Germany and Jacksonville the places to keep an eye on

For me there are two standout games in the NFL this week. The first of which comes from Germany where the Indianapolis Colts take on the New England Patriots. I say that because the key question is, ‘when have we ever seen Bill Belichick under this kind of pressure?’ It’s just crazy.

It is going to be interesting to see how his team rallies. I’ve never witnessed a storyline like this in all of my years in the game. 

The other subplot comes from Jacksonville as the Jaguars take on the San Francisco 49ers. This is Jacksonville’s moment because they are playing good football. Trevor Lawrence is playing the best football of his life and this is their chance to make a real statement.

I’m going to put my neck on the line and side with the Jaguars, especially with the game being in Jacksonville. The 49ers are not playing at their best at the moment and this is the perfect time to strike and change the narrative. 

Jacksonville will know that they can definitely go out there and make it happen so this is the game to watch. This is the time of year to shift the narrative about how teams are looked at.

There was a lot of talk about them in the off-season, people saying that they were going to be right there, now this is the time to show everyone they are worthy of being in the conversation. 

I have never seen a rookie quarterback at the level of CJ Stroud

Watching CJ Stroud throw 470 yards for five touchdowns against Tampa Bay last week was incredible. I can’t think of a time when I have ever seen a rookie performing at this level in the quarterback position.

Andrew Luck and Joe Burrow are examples of those who have had a huge impact there, but what CJ is doing is on a level of its own. 

Texans fans have every reason to be positive right now. They have the perfect blend with a head coach who is defensively sound and knows how to manage the players as individuals, as well as a solid offensive coordinator.

Throw on top of that a quarterback who will perform at the top level for as long as he is with the team and it is just unbelievable. 

They have given CJ Stroud so much responsibility for a player of his age and experience and for me that just shows how much trust they feel they can put in him.

There has already been so much comparison between himself and Bryce Young and as the number one and two picks that is bound to happen throughout their careers.

I can see both of them going on to be very successful so it will be great to see them up against each other for many years to come.  

Improving Bengals the team no one wants to play

I am still of the opinion that the Cincinnati Bengals are the strongest in the AFC right now, but the Baltimore Ravens are certainly a team to watch too.

The Bengals obviously didn’t start the season too quickly but that is no reason to worry, improving throughout the season is just what they do and they are doing it again this year. 

That doesn’t only happen with teams, you see it with players as well. a lot of players just need a few games to find their rhythm and once they get into it then they really start to hit their straps.

Then the coaches get more of a feel for the players and it all starts to click, but it can take a few games before that happens. 

With a healthy Joe Burrow, he and the Bengals have so many weapons and they can take apart any team.

This is the part of the season when you need to be playing your best football and it seems like this is the way it plays out for them every year; they get better as the season progresses.

Right now the Bengals will be the team that nobody wants to play and the rest of the AFC, especially those at the top, will be looking over their shoulders and hoping that they can secure a home field advantage.

Brock Purdy not the issue at the 49ers

Brock Purdy is not the reason for the downturn in the 49ers’ form. Purdy was put in an environment where things were set up so that not all the weight was on his shoulders.

People shouldn’t panic when it comes to Brock Purdy because the key things the 49ers need to focus on is running the ball successfully and fixing up their defence. 

Brock Purdy was not a number one pick and he isn’t one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the league, so he can’t be expected to do everything for the team and throw them to victories by himself.

That’s what you expect from the highest paid guys in the quarterback position because that is why they are paid so much.

The quarterback position brings pressure, but I don’t think too much can be piled on Purdy. They need to make sure he is getting the help he needs both defensively and with the running game. 

Jets must persist with Wilson

The Jets are in a position now where they have invested in Zach Wilson, so they have to persist with him. When you boil it down, this is a business and the players are assets.

He may not be their ideal quarterback but he has to play because if they turn their back on him again then his time with them is over.

The Jets would find themselves in a position where if they wanted to trade him or do something with him then no one would be interested because they would know that they’re getting rid of him anyway. They are in a situation now where they simply have to play him.

The only way they can stop playing Wilson is if he does something to show that he is not prepared to be on the field, which he will not do.

These are the cards which they have been dealt and, although it may not have been their plan at the start of the season, the Jets have to keep playing Zach Wilson.

Former NFL star Jason Bell has a wealth of American football experience, playing in 82 regular season games during his time in the league.

Now making regular television appearances at NFL events in the UK, Bell is one of the best pundits on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

The former Houston Texans cornerback will provide his expert insight into the latest news and upcoming games throughout the 2023 NFL season.