NFL

September 11, 2019, 4:59 am

NFL Power Rankings, Week 1: Wait, are the Raiders actually good?

In this week's power superiors, we check in on the Patriots, Ravens, Titans, Raiders and Jaguars.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 1: Wait, are the Raiders actually good?
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NFL Power Rankings, Week 1: Wait, are the Raiders really good? NFL Power Rankings, Week 1: Wait, are the Raiders really good?

NFL

NFL Power Rankings, Week 1: Wait, are the Raiders really good?

By Steven Ruiz September 10, 2019 10:34 am Follow @theStevenRuiz

187 shares share tweet pin sms send email

By: Steven Ruiz | September 10, 2019 10:34 am Follow @theStevenRuiz

The NFL is officially back in our lives, which means for the next five months we’ll be perpetually bicker over whose favourite team is best. Power superiors are an inevitability, so I’ll be putt unneurotic mine all Tuesday.

Rankings will be supported on a figure of factors, but the main overarching inquiry when I decide on the command will be “If these teams played on a amoral field, who’d win?” So I won’t be overreacting to upsets and flukey results. One team pulsating some other does not warrant a higher superior. And with it beingness Week 1, I’m not active overreact to a little example size. This week’s superior is very much influenced by my preseason perception of these teams. So, don’t be surprised when the Browns are still a few spots ahead of a team that just pounded them by 30 points.

These are tier-supported superiors. And instead of writing a few inane sentences on each team, I’ll highlight one team from each tier and give them a little more attention.

With that out of the way, let’s rank some teams…

Tier 1: No one team should have all that power

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the Patriots league. The rest of the teams are just here to keep them busy.

1. Patriots (1-0, Point Differential: +30)

I’m not ready to start throwing around the U-word just yet, but this is the best Patriots teams we’ve seen since that 16-0 regular season in 2007. Tom Brady is still Tom Brady. Now he has the best (and deepest) receiving corps in the league. Bill Belichick is still Bill Belichick. And now he has a versatile front seven and a secondary featuring defensive backs of all shape and size, giving the defensive mastermind the chess pieces he needs to put unneurotic those legendary gameplans of his.

On Sunday night, the Patriots looked like the best team in the NFL. Now we’re dropping Antonio Brown, the league’s best receiver, into this, and I’m not sure which AFC team is capable of giving them a competitive game. The Chiefs can certainly score with New England, but the Pats have a secondary that can match up with Andy Reid’s never-ending supply of weapons. The Ravens look awfully dangerous but I don’t know if I trust Lamar Jackson against a Belichick defense just yet. The Chargers are talented but they are also the Chargers.

Every other AFC team has at least one glaring weakness. The Pats have none. The one big concern heading into the season was how the offense would look without Rob Gronkowski after failing to adequately replace him. It didn’t seem to matter in Week 1. Brady completed only one pass to a tight end and the offense did not sputter. New England simply increased its usage of 20 personnel (2 RBs, 0 TEs, 3 WRs) and 10 personnel (1 RB, 0 TEs, 4 WRs), and the passing game looked better than ever. Brady averaged 0.46 Expected Points Added per dropback.

In their first game since @RobGronkowski's retirement, the @Patriots used 20 personnel (2 RB, 0 TE, 3 WR) on 23 plays tonight.

That's the MOST by any team in a game since 2016.

The Patriots used 20 personnel on just 8 plays total last season.#PITvsNE | #GoPats pic.twitter.com/o0aqSuOaD0

— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 9, 2019

The running game wasn’t nearly as effective and that could continue with RT Marcus Cannon leaving the game with a shoulder injury. The Pats already lost C David Andrews for the season, so this line is looking thin at the moment. It may not matter with legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarneccia in charge of figuring things out, though. These things never seem to matter with the Patriots, who always find a way to mask their weaknesses, but if you’re rooting for the Patriots’ demise, that may be the thing that gives you a sliver of hope.

Tier 2: So, who’s coming in second?

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

There are a lot of good teams here that would be worthy Super Bowl champs … if the Patriots didn’t exist, that is. The Chiefs may belong in a tier of their own, as they are the only team that can keep up with the Pats in a shoot-out. The NFC is well represented, and, really, any of the teams ranked fourth through seventh could be flipped. I put the Eagles at the top and the Rams at the bottom because of their respective quarterbacks. Carson Wentz looked like an MVP candidate on Sunday. Jared Goff? Not so much. 

