The NFL preseason isn't over, but some teams already have sent their fans into a panic.
The New York Jets finished 2011 with more questions than answers, and those answers haven't been forthcoming in the preseason so far. Mark Sanchez and new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano haven't gelled thus far, and issues with the running game and wide receiver depth haven't been significantly addressed. If the Jets are counting on Stephen Hill to catapult them past the Patriots in the AFC East, they're in for a rude awakening.
Additionally, so little has changed in Dallas. While the Cowboys have been a darling of mine since the offseason began, they've hit a few snags. Miles Austin and Jason Witten already have been injured, and Morris Claiborne had an unremarkable preseason debut. Will the defense be able to hold down the proverbial fort while the offense gets healthy?
One would never know that Maurice Jones-Drew was Jacksonville's best player, especially with the Jaguars front office so unwilling to extend him a more lucrative deal, such as the ones we've seen offered to Arian Foster, Matt Forte and Ray Rice. Although Blaine Gabbert has played well in preseason thus far and first-round pick Justin Blackmon is finally signed and in camp, a Jaguars squad without MJD could be the biggest doormat the NFL has seen in some time.
And then we have Cleveland, which began the preseason with two first-round rookies and high hopes for winning its first game within the division since 2010. On defense, linebacker Scott Fujita already has suffered an injury. As for the aforementioned rookies, quarterback Brandon Weeden has struggled in preseason, and running back Trent Richardson already has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery. Those are hardly fun times in Cleveland today.
The Chargers have seen their own running back get injured; Ryan Mathews' broken collarbone makes him questionable for a Week 1 return. Couple that with Philip Rivers' regression over the past two seasons and the eternal "hot seat" status of head coach Norv Turner, and you have an underperforming team that can't even climb to the top of the lowly AFC West.
Senior NFL draft lead writer Matt Miller and I sort through those factions of the football faithful that should be mashing the panic button in our latest discussion. Enjoy our takes in the video above and leave us your two cents on the weekend woeful in the comments. And thanks for watching.