The trend in the NFL has been decidedly to hire those "QB guys" as head coaches, but a wise evaluator pointed out to me to check out which teams are really thriving. In a season in which so few teams seem truly balanced and Super Bowl-worthy and so many seem hapless, who really stands out?
"All of this talk about offense, and scoring, but look at the best teams in the league right now," he offered. "What do they have in common?"
I thought for a minute and rattled off Bill Belichick (New England), Pete Carroll (Seattle), Mike Zimmer (Minnesota), Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh).
"All defensive-minded head coaches," I said.
Turns out, I gave the right answer. And, as the evaluator pointed out, while Gary Kubiak is an offensive coach in Denver, he's long been willing to win with defense and a run game and it's clear the Broncos' defense is what carries the day there. Maybe Eagles rookie coach Doug Pederson, a quarterback guy, will prove an exception if Philadelphia keeps it up, but just three games in there's still a lot to learn there.
Piling on the AFC South
One reason the AFC South remains as brutal as it's always been? All four starting quarterbacks are in the top 10 in giveaways. Blake Bortles is tied with Marcus Mariota for third with seven, Brock Osweiler is sixth with six and Andrew Luck is 10th with five.
More NFL news and notes:
Joe Flacco ranks 30th in yards per attempt. That's a huge problem in Baltimore. They have to unlock his big arm with all the speed they added to that offense. According to sources, left tackle Ronnie Stanley will be back this Sunday, which should be huge after Khalil Mack destroyed the Ravens' pass protection last week.
Also, look out for Ravens rookie running back Kenneth Dixon, who is in line for his first NFL game Sunday sources said as he returns from a preseason injury. He could be special. That team is very high on him.
The Rams have been a surprise team, but they'd better figure out that offensive line and run game if it's going to continue. They are going three-and-out an astounding 38 percent of the time -- the most in the NFL -- and are averaging less than three yards per carry with Todd Gurley bottled up (31st in rushing). If they don't have a run game to add to that defense, I doubt this is the year they finally break free from mediocrity and their stay atop the NFC West will be very brief.
The Vikings and Broncos defenses are getting a ton of attention, and rightfully so. But the Seahawks again seem to be getting overlooked. All three teams are allowing 4.5 yards per play or less -- phenomenal and an outstanding indicator of winning -- but it should be noted that Seattle has yielded a total of four offensive touchdowns this season, the fewest of any team in the NFL that has played at least four games. The Eagles, who already had their bye, have surrendered just three thus far through three games.