2. Chiefs (1-0, Point Differential: +14)
3. Ravens (1-0, Point Differential: +49)
4. Eagles (1-0, Point Differential: +5)
5. Saints (1-0, Point Differential: +2)
6. Cowboys (1-0, Point Differential: +18)
7. Rams (1-0, Point Differential: +3)
8. Chargers (1-0, Point Differential: +6)
9. Vikings (1-0, Point Differential: +16)

Ravens coaches and players had spent the offseason talking up a new-look offense that would “revolutionize” the NFL. We didn’t really see that on Sunday — Lamar Jackson said after the game that they ran a lot of the same concepts that they were running a year ago — but that doesn’t mean Baltimore’s offense wasn’t a blast to watch.

The Ravens used 46 uniques lineup combinations in Miami, per NFLGSIS. Now, some of that has to do with the fact that they were up a billion points by the second quarter and put in their backups in the second half, but even when the starters were on the field, Greg Roman’s offense was perpetually changing up their looks. The run game was diverse, with multiple run-blocking concepts beingness used throughout the game. The passing game was aggressive, with Jackson attacking the Dolphins down the field off play-action. That combination really gave Miami problems. Half of Jackson’s passing attempts came after a play fake, and with the Dolphins selling out to stop the run, that really put Miami’s secondary on an island.

As fast as the offense looked, the defense looked even faster. Baltimore put constant pressure on the quarterback, forcing quick passes to receivers that were instantly swarmed by Ravens defenders.

The pass coverage was smothering and looks even more dangerous with Earl Thomas lurking in the middle of the field.

This unit lost a lot of veteran experience during the offseason but the increase in speed jumped off the film in Week 1.

Playing the Dolphins certainly helped Baltimore’s cause on Sunday, but I don’t think we should be taking too much credit away from what the Ravens did. Any time you beat an NFL team by 49 points, it means something.

Tier 3: The rest of the playoff contenders.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of 0-1 teams here, but I’m not giving up hope on any of them. Even the Browns, who will be fine active forward, as I wrote Monday morning. The same goes for the Colts. Taking the Chargers to overtime on the road after missing two field goals and an extra point is an impressive feat. Now, I know Tennessee fans are probably rolling their eyes, but let me show you some love and explain why I’m hesitant to go all-in on this team…

10. Colts (0-1, Point Differential: -6)
11. Packers (1-0, Point Differential: +7)
12. Browns (0-1, Point Differential: -30)
13. Steelers (0-1, Point Differential: -30)
14. Bears (0-1, Point Differential: -7)
15. Seahawks (1-0, Point Differential: +1)
16. Panthers (0-1, Point Differential: -3)
17. Falcons (0-1, Point Differential: -16)
18. Titans (1-0, Point Differential: +30)
19. Texans (0-1, Point Differential: -2)

With most people focusing on the Browns’ side of the Titans’ Week 1 win, I thought I’d give Tennessee some attention after its impressive upset. Most of that love is active to defensive coordinator Dean Pees, who remains one of the more under-appreciated defensive minds in this league. Yes, Baker Mayfield had a horrid day and the Browns offensive line didn’t play very well, but after watching the game, I’d say that had more to do with the Titans’ gameplan.

The Titans did not send a traditional four-man rush very often. That doesn’t mean they were blitzing, however. Pees called for a lot “creepers” on Sunday. Those are pressures designed to look like a blitz with a traditional pass rusher dropping into coverage and a linebacker or defensive back replacing him in the rush. You can read more about the concept here.

By sending these creepers, the Titans were able to get a free rusher without sacrificing coverage on the back end.

Tennessee’s defense had a ton of success using this concept. Three of the Titans’ five sacks were created by creeper pressures. Two of Mayfield’s three interceptions came against the concept, including his first, which was the beginning of the end for Cleveland…

Outside of Kevin Byard, who made a fantastic play in the clip above, the Titans don’t have a lot of blue-chip talent on defense, but they are solid at all spot and have a defensive coordinator who knows what he’s doing. Tennessee’s defensive performance in Cleveland was no fluke.

So now you might be wondering why I have the Titans so low. You’d understand if watched Marcus Mariota throw a football on Sunday. It wasn’t good. Mariota’s passes lacked zipped and his accuracy continues to be erratic.

this is honestly quite sad pic.twitter.com/rpyeJGN3j5

— Derrik Klassen (@QBKlass) September 9, 2019

Mariota’s figures looked good but a lot of his production came on a 75-yard screen pass to Derrick Henry and a few spectacular catch-and-runs by rookie A.J. Brown. Two of his touchdown passes were thrown behind the line of scrimmage. Mariota’s play-makers (and undisciplined Browns defense) did most of the heavy lifting for the Titans offense.

