NFL players struggle during big games in week three
The struggles for quarterback Jake Locker continue as he once again finds himself in the Doghouse after a disappointing performance against the Cincinnati Bengals this past weekend. I do understand that yes it was the Bengals, and that they do have a good defense, especially at home. But there is no excuse for a quarterback who is most likely not the future of the franchise. Locker completed only half of his passes and threw two interceptions in the process and only had 185 yards in the air. That won’t get the job done and his future is in serious doubt with the Titans. Locker did suffer a wrist injury during the game, even though reports have said that they aren’t sure when the injury occurred, and his status is questionable for the upcoming road test as the team travels to Indianapolis to face a Colts team coming off a huge win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Look for the Titans to start Charlie Whitehurst if Locker can’t go.
The Houston Texans had an opportunity to start 3-0 against the New York Giants who looked awful in the first two weeks of the season, but that all changed after quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions in the game to give the struggling team their first win of the season. In Fitzpatrick’s defense, he was without his starting running back Arian Foster to carry the load, but that shouldn’t take away some of the blame. Fitzpatrick threw interceptions into double coverage and were horrible decisions. I know Fitzpatrick isn’t the future for the Texans and they probably will only stick with him until recently acquired quarterback Ryan Mallet is ready to go, but you still have to perform like you want to keep the job, especially in a weak division like the AFC South. He will get a chance to redeem himself as the Texans head back home to face a Buffalo Bills team with some questions of their own at quarterback.
I really don’t want to write about Manuel because I may be one of the few people that think Manuel has the potential to be a great quarterback in this league. Yes, I said potential, that’s the key word. But this weekend he didn’t show he was progressing in the right direction during their meeting against the San Diego Chargers. While his stats on paper didn’t look bad, completing 23-of-39 for 238 yards and one touchdown, the film shows that he wasn’t entirely in rhythm with his receivers. Receivers Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins, who have big play potential, caught a combined five passes and were targeted 16 times as a duo. Now you can credit that to the defense all you want, but the great quarterbacks always find a way to get their guys the football and Manuel was unable to do that consistently. He has to spend with his receivers in practice getting in sync to make sure they are ready to go for Sunday as they head to Houston to take on a Texans defense that has shown they can be great.
Talk about stopping the run to set up the pass, that’s what the Washington Redskins did this weekend against the Eagles and making sure running back LeSean McCoy didn’t beat them on the ground. McCoy probably had his worst game ever as an Eagle racking up 22 yards on 19 carries. That’s an average of 1.2 yards a carry. Even though the Redskins defense may look great stopping the run, the high powered Chip Kelly offense is made for the run to help setup the play-action pass, which is why the Eagles kept going to McCoy. But McCoy is known for being quick, for being elusive, for being “shady.” He didn’t look any of those things this past weekend in a game that was won through the air and not on the ground. As weird as this sounds, thing should get easier for him as the team travels to San Francisco to face a 49es team whose defense has been exploited the past couple of weeks.