It wasn’t too long ago that the vultures were circling over Snead as Goff was labeled a probable bust, but the GM was given a reprieve by Rams owner Stan Kroenke and executive VP of football ops/COO Kevin Demoff. Snead has rewarded their confidence.
The Rams are the surprise team of the year thus far, sitting atop the NFC West at 3-1 with defending division-champion Seattle coming to LA for a Week 5 showdown. Few saw this coming from a team that went 4-12 last season, fired its coach and produced one of the NFL’s lowest-rated quarterbacks in Goff. Not helping was the fact that Snead had traded a king’s ransom to the Titans in order to move up to the top spot in last year’s draft for the right to select the Cal QB ahead of Carson Wentz, who had a far superior rookie season.
So Andy Dalton is back to his old streaky tricks, good in low-pressure games against bad defenses. Still, the Bengals’ inability to run with Joe Mixon or anybody else will make it hard on the QB to win more meaningful games.
Don’t be surprised if Jay Cutler, Jay Ajayi and the rest of the offense start to figure things out quickly in Miami. The pieces are there; the play-calling needs to get more aggressive to take advantage of Cutler’s ability to get the ball deep to DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills.
Here comes Mitchell Trubisky and a chance for the Bears to be more effective offensively to compliment a defense that isn’t terrible.
Jacoby Brissett has given the team consistent fight while Andrew Luck is out, but unfortunately, he can’t do anything to help the defense.
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Rodgers isn’t the only quarterback injury in the NFC North, but just as he exits another one enters. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler practiced on Thursday and will start against the Lions on Sunday. Cutler ended up missing almost two full games with his groin injury. Cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) practiced in full and will also start against Detroit
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has been dealing with back problems since the offseason and may need to have season-ending back surgery to repair an issue with a disc in his back. Already ruled out for Week 10, Foster is trying to do everything he can to return to the field in 2013, although pushing himself for an early return likely won’t do much to change the end result for the 2-6 Houston Texans. Despite his injuries, Foster has played in every game in 2013 and has 542 yards rushing and a touchdown on 121 carries.
A torn labrum suffered by Buccaneers running back Doug Martin in Week 7 officially ended his 2013 season three weeks later, as the team moved the second-year player to injured reserve. Winless through the first half of their season, the Buccaneers elected to have Martin undergo surgery on his labrum rather than risk further damage. A Pro Bowl back in his rookie season in 2012, Martin finishes the year with 456 yards rushing and a touchdown on 127 carries.
Losing Geno Atkins changes how the Bengals defense operates and hurts the team’s pass rush. He will miss the remainder of the 2013 season with an ACL tear and contributed six sacks in nine games. Wallace Gilberry and Carlos Dunlap have the ability to pressure Flacco, but lacking pressure up the middle opens opportunities for Ray Rice — provided he can capitalize.
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