So as high as I am on the Titans defense, I need to see more out of Mariota before I jump on the Tennessee bandwagon. It’s a passing league.

Tier 4: Not terrible, but also not doing much this season.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

I’m really not sure those first three teams can’t compete for a playoff spot, but I’m not sold on any of their quarterbacks. Josh Allen still looks lost in the pocket. Derek Carr was super efficient on Monday but I need to see him throw the ball downfield more often. And Jimmy G … well, we still don’t really know what Jimmy G is at this point. The rest of these teams are bad, but they aren’t automatic W’s.

20. Bills (1-0, Point Differential: +1)
21. Raiders (1-0, Point Differential: +8)
22. 49ers (1-0, Point Differential: +14)
23. Bengals (0-1, Point Differential: -1)
24. Lions (0-0-1, Point Differential: 0)
25. Buccaneers (0-1, Point Differential: -14)
26. Jets (0-1, Point Differential: -1)
27. Broncos (0-1, Point Differential: -8)

Wait, are the Raiders really good? I’ll wait until their Week 2 game against the Chiefs to give a definitive answer, but what we saw Monday night closely resembled a good football team. On both sides of the ball.

I was most impressed by the offensive and defensive lines.

The defensive line, led by budding superstar DT Maurice Hurst, lived in Denver’s backfield. This was a defense that struggled to create negative plays a year ago — combining for just 66 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in 2018 — but that was not the case in Week 1. Against Denver, the Raiders produced three sacks and six tackles for loss. Flacco was perpetually under pressure, and the Bronco’s run game never got active , averaging -0.14 EPA/attempt on early downs. That put Denver into a lot of third-and-long situations, which allowed the Oakland secondary to play aggressively.

The offensive line was the key to the win. The Broncos have one of the NFL’s best pass rushes with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb coming off the edges and did not register a sack all night. Credit goes to Jon Gruden for calling a good game and Derek Carr, who got rid of the ball quickly and showed improved pocket presence, side-stepping the rush and finding receivers downfield on multiple occasions.

The two biggest concerns with Oakland entering the season were the offensive line and defensive front. Both passed their first test of the season. I don’t know how good this Raiders team will be in 2019 but it will be a far more competitive outfit active forward.

Tier 5: There’s always 2020.

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins and Jaguars might belong in the next tier up, but it won’t ultimately matter. Neither will compete for a playoff spot and they can blame their quarterback situations for that. Speaking of Jacksonville…

28. Redskins (0-1, Point Differential: -5)
29. Jaguars (0-1, Point Differential: -14)
30. Cardinals (0-0-1, Point Differential: 0)
31. Giants (0-1, Point Differential: -18)
32. Dolphins (0-1, Point Differential: -49)

Did the Jaguars have the worst opening week of any team? I mean, the Dolphins got the doors blown off them but that was, partly, by design. The Jaguars aren’t tanking. They just spent $88 million on a veteran quarterback; they really thought they’d be competitive in 2019.

Well, that’s not active to be the case after losing Nick Foles to a broken collarbone. Gardner Minshew impressed in his NFL debut but he won’t get to play Kansas City’s defense (which game-planned for some other QB) all week.

As dire as the offensive situation looks active forward, I’m more concerned with the defense. Getting throttled by this Chiefs offense isn’t the most embarrassing thing, but the coverage busts that plagued this talented defense a year ago popped up once again on Sunday.

The Jaguars did not cover one person on this play pic.twitter.com/i2fX5yY70r

— Steven Ruiz (@theStevenRuiz) September 10, 2019

I’m afraid that complacency will once again cost this team. Last season, it was sticking with Blake Bortles. This year, sticking with defensive coordinator Todd Wash may be the team’s undoing. The defensive underacheived last season, and a lot of that was chalked up to the team buying into its own hype, but there were schematic issues as well. That falls on the coach. Wash is a holdover from the Gus Bradley era and somehow got the job after sitting in on Doug Marrone’s interviews of defensive coordinator candidates. Gee, wonder how that happened.

“Yeah, this guy is bad, too, Doug. Maybe the best option is right under your nose, ya know?” 

