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2018 NFL Draft – Rating how likely all 32 teams are to select a quarterback



Free agency reset the quarterback market heading into the 2018 NFL draft. Which teams are still after the top guys in Round 1? Which will wait until Day 3? Which will sit out altogether?

NFL Nation reporters evaluated the likelihood of each team drafting a quarterback in January. Here are their updated ratings based on the following scale:

Go to: Mel Kiper’s Mock Draft 3.0 | Todd McShay’s Top 32Insider

4: Very likely in the first three rounds

The Cardinals signed Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon in free agency, but neither is a long-term solution. They both inked two-year contracts, but Arizona left room on the roster for another quarterback or two. And one will very likely come through the draft — either at No. 15, or if the Cardinals move up to make one of the top four or five prospects their quarterback of the future. — Josh Weinfuss

It would be shocking if the Bills did not draft a quarterback within the first three rounds. After general manager Brandon Beane took a “methodical” approach to the free-agent quarterback market and essentially let AJ McCarron fall to Buffalo at a bargain price, the Bills are still on the prowl for a potential franchise quarterback. The question is not whether they will draft one — they almost undoubtedly will — but whether they will trade up to secure one of the draft’s top quarterbacks. The Jets’ trade up to No. 3 made life tougher on the Bills, as they must now pay the Giants a ransom for the No. 2 pick, or potentially allow a coveted quarterback to fall to an AFC East rival. — Mike Rodak

If “5” were a rating, it would be that certain. The Browns will draft a quarterback in the first round, most likely first overall, with Sam Darnold being the most likely option and Josh Allen the second most likely. — Pat McManamon

The Broncos would use the No. 5 pick on a quarterback … but only if the quarterback they deem to be the best is available. They won’t just take any of the top QBs who remain. They’ve been mum on where they stand with the top prospects so far, but it’s clear that Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield fits the offense they are poised to run the best and would be a natural to pair with Case Keenum. If they miss on the QB they want, they’ll keep an eye out and figure to select one before the draft is done. There is one quirk, however, in that all nine of their picks at the moment are in the first five rounds of the draft. — Jeff Legwold

There is only one QB currently on the roster (starter Blake Bortles). The Jaguars will likely sign a veteran backup and need to draft someone to sit and develop for a year or two and (possibly) be ready to take over if the team decides to move on from Bortles after 2019. It’s not likely in the first round — unless someone they like surprisingly drops to No. 29 — so expect the Jaguars to grab one on Day 2. That means they’ll be targeting the second tier of quarterbacks such as Luke Falk, Kyle Lauletta and Chase Litton. — Mike DiRocco

The Chargers haven’t drafted a quarterback since 2013. However, with Philip Rivers turning 37 years old in December, the Bolts need to groom an eventual replacement for their franchise quarterback. Coach Anthony Lynn attended the pro days of Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen, and the team’s scouting staff has done extensive work on the quarterback position for a second straight year. The Chargers likely will not draft a quarterback in the first round, but there’s a good chance they’ll select a signal-caller on Day 2. — Eric D. Williams

We’re going all-in on the QB pick for the Patriots as they search for Jimmy Garoppolo 2.0. Tom Brady turns 41 in August and Brian Hoyer is 32, so developing a young signal-caller has to be a top priority. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock made the point that there are usually about 11 to 12 quarterbacks drafted each year, and this year’s class has about 10 who could go within the first four rounds. So it looks like the supply could meet the demand in New England. The Patriots have the following picks to consider a QB within the first four rounds: No. 31 (first round); Nos. 43 and 63 (second); No. 95 (third); and No. 136 (fourth). — Mike Reiss

It would be one of the biggest shockers in recent draft history if the Jets didn’t take a quarterback with the third pick. Yes, they have high grades on RB Saquon Barkley and DE Bradley Chubb, but they traded four draft picks to move up three spots. A team doesn’t do that unless it’s focused on a quarterback. Josh Allen and Josh Rosen appear to be the most likely candidates, but don’t dismiss Baker Mayfield as a possibility. — Rich Cimini

