Is it too early to panic? Maybe not, but the talk of benching Haskins has begun, which is insane because the kid has only started 10 games in his young NFL career, so no, he should not be benched. Well… unless something disastrous happens, then maybe we can start talking about Alex Smith taking over. Ron Rivera said right after the game that he is sticking with Haskins — which is the right thing to say after a rough game where Haskins threw 3 interceptions. This coaching staff will give Dwayne Haskins all the chances they possibly can to develop this season. However, if by season’s end, he has not shown enough signs of vast improvement, then the Quarterback position will need to be addressed yet again in the offseason.
There were a few bright spots in this game: Montez Sweat looks better and better each week. It was great seeing Kendall Fuller back on the field, and Terry McLaurin continues to be the brightest star of this offense.
We still have not established a solid running game; Antonio Gibson had some nice runs but only 9 rushing attempts. J.D. McKissic only had 5 rush attempts in this game. This is not an effective way to support a young quarterback and a suspect offensive line. The running game has got to be more consistent — I’m hoping Bryce Love gets into the mix soon and show what he has to offer.
Look, things were looking promising early in the game until Chase Young got injured and exited the game. The team seemed to have lost some confidence without him — the defensive line did not look as dominant after his absence, and Cleveland began to run the ball more effectively. Hopefully, this injury isn’t a serious one, and Chase Young can get back soon. Hell, we have Lamar Jackson and the Ravens next Sunday. This game will be, by far, our toughest test this season.
And for the rest of the league:
49ERS 36 —GIANTS 9:
San Francisco came to this game, all banged up, and still pulled off a dominant victory. Nick Mullens was effective replacing Jimmy G. I don’t know if there is a quarterback controversy in San Francisco yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is one soon. New York is a disaster right now; nothing is working, and it seems like the Daniel Jones experiment might be coming to an end soon.
EAGLES 23 — BENGALS 23:
Philadelphia cannot catch a break, this tie might help them at the end of the season, but they are still winless at 0-2-1 for the year. If Carson Wentz continues to struggle, there might be talk of a quarterback switch pretty soon. Cincinnati seems to have found their quarterback of the future; Joe Burrow is playing well so far this season — he threw for over 300 yards with 2 TDs and zero interceptions— pretty impressive for a rookie.
SEAHAWKS 38 — COWBOYS 31:
Russell Wilson was on fire, throwing for over 300 yards with 5 TDs and zero interceptions, setting a scoring record with the most TDs this early in the season. Dallas continues to struggle defensively, especially in their secondary, and next week’s game against Cleveland will be an interesting test for them. Can they stop Cleveland’s dynamic run game? can they contain OBJ and Landry? I think not.
CHIEFS 34 — RAVENS 20:
This was supposed to be the most anticipated game this week, and in a way, it kinda was. Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City seem to have Baltimore’s number; Lamar Jackson has lost 3 straight games against Mahomes and the Chiefs. However, next week’s game against Cam Newton’s Patriots will be another highly anticipated matchup for Kansas City. Baltimore plays Washington next week, and it should be a fun game to watch, especially if Washington defensive front can contain Jackson.
PACKERS 37 — SAINTS 30:
Everyone keeps pointing at Drew Bress as the problem in New Orleans, but I don’t see it this way. There seems to be a movement in sports media to establish a narrative that Brees has lost a step, which I do not see as much as they claim to see. The Saints defense had a hard time stopping Rodgers, while Brees ended up with 288 yards and 3 TDs with zero interceptions. Those are substantial numbers, and they are statistical proof that Drew Bree’s is NOT on a decline.
TITANS 31 — VIKINGS 30:
Minnesota is a complete mess right now; their defense cannot stop anyone. Their offensive line cannot protect Cousins, and now they find themselves at 0-3 for the season, which is probably the most surprising thing this early in the football year. I thought they were poised to make a playoff run this season, and climbing out this whole seems unlikely. Tennessee is undefeated and looking like the playoff team they were late last season.
BILLS 35 — RAMS 32:
This was a rollercoaster game. Buffalo was ahead 21-3 halfway through the game, and by the end of the 4th quarter, the Rams were up 32-28, but with 15 seconds left in the game, Josh Allen threw a game-ending TD to put away Sean McVay’s team. Both of these teams will be contending for their divisions this season. The Rams get an easy game next week against the Giants, and Buffalo gets a banged-up Vegas Raider team.
STEELERS 28 — TEXANS 21:
Next to the Vikings, Houston is the most disappointing team this season. They are 0-3, and it feels like poetic justice that they are actually playing Minnesota next week. I think it is time to press the panic button for both of these teams. Pittsburg is now on top of the AFC North, looking forward to their matchup against Baltimore in week 7.
COLTS 36 — JETS 7:
The Colts seemed to have figure out the formula to minimize Phillip Rivers’ interceptions, and it looks like the AFC South divisional title will come down between Indianapolis and Tennessee. The Jets were supposed to be better than what they have shown so far, and Adam Gase’s time in NY might be coming to an end soon.
PATRIOTS 36 — RAIDERS 20:
Cam Newton was contained, but New England still had enough in their arsenal to put up 36 points on a banged-up Raiders team. Next week New England visits Patrick Mahomes, which should be an excellent game.
BEARS 30 — FALCONS 26:
Trubisky finally got benched when Chicago was down 26-10, and Nick Foles came in to put up 20 answered points to keep Chicago at 3-0 and Atlanta winless. The Falcons should be in panic mode at this time, and it doesn’t get any easier for them against Aaron Rodgers next Sunday.
DOLPHINS 31 — JAGUARS 13:
Ryan Fitzmagic looks good yet again early in the season, and Jacksonville’s struggles are proof that Nick Foles wasn’t the real issue offensively for the Jaguars.
PANTHERS 21 — CHARGERS 16:
Carolina, without McCaffrey, managed to dominate still and put away a tough Chargers team.
LIONS 26 — CARDINALS 23:
Detroit made things tough for Kyler Murray and essentially gave Matt Patricia a life-line for another week. Can the Lions do the same to Drew Brees next Sunday? I doubt it, but I cannot wait to watch this game.
BUCCANEERS 28 —BRONCOS 10:
Tom Brady continues to look good in Tampa Bay, and they finally got Rob Gronkowski involved significantly in their offense. Denver is a complete mess, and they have not figured out a way to contend since Payton Manning retired. Maybe it is time for John Elway to step away from football operations.