattle’s Trevone Boykin (UDFA);

271 attempts, 177 completions (65.3%), 2,040 passing yards, 7 touchdown passes, one interception for a 94.9 passer rating. Also they have a combined 132 yards on 32 rushes with 3 touchdowns. They do have 6 combined fumbles, losing one, so it’s not all hunky dory.

Instead of playing Goff, the Los Angeles Rams have been rolling with Case Keenum, a 2012 undrafted free agent with a career 77.5 passer rating. This season, his 2nd with the Rams, he’s completing 53.8% of his passes, for 186.3 yards per game, with 2 TDs and 3 Ints and a 66.1 passer rating.

The Rams are 2-1, so unless the bottom really falls out of their season, they’ll probably stick with the veteran, but is it a problem that Goff couldn’t step in and win the job?

2) Sticking with rookie QBs, I really thought the Denver Broncos should have gone with Paxton Lynch after seeing him play during the preseason, but it seems I was wrong. Second year pro Trevor Siemian has looked progressively better through three games. He just threw for 4 TD passes on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals to help keep the Broncos undefeated.

3) Just how bad is Geno Smith?

The New York Jets’ 4th year pro couldn’t even get into the 24-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs when starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw six (6!) interceptions.

4) In last week’s Ten Thoughts, I mentioned how impressed I was that the Patriots believe in their system so much, that they went into the Thursday Night game with wide receiver Julian Edelman as their #2 QB.

This week, Edelman may be moving up the depth chart with Jacoby Brissett nursing a thumb injury and Jimmy Garoppolo still trying to work his way back from his shoulder injury.

From NESN;

“Signing another quarterback is regarded, as I’m told, a last resort for the Patriots because, No. 1 they don’t want to have to cut somebody to create a roster spot for a quarterback, but No. 2 they actually would prefer to go with a Julian Edelman, even though he hasn’t played quarterback since college, because he knows the offense inside and out,” ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported on “Sunday Night Football”.

“You bring someone in who hasn’t been on the team, that person is going to have to get up to speed and have a limited knowledge and understanding of the playbook. So, they are comfortable, if they have to, going with Julian Edelman. But goal No. 1 is to get either Garoppolo or Brissett ready for next Sunday.”

The Pats host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday and Edelman receiving the start would be must see TV.

5) Back in 2014, after the Green Bay Packers lost its week three game to the Detroit Lions to fall to 1-2, Packer QB Aaron Rodgers famously gave his "Five letters here just for everybody out there in Packer-land: R-E-L-A-X," take on his team’s fortunes.

This year he felt the need to give Packer critics a new message after they started 1-1.

In 2014 Rodgers went out following his R-E-L-A-X statement and threw for 4 TDs in a rout of the Bears. :(

In 2016, after the message above, he went out and threw for another 4 TDs, this time against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

I guess this means that he’s due to shred the Vikings in 2018 after getting called out for poor play.

6) The Baltimore Ravens are one of five undefeated teams remaining in the NFL.

True story.

Wait a minute, before you start racking your brain, trying to figure out how the Ravens are leading the AFC North, the three teams they beat are a combined 1-8. I get the whole, ‘you can only play who’s on your schedule’ deal, but the Ravens are a fraud.

7) The Seattle Seahawks may have the worst offensive line in the NFL.

I’ll never understand why some NFL teams pay their quarterback so much money, then hire a bunch of bums to protect him.

8) The best o-line in the NFL might reside in Oakland. The Raiders’ top three running backs are averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Quarterback Derek Carr has only been sacked twice.

9) I don’t get the Atlanta Falcons, they seem like they really, really want a 1-2 punch at tailback. Through three games Devonta Freeman has 42 rushing attempts and Tevin Coleman has 32. That wouldn’t be that big a deal if Coleman was as dynamic as Freeman. Coleman has 110 yards (3.4 ypc), but Freeman has 265 (6.3 ypc).

I’d probably skew that playing time percentage closer to 75% for the guy that had over a thousand yards rushing and over 70 receptions last season.

10) Regardless on who starts at quarterback for the Chicago Bears this week, I’ll bet they come out and run the ball. Then run some more. And then run a bit more.

The Bears are dead last in rushing attempts with only 53 through three games and that has to piss head coach John Fox off. The run blocking has been inconsistent, but at some point you have to just say ‘the Hell with it’ and do what you want to do. And the Bears want to be a running team.

Fox is feeling the heat and he can’t be happy with his offense or his play caller Dowell Loggains. The Bears need to find their identity and the mandate will be laid down this week, run the damn ball.

The Detroit Lions are giving up a league worst 5.1 yards per carry, so the Bears better have at least 25 rushes. Fox will challenge his offensive line and they will start opening some holes.