3.5: Likely, but probably not on Day 1

There are some mixed signals coming from the Ravens here. Assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said Baltimore could draft a quarterback in the first round if the right one is there. This comes about a month after owner Steve Bisciotti scoffed at the notion that the Ravens have begun to think about life after Joe Flacco. It looks like the most likely scenario is Baltimore taking a quarterback somewhere between Rounds 3 and 5. That would give the Ravens a backup to Flacco and a replacement for Ryan Mallett, who is a free agent. –Jamison Hensley

This number has gone up because of the message from coach Mike Tomlin, who says the Steelers have used the past few drafts as a “dry run” for drafting a quarterback high. “At some point, it’s going to be real and maybe it is this year,” Tomlin said. That leaves the Steelers somewhere in the middle. There’s no need to duplicate last year’s Day 3 plan, drafting Joshua Dobbs in the fourth round. They have 36-year-old Ben Roethlisberger for a few more years. Still, watch for Pittsburgh on Day 2. The Steelers are high on Mason Rudolph and will keep a close eye on Lamar Jackson. — Jeremy Fowler

3: Likely, but on Day 3

There’s a chance the Panthers could pull the trigger on a quarterback on Day 2 since they have two third-round picks. They want to develop a future replacement for Cam Newton, who is 28. They haven’t re-signed Derek Anderson, who has backed up Newton since 2011, though that’s still a possibility. In all likelihood, Carolina will wait until Day 3 to draft a quarterback to develop with more urgent needs expected to be met in the first three rounds. — David Newton

The Texans added Brandon Weeden in free agency, but it’s unlikely he will start the season as Deshaun Watson‘s backup. Houston is confident Watson will be back in time for training camp, but it was clear the Texans’ options last season after Watson tore his ACL were not enough to win. They could use one of their three third-round picks to take a quarterback, but it’s more likely they’ll wait until Day 3. — Sarah Barshop

The Saints are ready to draft a QB to develop behind Drew Brees, which they proved when they almost drated Patrick Mahomes II with the 11th overall pick last year. The problem is that they don’t have much draft capital to work with (they pick 27th in Round 1 and don’t have a second-round pick). So it would be very hard for them to trade up for one of the top four prospects, and they’d have to really love someone like Louisville’s Lamar Jackson to use their only pick in the top 90 on him. The Saints do have two younger developmental backups on the roster in recently signed free agent Tom Savage and intriguing second-year pro Taysom Hill, whom Sean Payton is extremely high on. But they would still be wise to draft a QB in the middle rounds to see whether they can find their version of Dak Prescott. — Mike Triplett

2: 50-50 chance

The Falcons are about to give Matt Ryan a new lucrative extension, and he hasn’t missed a start since the 2009 season. They also have Matt Schaub signed through the 2018 season and kept only two QBs on the active roster last season. That being said, the Falcons might look at a late-round option as a developmental quarterback, so we’ll leave that possibility open here. But quarterback isn’t a pressing need with two veterans. — Vaughn McClure

The Bears have Mitchell Trubisky — the second overall pick in 2017 — as their long-term starter. Chicago also paid veteran Chase Daniel $7 million guaranteed to serve as Trubisky’s primary backup in 2018. Tyler Bray, who played alongside Daniel and under new Bears coach Matt Nagy in Kansas City, was added to Chicago’s roster as the third quarterback. The Bears could draft a developmental QB to compete with Bray, but the top two spots on the quarterback depth chart are already spoken for. — Jeff Dickerson

The Bengals signed veteran Matt Barkley to back up Andy Dalton after the departure of AJ McCarron, but whether they draft a QB will depend on how they feel about Jeff Driskel, who has been on the roster for two seasons but never played. The Bengals drafted McCarron in the fifth round of 2014 despite having Jason Campbell on the roster as a backup, so Barkley’s presence certainly wouldn’t be a deterrent. With 11 picks, a late-round QB is possible. — Katherine Terrell

