Which Player From Each Division Is Under The Most Pressure This Year (9-3-23)

By: Tyrone Montgomery Jr

Headline Photo Credit: USA Today

Every summer, people lose jobs in the NFL. The NFL Draft plays a big part as well as the free agency period too. Player movement wasn’t always a big thing in the NFL. Often times, players would retire with the team that drafted them. Those days are over. So much weight weighs upon some players in the league. Which player from each division is under the most pressure this season?

AFC North – Steelers, Browns, Bengals, Ravens

Deshaun Watson (Cleveland Browns)

Aug 26, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws a pass against Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah (97) during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Many thought his career may have been over since that situation that unraveled in Houston with the Texans. He came back last season and looked really rusty to say the least. The Cleveland Browns have put him in a position to win with weapons across the board. Many people forget Watson was one of the best QBs in the entire league while playing in Houston. Can he bounce back and be the player we knew him to be?

AFC South – Jaguars, Texans, Colts, Titans

Jonathan Taylor (Indianapolis Colts)

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) makes his way around the field Friday, July 28, 2023, during an indoor practice at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Indiana.

There’s no secret that Jonathan Taylor wants a change of scenery. Can you honestly blame him? The Colts seem to be rebuilding and have had a shuffle of staff change from top to bottom over the years. He has now faced a few injury concerns. He has to perform well in order for him to find a new home. It will be extremely hard for him to do so with the direction this team is heading.

AFC East – Bills, Jets, Dolphins, Patriots

Aaron Rodgers (New York Jets)

East Rutherford, NJ August 26, 2023 — Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the first offensive series for the Jets in the first half. The NY Jets against the NY Giants on August 26, 2023 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, as the rivals play their final preseason game before the start of the NFL season.

When you are the million dollar man and the company gives you everything you need to succeed, added pressure and expectation comes along with the territory. In fact, the Jets are still adding pieces to the puzzle. If Rodgers doesn’t at least give this team a push into the playoffs, it will feel like a disappointment for the season and acquiring him as well.

AFC West – Raiders, Chargers, Chiefs, Broncos

The Entire Chiefs Offense (Kansas City Chiefs)

Oct 14, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) on the sideline as they take on the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated Kansas City 43-40. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs are the defending super bowl champions. I know! Patrick Mahomes is the best player in the league. I know he’s the best player in the NFL. I know he has taken the reigns of the GOAT, Tom Brady. But having a new OC may change things for this entire offense. Eric Bienemy is one of the best OC in the league. His departure could hurt this team and their offense tremendously.

NFC East – Commanders, Giants, Cowboys, Eagles

Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys)

Aug 12, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) laughs with teammates after a touchdown during the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The fans have been calling for a changing of the guard for quite awhile now. Dak has always been able to sustain his job. However, the leash only extends but so long. He would do enough for you to ignore the mistakes. That time has come to an end with the addition of QB Trey Lance. Leading the league in interceptions while only playing in 12 games is insane! The clock is ticking on Dak Prescott. 

NFC West – Cardinals, Seahawks, 49ers, Rams

Matthew Stafford (LA Rams)

Jun 14, 2023; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) and coach Sean McVay during minicamp at Cal Lutheran University. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After the Rams won the Super Bowl a couple years ago, we haven’t heard much from them. Granted, they have been hit with the injury bug. However, they still have talent on both sides of the ball. Matt Stafford was the one that put everything together for them. He did just what was needed for them to be successful. He needs to return to top form if the Rams want to experience success again.

NFC South – Saints, Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers

Bijan Robinson (Atlanta Falcons)

Aug 18, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson (7) runs the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Not only was he the first RB taken off the board, but he is also the highest paid RB in the league already! The market for RB’s is on the line here as they have been getting screwed over the years. You can just ask Josh Jacobs and Saquan Barkley. The dependence of the Falcons is heavy as well. Their offense is depending on him to take them to the next level. Drake London is on the outside and Kyle Pitts is in the middle. Bijan has to play well for this team to move forward.

NFC North – Packers, Lions, Bears, Vikings

Justin Fields & O-Line (Chicago Bears)

Aug 26, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) drops back to pass against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Having comparisons to a QB who was runner up for the regular season MVP Award and losing in the Super Bowl in Jalen Hurts puts pressure on anyone in the league. While the Bears did provide him with the needed weaponry to make it happen, the offensive line is still a huge question mark. If they can protect Justin Fields, he should be able to make that jump that Hurts made. However, that is a huge if unfortunately.