The 33rd Team’s Insiders Network is a group of former NFL coaches and front-office executives who are here to provide insight and perspective into all things football. Here is this week’s question for the group:
Six playoff teams from last season are now 1-2 (Chiefs, Steelers, Washington, Seahawks, Bears) or 0-3 (Colts). Which of these teams do you have the most faith in getting to the playoffs this year and which do you have the least faith in, and why?
The only 1-2/0-3 team that’s not in trouble are the Chiefs. So among these teams, I have the most faith in the Chiefs. I have the least faith in the Bears.
I think the Chiefs are in the best spot of this group and the Bears are in the worst. The Chiefs still are in some trouble, though, given the apparent strength of the AFC West, the 0-1 start in the division and their only other pre-bye division game is on the road. The other team that could be in trouble in a hurry is the Seahawks, particularly with their defensive struggles. In the toughest division in the league with games in San Francisco and against the Rams, they could be in a difficult hole before mid-October.
I believe the Washington Football Team, Bears and Colts will all miss the playoffs. QB issues will doom them this year.
The Chiefs are the only one I think might get there— others won’t. And the Super Bowl hangover may prevent the Chiefs.
Most faith: K.C. — Patrick Mahomes will mask some real deficiencies on defense (corner depth and tackling).
Least faith: Chicago and Pittsburgh. The Bears’ QB situation, declining LT play and their defense not playing well, especially on the back end, are reasons to be concerned that they won’t make the playoffs. The Steelers have three new offensive linemen, Ben Roethlisberger is looking old and they have a massive amount of injuries on defense. Those factors will make it difficult for the Steelers to make the playoffs.
I believe the Chiefs, Steelers and Seahawks have an excellent chance to make the playoffs because they all have not only Super Bowl champion QBs and head coaches but arguably three future Hall of Fame QBs and head coaches. Two of the three teams have new offensive coordinators (Seattle, Pittsburgh) and it may take a little more time for them. I just think it’s hard to imagine after three weeks (and with 17 games) to count out these three QB/HC pairings. Too early to count them out!