You want an example of a team who has been consistently beat up and had significantly limited snaps for numerous starters, yet weathered the storm and are sitting pretty at the top of their division? The Kansas City Chiefs.
All pro MVP QBs missed games and they brought in a guy who was retired to fill in for a few weeks and played quality football. Tyreek Hill has his suspension at the start of the year, arguably the best WR in the game for my money, on a pure talent standpoint that is. Sammy Watkins has missed time, Damien Williams has missed time. Their number one overall pick and LT missed half the year, and their two guards have missed a couple games each. Hardly the continuity that we’ve had on our trenches.
And that doesn’t even get to the other side of the ball. They lost their cornerstones on the edge before the season in Ford and Houston (glad we got Houston, always liked that guy and he’s been the definition of solid), and they replaced them with Frank Clark and Alex Okafor, both downgrades who have missed a few games. Chris Jones, a certifiable stud in the middle of their defensive line has been banged up and missed a few games. Kendall Fuller, their best corner, missed a few games.
Sorry y’all but using the ‘we lost our starter that the beginning of the year’ excuse is a cop out. He retired, it was unfortunate, but with all the high praises Brisket was receiving from Ballard and Reich, the contract extension, they were clearly expecting more. Losing Hilton for a few weeks was unfortunate, but hardly debilitating considering he’s been putting up the worst numbers of his career since he was a rookie. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why that may be. Brissett doesn’t make his progressions or try to stretch the deep to intermediate routes.
Losing a rookie in Campbell doesn’t matter either. He was a rookie and the downgrade to Pascal has seemed to be an upgrade to me. Losing Funchess was quite simply an unknown. Could he have had a Calvin Johnson type year? Sure, but that’s not the smart bet. He was signed to play with Luck because he excelled at the routes that Luck excelled at throwing to. So we signed a guy for 13 million to play twenty snaps with the wrong QB. I just don’t think he would have made a bit of difference. The difference between losing Mack and giving the carries to Williams and Wilkins has not exactly broken the team either. Williams with two straight hundred yard games, can’t ask for better than that ina relief role. Losing Ebron is an addition by subtraction with the critical drops he had and the fact that him being on the field made the offense even more predictable than usual.
Bottom line is, every team is beat up? I reckon with a QB that had any willingness to throw downfield and the accuracy to do so, this team would be fighting for the number one seed.