Week three of the NFL season is in the books and it was a fun one. With multiple upsets knocking out people in survivor pools everywhere, the Patriots found themselves in the win column and the Miami Dolphins absolutely lit the Denver Broncos up like a Christmas Tree, what really matters? Let’s find out.
Jimmy Garoppolo Is As Advertised
When the Raiders cut Derek Carr for the opportunity of signing Jimmy Garoppolo, it felt like a lateral move at best. Where Carr has had inconsistent and even declining play over the past few season, Jimmy Garoppolo is always a gamble as to whether he will actually finish a season. So far, Jimmy G has been playing well with a less-than-ideal offensive line and a good group of weapons. He’s a game manager, and about a middle-of-the-pack to top-12 quarterback in the league. His average depth of target of 9.5 yards is a career-high for him, and the highest he has had since 2018 with the 49ers (9.5 yards on just over 100 dropbacks). He unfortunately cannot play well from behind, when asked to push the ball down the field in a comeback attempt against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was just unable to do it.
Gotta Love What You See
Jordan Love and the Green Bay Packers pulled off an improbable comeback against the New Orleans Saints. After an early third quarter arm punt of an interception, Love was locked in and put the Green Bay Packers on his back. He bounced back with multiple big-time throws, and both of Green Bay’s touchdowns as he threw one to Doubs for the game-winner and had a rushing touchdown earlier in the fourth quarter. Jordan Love led the Packers in rushing and led the comeback without Aaron Jones and Christian Watson. Love’s 10.9 average depth of target is the furthest in the league half a yard, he’s going for the big plays. You gotta love what you see from Love.
The Carr Stalled
The Derek Carr experiment has been disappointing to start. They are averaging 17.7 points per game through three games and sit at 2-1. Their defense has been great, their offense would be the same or better with Andy Dalton right now. Derek Carr also has an AC joint injury as well, so I’d expect the offense to maintain itself at best.
Denver Broncos What Happened?
Giving up 70 points and getting absolutely gutted by backups? The Denver Broncos have absolutely nothing to be proud of after the Miami Dolphins absolutely annihilated them. Never mind the Russell Wilson struggles, this takes the cake as the most embarrassing and worst thing to happen to the Denver Broncos in recent memory, and it’s close to when they got blown out in the Super Bowl by the Seattle Seahawks.
The Chicago Bears
Just everything about this team is an absolute nightmare right now. Justin Fields has consistently been a poor passer in his NFL career. Currently this season his average depth of target is 7.8 yards, the lowest of his career by 1.7 yards. His pressure-to-sack percentage, a metric that shows how consistently the quarterback is sacked when pressured, sits at 24.1 percent the eighth highest in the league. For someone with as low of an average depth of target as he does, that is incredibly concerning. Their defense has one total sack the entire season, and their secondary is nowhere near good enough to compensate for that as shown by their 857 passing yards allowed this season which is the third most passing yards allowed.
Pittsburgh’s Offensive Struggles Continue
Yes, the Pittsburgh Steelers sit at the top of the AFC North through three weeks of play. However, their offense still looks flat. They have the sixth-fewest yards gained, the third-worst rushing offense, and are right in the middle with their passing offense. It was Kenny Pickett’s best game this season by far, with the long touchdown to Calvin Austin being a glimmer of hope that not all is lost for this offense. His average depth of target was 8.6 yards, his highest this season by 1.2 yards and higher than his rookie season average which stood at 8.0 yards. The offensive line has been horrible, in both the rushing and passing game. Dan Moore has allowed 18 pressures, the most by a tackle this season. James Daniels has allowed 9 pressures, tied for the sixth most among guards. Finally, Mason Cole has allowed 9 pressures at center, tied for third most in the league. Najee Harris is averaging 4.0 yards per carry with 3.37 yards per carry coming after contact. Pickett has been under pressure 53 times this season, the third most behind Justin Fields who has been under pressure 54 times, and Daniel Jones who has been under pressure 56 times. Harris can’t even get a yard before dealing with defenders. Everything about this Pittsburgh offense needs to be better.