This ranking has not changed since the season ended. The Cowboys are going with Dak Prescott as their starter, and they like the potential of Cooper Rush, who earned the No. 2 job last summer after signing as an undrafted free agent. Rush’s presence, however, won’t take the Cowboys out of the quarterback market. They’ve drafted only five quarterbacks in Jerry Jones’ tenure as owner and general manager, so the odds are against them selecting one in 2018. If they do, it will be on Day 3, and they have looked at number of midround quarterbacks early on in the draft process, like Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta. The Cowboys currently have seven picks in Rounds 4-7. — Todd Archer

The Chiefs have only two quarterbacks — Patrick Mahomes II and Chad Henne — under contract. They’ll go to training camp with four QBs, which means the other two will have to come from somewhere. While Kansas City has too many other needs to invest in a quarterback in an early round, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Chiefs go for one later in the draft. — Adam Teicher

The top four quarterbacks will likely be gone by the time the Dolphins pick at No. 11, so if they draft one, he will likely be a project. Ryan Tannehill, who is entering his seventh season and returning from an ACL tear, will step back into the starting role. Miami picked up Brock Osweiler, who played under coach Adam Gase in Denver, as Tannehill’s backup in free agency. All that said, Gase could still be looking for Tannehill’s replacement, so drafting a quarterback can’t be ruled out. —

Maybe this rating should be higher with the No. 2 overall pick and a quarterback who will be 38 years old before the end of this season. It’s just that it’s far from a slam dunk that the Giants go QB in that spot. Many of their offseason moves indicate they’re prioritizing making one more run with Eli Manning. That makes it a strong possibility the quarterback position, especially with Davis Webb on the roster, won’t be addressed this year. — Jordan Raanan

The 49ers have Jimmy Garoppolo locked in as their starter for the next five years, and they hope it’s a relationship that lasts even longer. The Niners also like what they saw from rookie C.J. Beathard last year, and he has the inside track to be Garoppolo’s primary backup. Still, if coach Kyle Shanahan and the Niners see a signal-caller with some upside in the late rounds, they could potentially bring him in to compete with Beathard for a spot behind Garoppolo. Either way, the Niners feel good about their quarterback room. — Nick Wagoner

Russell Wilson is the only quarterback the Seahawks have drafted since coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider arrived in 2010, but it wouldn’t be at all surprising if that changed this year. Actually, with no backup quarterback currently under contract and Wilson a year away from what could be a tricky negotiation for an extension, it might be the right time to draft one and fortify the position behind him. Trevone Boykin was the only backup on the Seahawks’ roster before they released him Tuesday. Last year’s No. 2, Austin Davis, remains unsigned. The Seahawks are thin on early-round draft capital — they’re currently without a second- or third-round pick — so if they do finally draft another quarterback this year, chances are it wouldn’t be until one of the middle or later rounds. — Brady Henderson

The Titans made a good move parting ways with veteran backup Matt Cassel, then brought in Blaine Gabbert as his replacement. Gabbert isn’t necessarily the top-tier backup QB they were calling for earlier this offseason, but he’s an upgrade over Cassel, providing a combination of mobility and experience. Still, drafting a long-term or developmental backup option for Marcus Mariota late on Day 2 or on Day 3 might still be in play here. — Cameron Wolfe

The Redskins won’t be drafting a quarterback early, unless by some chance a player they absolutely can’t pass up falls to them. But there’s no reason for Washington to do so, not after trading for Alex Smith and giving him a four-year extension that guarantees a high-priced quarterback for at least the next four years. They also have Colt McCoy, who has one more year left on his deal.That’s where we get the 50-50 chance. The Redskins would like to keep McCoy around, but if he somehow leaves, it would be good for them to have a strong backup. They could draft a quarterback late with the idea of grooming him (like they wanted to do with Nate Sudfeld). Keep in mind, though, that coach Jay Gruden is comfortable with having only two quarterbacks — the heavy amount of injuries last season is proof as to why. A third QB would have been viewed as a luxury. — John Keim

