As we hit the midpoint of the season the question that sticks in my mind is, What Will Chris Johnson Do? Because there are a ton of issues facing this team entering the final half of the season:
– They have a below average record, an inability to win on the road and difficulty stringing wins together.
– A coaching staff that seemed to give up on the CHI game before it started with its lack of offensive creativity. And post game comments that basically wanted the team to be awarded “participation trophies” because they fought hard.
– A GM who has missed on a ton of mid-round picks which has cost the roster depth.
– Leonard Williams is due for a contract extension but his stats have not lived up to his draft status.
– Trumaine Johnson was given a Revis type of contract and up to this point has not lived up to it.
– Still no impact OLB pass rusher.
There are good things to be hopeful about:
– Sam Darnold looks to be the franchise QB. Even in the games he struggles he never looks overwhelmed or frantic. His strengths (poise, mobility, accuracy & progressions) coming out of school have been evident and he’s improved his ball security in the pocket. Getting players healthy at the skill positions will make his job easier.
– The OLine has been decent. Even though it needs to get younger on the left side and Spencer Long needs to get healthy and his snaps under control. They’ve had some impressive efforts and Darnold hasn’t been under siege.
– Chris Herndon looks to have a big future as a weapon at TE.
– Robby Anderson has consistently been running past some of the best CB’s (Jalen Ramsey, Chris Harris & Xavier Rhodes) in the league. The timing between him and Darnold has to be improved though because they’ve missed on 3-4 long TD’s.
– The front office has found some very good bargains on defense in Henry Anderson, Brandon Copeland and Avery Williamson.
– Darron Lee and Darryl Roberts have improved tremendously.
– Jamal Adams has taken a big step in showing why he was drafted #6.
– The special teams have finally been stabilized with Jason Myers, Lachlan Edwards and Andre Roberts .
So there are some positives and negatives, but with eight games left what criteria will Chris Johnson use to determine if Maccagnan and Bowles are the right people to lead the team forward in a crucial off-season?