Kansas City Chiefs: Smith’s MVP-level performance so far may have changed the situation. But with another early playoff exit, Mahomes may take over and Smith could be moving on to a new team.
Buffalo Bills: Tyrod Taylor just signed a new, restructured contract, but the Bills could save more than $9 million in cap room if they get out of it after this season. Taylor, a former sixth-round pick, has a nice blend of skills and leadership ability and has done more in the NFL than nearly any team expected. His performance will dictate how devoted the Bills are to him.
Denver Broncos: John Elway flirted with trading for Tony Romo before the former Cowboys quarterback chose broadcasting. The Broncos’ offense has been impotent behind Trevor Siemian, and the former seventh-round pick never has possessed the pedigree or raw tools to be considered a bedrock starter.
QB Carson Wentz began his second NFL season with a mixed bag of brilliant improvisational plays and rookielike gaffes Sunday at FedEx Field. He did not get his big-name newcomers, RB LeGarrette Blount and WRs Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, consistently involved in the offense. But it was good enough for a season-opening win over the Redskins, thanks in large part to a defense that generated four turnovers.
So even with top wide receiver Alshon Jeffery likely shadowed by Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes, Foles can’t be afraid to go there. Jeffery (6-3, 218 pounds) has the size, speed and leaping ability to beat Rhodes (6-1, 218 pounds) on occasion in what should be a fun battle to watch. The chemistry between the two hasn’t been great, but the QB needs to target the WR more often after Jeffery caught four of his five targets for 61 yards against the Falcons.
Foles hasn’t been called upon much to break out of his comfort zone, but he has to do so Sunday. He has to use his mobility to buy time and let the longer routes develop. He also needs to throw more often to his breakout playmaker in the slot, who also has the Eagles’ best matchup.