1: Not likely

The Lions don’t need a starting quarterback because they have Matthew Stafford, and he’s not going anywhere for a while. Detroit brought back Stafford’s backup from last year, Jake Rudock, as well. While there’s a chance Detroit brings in some competition for Rudock either by late free agency or the draft, there’s not a glaring need there. And with only six picks at this point, Detroit needs players elsewhere. That said, if a quarterback unexpectedly falls, as Brad Kaaya did last year, the Lions could use some Day 3 draft capital on a quarterback. Otherwise, it’s not a spot they need at this point. — Michael Rothstein

The acquisition of DeShone Kizer in a trade with the Browns eliminated the need for a quarterback in this draft. The Packers actually considered Kizer at No. 33 overall last year, but ended up taking cornerback Kevin King. Now, they have Kizer to compete with Brett Hundley for the backup job behind Aaron Rodgers. The Packers needed someone to push — and possibly overtake — Hundley after his uneven performance last year following Rodgers’ broken collarbone. — Rob Demovsky

The Colts are working under the belief that Andrew Luck (shoulder) will be back for the 2018 season after missing all of last season. They also have third-year player Jacoby Brissett to go with Phillip Walker and Brad Kaaya on the roster at quarterback. New coach Frank Reich, formerly the Eagles’ offensive coordinator, saw the importance of having a viable backup while in Philadelphia when Nick Foles stepped in for the injured Carson Wentz (knee) and led the Eagles to the Super Bowl last season. Brissett started 15 games for Indianapolis after being acquired from New England a week before the start of the regular season last year. The Colts can use their nine draft picks on more important needs than quarterback. — Mike Wells

The Rams have had a generally eventful offseason, but they have remained spectators to the quarterback madness that has taken place around them. They feel secure with Jared Goff, the 23-year-old who made the Pro Bowl as a second-year player and will cost less than $5 million toward the 2018 salary cap. So L.A. will probably spend most of its draft capital on linebackers and offensive linemen. The Rams might have to eventually address the situation behind Goff, with Sean Mannion (a free agent next offseason) and Brandon Allen (already 25 years old) combining for 50 career NFL passes. But this is not the offseason to do it. — Alden Gonzalez

The Vikings landed their quarterback of the foreseeable future in Kirk Cousins and shored up the QB room with an experienced vet in Trevor Siemian. Minnesota has much bigger needs to fill with the 30th overall pick, which could very well be spent on an offensive lineman or defensive tackle. Even beyond that, the Vikings’ selections in the early rounds need to go toward filling out depth at tight end, possibly finding their No. 3 wide receiver, a nickel corner if they don’t sign a veteran in free agency and continuing to build the offensive and defensive lines. — Courtney Cronin

The Raiders already have their franchise quarterback in Derek Carr. They also still have Connor Cook — a fourth-round draft pick in 2016 and a favorite of coach Jon Gruden’s — still on the roster. Plus, Oakland signed another former Gruden draft pick in Josh Johnson and re-signed last year’s backup, EJ Manuel. So unless something is terribly amiss, and experience is trumped by the promise of a late-round QB pick, the Raiders are set at the position for the foreseeable future. Or have you already forgotten about Carr’s five-year, $125 million contract extension last summer? — Paul Gutierrez

The Eagles feel very good about their quarterback room at the moment. They have their franchise QB in Carson Wentz, Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles as backup, and who they believe is an up-and-comer in Nate Sudfeld as the third-stringer. There really wouldn’t be room for another signal-caller unless they trade Foles, which coach Doug Pederson told ESPN on Tuesday is unlikely to happen. — Tim McManus

Jameis Winston is the Bucs’ starter as he heads into Year 4. While he took a step back in 2017, the team fully believes that he can rebound in 2018, and that his shoulder injury was a big reason for his struggles with deep-ball accuracy. While Winston’s status for next season is uncertain due to a league investigation of allegations that he groped an Uber driver, the Bucs have veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick back for another year. Their third quarterback, Ryan Griffin, is entering his fourth year in coach Dirk Koetter’s system, and they feel really good about the strides he made last season in training camp before suffering a shoulder injury. — Jenna Laine

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Patrick Mahomes against Lamar Jackson and other highly anticipated quarterback matchups of the past 70 years



Monday Night Football’s Week 3 game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the host Baltimore Ravens features a matchup within the matchup: Patrick Mahomes versus Lamar Jackson.

