There were a lot of potential NFL overreactions this weekend, but I’m going to stick to some of the top stories.
Austin Ekeler May Be A Fantasy Bust
So far after two weeks of the 2022 NFL season, Ekeler has yet to run for more than 40 yards. While his receptions helped out PPR fantasy managers last week with 9 catches, Ekeler somehow only managed 55 receiving yards. Fantasy Owners will start to receive trade offers from the Charger RB, but I’m telling you the best is yet to come. Last week the Chargers played the Kansas City Chiefs on the road on a short week. They were four-point underdogs at Kansas Sports Betting sites and yet kept things close considering they were without Keenan Allen. I wouldn’t panic, the Chargers’ Schedule next 5 games are perfect fantasy matchups for Ekeler and company.
Denver Broncos Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett Is In Over His Head
Cannot score in the red zone, is currently 0-6 converting red zone trips into touchdowns. The team has currently been flagged for 13 penalties (three for delay of game causing the home crowd to help the offense by counting down the time clock). They have a $250 million dollar quarterback and decide to attempt to kick a 64-yard field goal on 4th-and-5. These are some of the maladies that are currently affecting the 1-1 Denver Broncos.
And it is all the fault of new head coach Nathaniel Hackett!
Overreaction? No, new head coach Hackett is to blame for the majority of the issues the Broncos have incurred. No, he didn’t fumble the ball twice on the one-yard line, but he is calling the offensive plays that have stalled the team six times in the red zone.
The season is only two games in, and he is a first-time head coach. He is currently in over his head. Hopefully, he figures it out.
It’s Kenny Pickett Time in Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Steelers are 1-1. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is averaging 5.1 yards per attempt (second worst in the NFL). He has a 59.2% completion percentage and has two touchdowns and one interception. Running back Najee Harris is averaging 2.9 yards per attempt and his longest run has been for 11 yards. Meanwhile, the wide receiver combination of Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool have been targeted a total of 34 times in two games (22 Johnson and 12 Claypool).
No one on the offensive side is excelling. Against the New England Patriots, the offense only scored 14 points and had a pedestrian 243 total yards. That is one touchdown in each of the first two games for the Steelers’ offense.
Here is a thought, the offense looks eerily similar to what it did last year with aging quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Perhaps, it isn’t the quarterback but the play caller. In that case putting in Pickett won’t make the offense look any different.
Overreaction? Yes, maybe it’s not Pickett’s time but time over for the offensive play caller Matt Canada.
The Indianapolis Colts Need To Search For a New Quarterback/Head Coach
The Colts are 0-1-1. That is a tie with the Houston Texans and a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Matt Ryan has one touchdown and four interceptions two games into the season. He has a 60% completion percentage and a QBR of 31.3. He also has been sacked seven times.
Overreaction that the Colts are in trouble? No, according to ESPN the answer flows from the top. Last week the Colts did not make any defensive adjustments to stop quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The quarterback completed 25-of-30, for 235 passing yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. This defense under new defensive coordinator has only one takeaway in two games. (Last season this defense had the second-most takeaways in the NFL).
The offense is in no better condition. Ryan’s failures noted above, but the heavily invested offensive line allowed pressure on 40% of Ryan’s 35 drop backs. That was the highest rate of any team in Week 2.
And then there was the Colts not reinforcing their receiving corps this off-season.
The Colts once aspired to post-season aspirations. They are now 0-1-1. It is not an overreaction that the Colts are experiencing ineptitude on both sides of the ball. After two weeks in can there really be specific blame?
There are many things to overreact about and starting slow is one reason. A slow offense is reason to worry.
But it is only Week 2 it’s early (can’t keep saying that). So, let’s slow down and maybe Hackett, Colts, and Trubisky a chance? Or should we?
What are you certain isn’t an overreaction?
Gladys is obsessive about fantasy football, Pittsburgh Steelers, dogs/cats, pop culture movies and television shows, and Ben & Jerry’s 7 Layer Vegan Ice Cream (although not necessarily in that order). A writer about NFL, college ball, and fantasy football for more than 10 years, she attempts to combine her degree in statistical variance (BS Policy Analysis) with player knowledge and game script. Though her concentration is on IDP, redraft, and PPR leagues, all fantasy formats are fair game. Reach out whenever you can find me on Twitter @gladysLtyler. And remember, don’t suck and tip your bartenders well.