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AFC Notes: Broncos, Jaguars, Jets, Titans

Broncos

Broncos kicker Brandon McManus finds himself in a slump, as he’s already missed five kicks this year.

McManus owned up to his struggles, saying: “It’s just the games, and right now in the games I stink … right now, I have to get it going in games.”

Even so, Broncos HC Vance Joseph has offered support for McManus, saying, “He’s our guy.”

According to Broncos special teams coordinator Brock Olivo, McManus took responsibility for his struggles and is focused on getting things turned around.

(McManus) came to us immediately after (the Giants) game and said, ‘Look fellas,’ to Chris Gould and I, ‘I have to get it right. It’s on me.’ He took responsibility for it and he’s been a great pro about it,” Olivo said, via Jeff Legwold of ESPN. “He said, ‘You guys have to help me. What are we going to do? Let’s implement these drills and let’s meet extra here.’ He’s been awesome about it. I have no doubt that B-Mac is going to come out of this slump.”

Jaguars

  • According to Michael DiRocco, the expectation for Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook is that he should come off of the injured reserve list following the team’s Week 8 game.
  • DiRocco says that the Jaguars could really use a boost in terms of production from their No. 3 receiver and Westbrook is confident that his time off won’t have a big impact on his performance once he returns.
  • Even so, DiRocco thinks it’s unreasonable to expect Westbrook to elevate the team’s offense, but his largest impact could end up being as a punt returner.

Jets

  • Veteran QB Josh McCown has far exceeded expectations in New York this season and if he and the Jets continue to win games, ESPN’s Rich Cimini believes it would likely hurt them in the long run.
  • Cimini writes that the Jets can’t go into the 2018 season with McCown, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg as their quarterbacks and they can’t turn to Petty or Hackenberg as their starter next season.
  • Instead, Cimini says they need to acquire a proven starter or a young quarterback with a high ceiling such as one of the top quarterback prospects. However, if they continue to wins games, they will end up in the middle of the pack, which would leave them in a position where they would have to pay a large price to trade up for one of the top quarterback prospects next year.
  • Cimini could see them targeting any of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen or Josh Allen. Otherwise, they could attempt to trade for Chiefs QB Alex Smith or pursue Kirk Cousins in free agency.

Titans

  • Cameron Wolfe of ESPN points out that while sacks are down quite a bit for the Titans’ defense, they’re currently third in the NFL in pressures with 70.
  • Wolfe attributes some of this to the Titans facing off against mobile quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson.
  • Titans OLB Kevin Dodd should see more action moving forward, as Tennessee continues to shuffle their front-seven. Wolfe adds that one of the main reasons why Dodd hasn’t played more is the fact that he isn’t much of a special teams contributor.

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