Mahomes won MVP in 2018 and followed it up with a Super Bowl MVP last season. Jackson is coming off his own MVP season, in which he rushed for 1,206 yards. And both former first-round quarterbacks are still very early in their respective careers.

The game itself promises to be exciting — it holds the ninth-highest regular-season matchup rating from ESPN Stats & Information (94.7) since the metric was created in 2008 — and these two quarterbacks are a big reason why. How does Mahomes-Jackson 3 (they have played twice, both Chiefs victories) stack up against other highly anticipated QB matchups in the history of the NFL? Let’s take a quick look at the best of the best in QB showdown intrigue, going back 70 years (ordered by date).

Headline: Matchup of past two MVPs
Date: Sept. 28, 2020

This game checks off every box. It’s the first meeting between former MVPs age 25 or younger in NFL history, per the Elias Sports Bureau. It’s also a matchup between the reigning MVP (Jackson) and Super Bowl MVP (Mahomes). Mahomes had 50 passing touchdowns and 5,000 passing yards in 2018, while Jackson broke Michael Vick’s single-season QB rushing record in 2019.

They own the two longest active regular-season win streaks among starting quarterbacks in the NFL; Jackson has been the victor in 13 straight, while Mahomes is riding an eight-game streak. Both are capable of making jaw-dropping plays, from throws on the run to highlight-reel spin moves, on center stage on Monday Night Football.

Headline: First matchup of 40-year-old QBs
Date: Sept. 13, 2020

Don’t forget the Bucs-Saints season opener. It was Brady’s Buccaneers debut and the first time we’ve seen two 40-year-old QBs face off in NFL history. Brees and Brady entered the game first and second, respectively, in all-time touchdown passes. The previous game between the top two touchdown passers of all time had been in 1949, between Sammy Baugh and Sid Luckman. Brady’s Bucs debut didn’t go as scripted, though, as he threw two interceptions, including a pick-six, in the 34-23 loss.

Headline: An overdue first matchup
Date: Nov. 30, 2014

This was the long-overdue first meeting between Brady and Rodgers. Brady was “just” a three-time Super Bowl winner and two-time MVP at the time, and Rodgers was a Super Bowl MVP and NFL MVP. It was also hyped as a Super Bowl preview and battle for MVP, as they entered tied for the best Total QBR (79.6) in the NFL. The Packers won 26-21 after a late Brady drive stalled. Rodgers went on to win MVP, but Brady won another Super Bowl.

Headline: Favre’s first game against the Packers
Date: Oct. 5, 2009

This might have been the most hyped grudge match ever. Favre, a three-time MVP winner, entered his first game against his former team and the QB who replaced him, Rodgers, on Monday Night Football in Minnesota. Favre threw three touchdown passes and no interceptions, while Rodgers was sacked eight times. The Vikings improved to 4-0 by defeating the Packers 30-23. And with the victory, Favre became the first quarterback in NFL history to beat all 32 teams.

Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning

Headline: A battle of the unbeatens
Date: Nov. 4, 2007

Hyped as the biggest regular-season game of all time, it featured the 8-0 Patriots and 7-0 Colts and perhaps the greatest quarterback rivalry ever. Brady and Manning ranked first and second in Total QBR, respectively, entering the game. Brady, a three-time Super Bowl winner, was halfway to a historic season, and Manning was the reigning Super Bowl MVP. It lived up to the hype, as New England overcame a 10-point deficit behind two fourth-quarter touchdowns from Brady. Pats win 24-20.