For whatever reason, team owner Shad Kahn continues to stick with the Tom Coughlin-Dave Caldwell-Marrone brain trust that continues to make obviously poor decisions. It’s as if they’re actively trying to get fired but just don’t have the guile of an Antonio Brown.

Bash the Dolphins all you want, but at least they seem to have a plan.

NFL, NFL Power Rankings, Oakland Raiders, NFL

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The NFL is officially back in our lives, which means for the next five months we’ll be perpetually bicker over whose favourite team is best. Power superiors are an inevitability, so I’ll be putt unneurotic mine all Tuesday.

Rankings will be supported on a figure of factors, but the main overarching inquiry when I decide on the command will be “If these teams played on a amoral field, who’d win?” So I won’t be overreacting to upsets and flukey results. One team pulsating some other does not warrant a higher superior. And with it beingness Week 1, I’m not active overreact to a little example size. This week’s superior is very much influenced by my preseason perception of these teams. So, don’t be surprised when the Browns are still a few spots ahead of a team that just pounded them by 30 points.

These are tier-supported superiors. And instead of writing a few inane sentences on each team, I’ll highlight one team from each tier and give them a little more attention.

With that out of the way, let’s rank some teams…

Tier 1: No one team should have all that power

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the Patriots league. The rest of the teams are just here to keep them busy.

1. Patriots (1-0, Point Differential: +30)

I’m not ready to start throwing around the U-word just yet, but this is the best Patriots teams we’ve seen since that 16-0 regular season in 2007. Tom Brady is still Tom Brady. Now he has the best (and deepest) receiving corps in the league. Bill Belichick is still Bill Belichick. And now he has a versatile front seven and a secondary featuring defensive backs of all shape and size, giving the defensive mastermind the chess pieces he needs to put unneurotic those legendary gameplans of his.

On Sunday night, the Patriots looked like the best team in the NFL. Now we’re dropping Antonio Brown, the league’s best receiver, into this, and I’m not sure which AFC team is capable of giving them a competitive game. The Chiefs can certainly score with New England, but the Pats have a secondary that can match up with Andy Reid’s never-ending supply of weapons. The Ravens look awfully dangerous but I don’t know if I trust Lamar Jackson against a Belichick defense just yet. The Chargers are talented but they are also the Chargers.

Every other AFC team has at least one glaring weakness. The Pats have none. The one big concern heading into the season was how the offense would look without Rob Gronkowski after failing to adequately replace him. It didn’t seem to matter in Week 1. Brady completed only one pass to a tight end and the offense did not sputter. New England simply increased its usage of 20 personnel (2 RBs, 0 TEs, 3 WRs) and 10 personnel (1 RB, 0 TEs, 4 WRs), and the passing game looked better than ever. Brady averaged 0.46 Expected Points Added per dropback.

In their first game since @RobGronkowski's retirement, the @Patriots used 20 personnel (2 RB, 0 TE, 3 WR) on 23 plays tonight.

That's the MOST by any team in a game since 2016.

The Patriots used 20 personnel on just 8 plays total last season.#PITvsNE | #GoPats pic.twitter.com/o0aqSuOaD0

— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 9, 2019

The running game wasn’t nearly as effective and that could continue with RT Marcus Cannon leaving the game with a shoulder injury. The Pats already lost C David Andrews for the season, so this line is looking thin at the moment. It may not matter with legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarneccia in charge of figuring things out, though. These things never seem to matter with the Patriots, who always find a way to mask their weaknesses, but if you’re rooting for the Patriots’ demise, that may be the thing that gives you a sliver of hope.

Tier 2: So, who’s coming in second?

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

There are a lot of good teams here that would be worthy Super Bowl champs … if the Patriots didn’t exist, that is. The Chiefs may belong in a tier of their own, as they are the only team that can keep up with the Pats in a shoot-out. The NFC is well represented, and, really, any of the teams ranked fourth through seventh could be flipped. I put the Eagles at the top and the Rams at the bottom because of their respective quarterbacks. Carson Wentz looked like an MVP candidate on Sunday. Jared Goff? Not so much. 

