30 Sep 2013
Updates on the two biggest injuries from Sunday's games. First, the Patriots have definitely lost defensive anchor Vince Wilfork for the rest of the year with a torn Achilles. It's a huge loss, as he's the player who basically allows Bill Belichick to fit the rest of his front seven in whatever formation is best designed to attack the opposition. He's strong, he's versatile, and he plays nearly every snap. To make things worse, the Patriots have very little depth at the position. They could bring back someone they've cut in recent years, like Kyle Love or Ron Brace, or perhaps a more standard nose tackle who's still on the market, like Casey Hampton. Richard Seymour is not interested in returning.
The other big injury yesterday was Jake Locker's right hip. Reports now say Locker will miss 4-8 weeks, depending on how long rehab takes. In his first four games, Locker seemed to take a massive step forward from his first two years, so this is a big blow. (Locker has 10.6% passing DVOA through Week 4, eighth in the NFL.) Ryan Fitzpatrick now becomes the Titans' starting quarterback. You certainly can do worse for a backup in the NFL, but the Titans improved defense will have to drag this team through the next two months if they want to make a surprise playoff run.
20 comments, Last at 03 Oct 2013, 5:58pm by Raiderjoe
Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?