Steve Young vs. Joe Montana

Headline: Montana’s only game vs. 49ers
Date: Sept. 11, 1994

Montana was traded to the Chiefs after winning four Super Bowls and two MVPs with the 49ers, while Young, who won NFL MVP in 1992, was still in search of his first Super Bowl. That was the stage for the only grudge match between Montana and the 49ers. Montana tossed two touchdown passes in the Chiefs’ 24-17 victory.

Dan Marino vs. John Elway

Headline: The first meeting of two stars
Date: Sept. 29, 1985

Alums of the 1983 NFL draft class, Marino and Elway met for the first time in 1985. Like Mahomes and Jackson, they were two of the biggest faces in the game. In 1984, Marino shattered NFL records for single-season passing yards and touchdowns en route to an MVP and a Super Bowl appearance. Elway and the Broncos were coming off a 13-3 season. The Dolphins won 30-26 behind 390 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions from Marino.

Terry Bradshaw vs. Roger Staubach

Headline: Super Bowl rematch
Date: Oct. 28, 1979

Bradshaw and Staubach went head-to-head nine months after the Steelers beat the Cowboys 35-31 in Super Bowl XIII. This game featured the previous two Super Bowl-winning QBs, and Bradshaw was the reigning MVP and Super Bowl MVP. Staubach was also in the midst of his final season, when he’d throw 27 touchdown passes. The Steelers won this game, though, 14-3.

Bart Starr vs. Johnny Unitas

Headline: A pair of MVPs and Super Bowl champs
Date: Nov. 5, 1967

It doesn’t get much better than Starr against Unitas, especially given the circumstances in 1967. Starr was the reigning MVP and Super Bowl MVP. Unitas was the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader, a two-time MVP and two-time champ. The Packers had also eliminated the Colts from championship contention late in the 1966 season. This time Unitas got revenge by throwing a touchdown pass to Willie Richardson in the final two minutes to help the Colts win 13-10 and stay unbeaten.

Otto Graham vs. Norm Van Brocklin/Bob Waterfield

Headline: NFL championship rematch
Date: Oct. 7, 1951

This was a rematch of the 1950 NFL championship game, won by the Browns on a late field goal. There was more intrigue, though, with three Hall of Fame quarterbacks now in the mix: the Browns’ Graham against the Rams’ QB committee of Van Brocklin and Waterfield. Van Brocklin had thrown for 554 yards in his previous game, which still stands as an NFL record. Graham was on his way to 10 consecutive championship game appearances, and threw for four touchdowns in the 1950 NFL title game win. On this day, Graham and the Browns came out on top 38-23.

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Panthers turn up pressure, give Matt Rhule first NFL win – Carolina Panthers Blog



Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule lowered his head, paused for what seemed like eternity, and then went into a four-minute explanation for why you couldn’t blame the lack of a pass rush the first two games on coaching, scheme or personnel.

“It’s a very complex question,” Rhule said this past week. “That’s why I’m taking my time on it. It’s never any one thing. It’s a complex thing that we’ll improve on and hopefully at some point it won’t be a story.”

The Panthers improved in a hurry, getting two first-half sacks in Sunday’s 21-16 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers after having none in the first two games and collecting 19 pressures after having a league-low six during an 0-2 start.

Because of that and an efficient offense playing without star running back Christian McCaffrey for at least the next three games, the story now is about Rhule getting his first win as an NFL coach and how a team left for dead might have reason for hope.

And, oh by the way, ending a 10-game losing streak dating back to Week 9 last season.

The Panthers (1-2) actually were more confident after watching the Las Vegas Raiders beat NFC South rival New Orleans on Monday night, understanding the Saints are one of the best teams in the league and knowing they took the Raiders to the wire in the opener.

Players and coaches realized that if they tightened up a few things, didn’t panic after the loss of McCaffrey to an ankle injury and began pressuring the quarterback they could win.