2. Chiefs (1-0, Point Differential: +14)
3. Ravens (1-0, Point Differential: +49)
4. Eagles (1-0, Point Differential: +5)
5. Saints (1-0, Point Differential: +2)
6. Cowboys (1-0, Point Differential: +18)
7. Rams (1-0, Point Differential: +3)
8. Chargers (1-0, Point Differential: +6)
9. Vikings (1-0, Point Differential: +16)

Ravens coaches and players had spent the offseason talking up a new-look offense that would “revolutionize” the NFL. We didn’t really see that on Sunday — Lamar Jackson said after the game that they ran a lot of the same concepts that they were running a year ago — but that doesn’t mean Baltimore’s offense wasn’t a blast to watch.

The Ravens used 46 uniques lineup combinations in Miami, per NFLGSIS. Now, some of that has to do with the fact that they were up a billion points by the second quarter and put in their backups in the second half, but even when the starters were on the field, Greg Roman’s offense was perpetually changing up their looks. The run game was diverse, with multiple run-blocking concepts beingness used throughout the game. The passing game was aggressive, with Jackson attacking the Dolphins down the field off play-action. That combination really gave Miami problems. Half of Jackson’s passing attempts came after a play fake, and with the Dolphins selling out to stop the run, that really put Miami’s secondary on an island.

As fast as the offense looked, the defense looked even faster. Baltimore put constant pressure on the quarterback, forcing quick passes to receivers that were instantly swarmed by Ravens defenders.

The pass coverage was smothering and looks even more dangerous with Earl Thomas lurking in the middle of the field.

This unit lost a lot of veteran experience during the offseason but the increase in speed jumped off the film in Week 1.

Playing the Dolphins certainly helped Baltimore’s cause on Sunday, but I don’t think we should be taking too much credit away from what the Ravens did. Any time you beat an NFL team by 49 points, it means something.

Tier 3: The rest of the playoff contenders.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of 0-1 teams here, but I’m not giving up hope on any of them. Even the Browns, who will be fine active forward, as I wrote Monday morning. The same goes for the Colts. Taking the Chargers to overtime on the road after missing two field goals and an extra point is an impressive feat. Now, I know Tennessee fans are probably rolling their eyes, but let me show you some love and explain why I’m hesitant to go all-in on this team…

10. Colts (0-1, Point Differential: -6)
11. Packers (1-0, Point Differential: +7)
12. Browns (0-1, Point Differential: -30)
13. Steelers (0-1, Point Differential: -30)
14. Bears (0-1, Point Differential: -7)
15. Seahawks (1-0, Point Differential: +1)
16. Panthers (0-1, Point Differential: -3)
17. Falcons (0-1, Point Differential: -16)
18. Titans (1-0, Point Differential: +30)
19. Texans (0-1, Point Differential: -2)

With most people focusing on the Browns’ side of the Titans’ Week 1 win, I thought I’d give Tennessee some attention after its impressive upset. Most of that love is active to defensive coordinator Dean Pees, who remains one of the more under-appreciated defensive minds in this league. Yes, Baker Mayfield had a horrid day and the Browns offensive line didn’t play very well, but after watching the game, I’d say that had more to do with the Titans’ gameplan.

The Titans did not send a traditional four-man rush very often. That doesn’t mean they were blitzing, however. Pees called for a lot “creepers” on Sunday. Those are pressures designed to look like a blitz with a traditional pass rusher dropping into coverage and a linebacker or defensive back replacing him in the rush. You can read more about the concept here.

By sending these creepers, the Titans were able to get a free rusher without sacrificing coverage on the back end.

Tennessee’s defense had a ton of success using this concept. Three of the Titans’ five sacks were created by creeper pressures. Two of Mayfield’s three interceptions came against the concept, including his first, which was the beginning of the end for Cleveland…

Outside of Kevin Byard, who made a fantastic play in the clip above, the Titans don’t have a lot of blue-chip talent on defense, but they are solid at all spot and have a defensive coordinator who knows what he’s doing. Tennessee’s defensive performance in Cleveland was no fluke.

So now you might be wondering why I have the Titans so low. You’d understand if watched Marcus Mariota throw a football on Sunday. It wasn’t good. Mariota’s passes lacked zipped and his accuracy continues to be erratic.

this is honestly quite sad pic.twitter.com/rpyeJGN3j5

— Derrik Klassen (@QBKlass) September 9, 2019

Mariota’s figures looked good but a lot of his production came on a 75-yard screen pass to Derrick Henry and a few spectacular catch-and-runs by rookie A.J. Brown. Two of his touchdown passes were thrown behind the line of scrimmage. Mariota’s play-makers (and undisciplined Browns defense) did most of the heavy lifting for the Titans offense.

