Week 3 was a shocking one in that some of the presumed Super Bowl contenders were blown out. The Cardinals were dominated by the lowly Bills, and the Texans were shut out by a third-string rookie quarterback, Jacoby Brissett. Not to mention, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a career-high six interceptions in the Jets’ embarrassing loss to the Chiefs.
All three of those teams will go back to the drawing board ahead of Week 4, making adjustments and alterations on both offense and defense. To give you some insight on the changes they’ll need to make, here are five we’d like to see in Week 4.
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY SportsKevin Hoffman
Dolphins: Get Ryan Tannehill outside the pocket
Tannehill has some of the worst pocket presence of any quarterback in football – and that includes rookies like Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz, who are both far better in that department. Tannehill nearly cost the Dolphins the game against the Browns when he didn’t feel the rush coming from the right side, resulting in a strip sack and a fumble lost. The Dolphins’ offensive line hasn’t been great this season either as Tannehill has been sacked six times.
In order to make him more comfortable, the Dolphins need to devise a plan to get him outside the pocket, where he has greater success. Tannehill is supremely athletic and can make pinpoint throws on the run, he just doesn’t do it enough. If the Dolphins get receiver Jarvis Landry moving to Tannehill’s right and roll the pocket along with him, he can cut the field in half and make easier throws. Right now, his confidence is down and he’s not seeing the field very well.
Jets: Limit Ryan Fitzpatrick’s pass attempts
This season, Ryan Fitzpatrick has attempted 113 passes – 13th-most in the NFL. He’s also second with seven interceptions, compared to just three touchdown passes. Last week’s loss to Kansas City was a complete disaster as Fitzpatrick threw six picks, three of which came in the red zone. With a guy like Matt Forte in the backfield to go along with Bilal Powell, the Jets need to limit Fitzpatrick’s attempts. There’s no reason he should be throwing the ball nearly 40 times a game.
Fitzpatrick has proven over the years that he’s turnover-prone, and when he begins throwing interceptions, he has trouble stopping. Forte has shown the ability to handle a heavy workload, and the Jets need to take advantage of that. Feed him the ball, whether it’s on runs or screen passes from Fitzpatrick. The Jets won’t win when he turns it over six times, or even three times for that matter.
Jaguars: Get Myles Jack on the field
The Jaguars have not been great this season. After an offseason filled with hype and excitement, they’ve jumped out to a red-hot … 0-3 start. Disappointing, to say the least. Their young stars like Jalen Ramsey and Dante Fowler Jr. are playing relatively well, but Myles Jack can’t seem to get on the field. In Week 3, he had zero defensive snaps. It’s not because of his knee injury or that he’s hurt. The coaching staff simply doesn’t have a role for him despite giving Arthur Brown playing time ahead of him.
On Wednesday, head coach Gus Bradley announced that they’re working out Jack at OTTO linebacker, which is a hybrid-type role that involves some pass rushing in addition to coverage. Now, that doesn’t fit Jack’s skill set, but at least it’s one way to get him on the field. He succeeds when dropping back into coverage or filling lanes to stop ballcarriers. With the Jaguars’ season seemingly over before it’s even reached four weeks, the time is now to get the rookie some playing time. He proved at UCLA that he can make plays on the ball; he just needs opportunities.
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY SportsReinhold Matay
Texans: Throw the ball downfield
For some reason, the Texans became a dink-and-dunk offense against the Patriots last week. This is a team with big-play threats DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller, both of whom have the ability to make game-changing catches downfield. Brock Osweiler threw it 41 times but only totaled 196 yards – or 4.8 yards per attempt. On the season, he’s averaged just 6.4 yards per attempt, which is the second-lowest in football ahead of just Case Keenum and Blaine Gabbert.
It was by far the worst game of his Texans career and was quite shocking given that he has a strong arm and the necessary weapons to push the ball down the field. If the Texans want to open up the running game and score more points than they did last week (zero), Osweieler will have to stop checking down after his first read is covered. It poses no threat to the opposing defense, and if there were ever a time to shred a secondary, it’d be against the Titans this week.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY SportsGreg M. Cooper
Cardinals: Simplify the offense with high-percentage throws
The Cardinals’ offense is based on one singular idea presently: Throw the ball downfield. They have big-play receivers in Michael Floyd, Jaron Brown and John Brown, which makes that easier for the most part, but it doesn’t need to be the whole offense. Coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin need to simplify the offense and give Carson Palmer easier throws to make. Far too often he’s making ill-advised throws that often result in interceptions.
The Cardinals have one of the league’s best running backs in David Johnson and a future Hall of Famer in receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who has had a ton of success out of the slot running across the middle. Get the ball in Fitzgerald’s hands near the line of scrimmage and let him work. There’s no need to try big plays as regularly as the Cardinals do. Simplify the offense with runs and short passes, which will open up the field for deep shots.