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.
Bengals (projected #1 pick) -If they don't take Burrow, they'll have sunk to a new low... And that's really low being it's the Bengals.
Miami (projected #4 pick, 22, and 25) - Needs one, but they have a lot of holes, and a lot of picks. Fitzmagic is also sitting in the top 10 of QBRs right now. Why take Tua this year knowing he has to sit out a year, when you can lose-for-Lawrence next year if needed. Assuming Cinci takes Burrow, their best option for "now" might be Herbert. I could also see them using all that draft capital to trade back (and into next year), or use to fill holes and perhaps take a gamble on a guy like Winston or Newton for a year to see if they can turn things around. They have enough draft capital to do whatever they want this year or next.
Chargers (9) - If Herbert is available to them, I think they pull the trigger. Maybe Tua as they have the ability to be patient.
Carolina (12) - Tough call. I think they stay with Cam with the new coaches. If they do go in another direction, Cam will get a job somewhere.
Tampa Bay (14) - This is another tough call. If you clean up his INTs, he's pretty good. If they improved their pass D, they wouldn't need Winston to do so much. Winston would probably get a shot with someone who thinks they can coach his decision making.
Indy Colts (17) - I think Irsay forces the issue. Colts have the draft capital to move up to #4 without digging into next year's pick if they really wanted to move up. Likely picking in the top 4-5 of the second, they could take a shot there too if they want to gamble. A lot of options...
Doubt it, but you never know
Denver (11) - I think they will stay with their QB drafted last year. They need a lot of other things and could actually see them trading back.
New Orleans - (28) - Brees turning it on nicely after shaking the rust off. He is old though. If the right guy is available late like Love, you never know.
New England (29) - I think they like Stidham. I wouldn't be shocked to see them take a QB late if a guy like Love is available. They need WR, TE, and OL more than anything.
NYG (2) - Jones is their guy
WAS (3) - Doubt they are giving up on Haskins
ATL (5) - No way they part ways with Ryan
DET (6) - Stafford was top 10 QBR before getting dinged up
ARI - (7) - Murray is #11 QBR and coming along
NYJ - (8) - Not giving up on Darnold
JAX - (10+20) - It's messy, but no need to add to the mess
PHI - (13) - Wentz isn't going anywhere
CLE - (15) - They need a new coach, not a new QB
RAI - (16+18) - Carr is playing pretty well (13th QBR)
TEN - (19) - Playing well with Tannehill
DAL - (20) - they need to resign theirs..
MIN - (23) - Cousins playing well
KAN - (24) - duh
BUF - (26) - Not sold on their QB, but they're not done with him yet
GB - (27) - duh
SF - (30) - Jimmy isn't a star, but he is improving, and managing well
BAL - (31) - duh
SEA - (32) - duh
CHI - Doesn't have a draft pick in the first.