So as high as I am on the Titans defense, I need to see more out of Mariota before I jump on the Tennessee bandwagon. It’s a passing league.

Tier 4: Not terrible, but also not doing much this season.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

I’m really not sure those first three teams can’t compete for a playoff spot, but I’m not sold on any of their quarterbacks. Josh Allen still looks lost in the pocket. Derek Carr was super efficient on Monday but I need to see him throw the ball downfield more often. And Jimmy G … well, we still don’t really know what Jimmy G is at this point. The rest of these teams are bad, but they aren’t automatic W’s.

20. Bills (1-0, Point Differential: +1)
21. Raiders (1-0, Point Differential: +8)
22. 49ers (1-0, Point Differential: +14)
23. Bengals (0-1, Point Differential: -1)
24. Lions (0-0-1, Point Differential: 0)
25. Buccaneers (0-1, Point Differential: -14)
26. Jets (0-1, Point Differential: -1)
27. Broncos (0-1, Point Differential: -8)

Wait, are the Raiders really good? I’ll wait until their Week 2 game against the Chiefs to give a definitive answer, but what we saw Monday night closely resembled a good football team. On both sides of the ball.

I was most impressed by the offensive and defensive lines.

The defensive line, led by budding superstar DT Maurice Hurst, lived in Denver’s backfield. This was a defense that struggled to create negative plays a year ago — combining for just 66 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in 2018 — but that was not the case in Week 1. Against Denver, the Raiders produced three sacks and six tackles for loss. Flacco was perpetually under pressure, and the Bronco’s run game never got active , averaging -0.14 EPA/attempt on early downs. That put Denver into a lot of third-and-long situations, which allowed the Oakland secondary to play aggressively.

The offensive line was the key to the win. The Broncos have one of the NFL’s best pass rushes with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb coming off the edges and did not register a sack all night. Credit goes to Jon Gruden for calling a good game and Derek Carr, who got rid of the ball quickly and showed improved pocket presence, side-stepping the rush and finding receivers downfield on multiple occasions.

The two biggest concerns with Oakland entering the season were the offensive line and defensive front. Both passed their first test of the season. I don’t know how good this Raiders team will be in 2019 but it will be a far more competitive outfit active forward.

Tier 5: There’s always 2020.

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins and Jaguars might belong in the next tier up, but it won’t ultimately matter. Neither will compete for a playoff spot and they can blame their quarterback situations for that. Speaking of Jacksonville…

28. Redskins (0-1, Point Differential: -5)
29. Jaguars (0-1, Point Differential: -14)
30. Cardinals (0-0-1, Point Differential: 0)
31. Giants (0-1, Point Differential: -18)
32. Dolphins (0-1, Point Differential: -49)

Did the Jaguars have the worst opening week of any team? I mean, the Dolphins got the doors blown off them but that was, partly, by design. The Jaguars aren’t tanking. They just spent $88 million on a veteran quarterback; they really thought they’d be competitive in 2019.

Well, that’s not active to be the case after losing Nick Foles to a broken collarbone. Gardner Minshew impressed in his NFL debut but he won’t get to play Kansas City’s defense (which game-planned for some other QB) all week.

As dire as the offensive situation looks active forward, I’m more concerned with the defense. Getting throttled by this Chiefs offense isn’t the most embarrassing thing, but the coverage busts that plagued this talented defense a year ago popped up once again on Sunday.

The Jaguars did not cover one person on this play pic.twitter.com/i2fX5yY70r

— Steven Ruiz (@theStevenRuiz) September 10, 2019

I’m afraid that complacency will once again cost this team. Last season, it was sticking with Blake Bortles. This year, sticking with defensive coordinator Todd Wash may be the team’s undoing. The defensive underacheived last season, and a lot of that was chalked up to the team buying into its own hype, but there were schematic issues as well. That falls on the coach. Wash is a holdover from the Gus Bradley era and somehow got the job after sitting in on Doug Marrone’s interviews of defensive coordinator candidates. Gee, wonder how that happened.

“Yeah, this guy is bad, too, Doug. Maybe the best option is right under your nose, ya know?” 

For whatever reason, team owner Shad Kahn continues to stick with the Tom Coughlin-Dave Caldwell-Marrone brain trust that continues to make obviously poor decisions. It’s as if they’re actively trying to get fired but just don’t have the guile of an Antonio Brown.

Bash the Dolphins all you want, but at least they seem to have a plan.

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