On pressures, check. The two sacks in the first quarter led to field goals and set the tone for the day.

On not panicking without McCaffrey, check. Mike Davis had 46 yards rushing on 13 carries and caught eight passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. Offensive coordinator Joe Brady did a nice job of blending in wide receiver Curtis Samuel as a running back, getting him four carries for seven yards.

On tightening things up, check. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had no turnovers after having three the week before and the team had only two penalties for 15 yards.

Now, can the Panthers beat Arizona next week at home to even its record to 2-2 and become the playoff team McCaffrey and several other players said they could be this past week?

“We’re getting better,” Rhule said. “It’s Week 3 of figuring out who we are. It wasn’t perfect, but the pressure allowed us to be in the game.”

Season changing: It’s too early to tell, but considering the Panthers had a chance to win their first two games and won this one, anything is possible.

QB Breakdown: The question posed all week was whether Bridgewater was a game-manager or game-changer. Offensive coordinator Joe Brady insisted Bridgewater was more than a game-manager. Bridgewater insisted his goal was just to win games. He did that without being a game-changer, completing 22 of 28 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps consistency counts toward being a game-changer.

Troubling trend: Missed tackles. The Panthers ranked fourth in the NFL, according to CBS, with 20 in the first two games, and continued to give up big plays with missed tackles on Sunday. The perfect example came on Austin Ekeler‘s first-half touchdown. You can argue whether it was a great move or missed tackle, but three defenders had Ekeler surrounded and he scored on a 12-yard run. Further evidence of why this is troubling, the Panthers allowed 194 yards after contact in the first two games. They allowed 63 in the first half on Sunday.

Pivotal play: The Panthers were about to settle for another Joey Slye field goal in the first half when the Chargers were called for an illegal formation for lining up over the center on the field goal attempt. Carolina took the first down and on the next play scored on a 13-yard catch by Davis for a 15-7 lead instead of 12-7.

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Eagles, Carson Wentz’s stock free-falling following troubling tie with Bengals – Philadelphia Eagles Blog



PHILADELPHIA — It’s officially time to be concerned about the Philadelphia Eagles and their leader, quarterback Carson Wentz.

Wentz made some plays late in regulation to force overtime but had his third shaky outing in as many starts in a 23-23 tie with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Wentz completed 29-of-47 passes for 225 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, as the Eagles move to 0-2-1. Wentz now has six picks on the year — one less than he had all of last season.

A microcosm of his struggles came late in the third quarter, as he failed to find a wide-open John Hightower on a rollout to his left, and followed that with a misplaced ball to Zach Ertz that resulted in his second turnover of the game. With that interception, Wentz became the first Eagles QB with multiple interceptions in three straight games since Ron Jaworski in 1985. That was the season the Eagles drafted Randall Cunningham in the second round, signaling the beginning of the end of Jaworski’s time in Philadelphia.

The Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round in April and gave him his first snaps at quarterback Sunday, with mixed results.

Philadelphia is committed to Wentz, who signed a four-year, $128 million extension last summer. It’s premature to think a changing of the guard is at hand. But there will be plenty of chatter about inserting Hurts this week, as a dismayed fan base searches for ways to save a season heading off a cliff.

Up next is a trip out West to play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC).

Troubling trend: The injuries continue to pile up. The Eagles lost DeSean Jackson (hamstring), Dallas Goedert (ankle) and Avonte Maddox (ankle) Sunday. With Jalen Reagor sidelined with a UCL tear in his thumb, Wentz was down to the bottom of the depth chart at receiver, as he was for much of last season. Darius Slay (arm) left briefly but returned to the lineup.

Silver lining: The defensive line feasted on Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow to the tune of eight sacks and 18 QB hits. Fletcher Cox recorded his first sack of the season in overtime.

Buy a breakout performance: With the offense down multiple skill position players, Greg Ward led the way with eight catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. Ward doesn’t do anything flashy, but he’s reliable and has earned Wentz’s confidence.

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