*We're only a quarter way through the season, but plenty of NFL teams have already hit the skids. *
How should the AFC's worst squads fix their issues? Here's a few ideas to start:
Baltimore Ravens, 1-3
Trade for a cornerback and wideout: The Ravens salvaged their ugly season with a bizarre win over the Steelers on Thursday. If they still want a shot at the playoffs, though, it's time for general manager Ozzie Newsome to pick up the phone. Baltimore's secondary remains a disaster, while coach John Harbaugh acknowledged this week that rookie receiver Breshad Perriman has "probably one of the all-time slowest healing sprained PCLs ever." Aging wideout Steve Smith can't do it alone. Targeting the flailing Dolphins in a swap for wideout Rishard Matthews and cover man Brent Grimes would help both areas of need.
Cleveland Browns, 1-3
Start Manziel and hand over defensive play-calling to Pettine: It's not a knock on Josh McCown -- who's played well -- but the future is now. With the campaign already in hot water, it's time to give your first-round quarterback a lengthy test drive over the final 12 games. Burning toward another top-10 pick, the Browns must enter the draft with a crystal-clear agenda under center. Meanwhile, it's time for Mike Pettine to take control of the defense, assisting young coordinator Jim O'Neil to make the most of Cleveland's talent on this side of the ball.
Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-3
Focus resources on the secondary: On the latest Around The NFL Podcast, we refused to "stick a fork" in the Jaguars because Jacksonville still has life in the awful AFC South. Along with the improved play by quarterback Blake Bortles, the return of tight end Julius Thomas will help an offense centered around wideout Allen Robinson and rookie runner T.J. Yeldon. A core need is secondary help for a defense modeled after the Legion of Boom but currently ranked 26th against the pass. That's not an easy fix in-season, but Jacksonville is a candidate look for corners and safeties through a trade.
Houston Texans, 1-3
Rotate Mallett/Hoyer drive-by-drive: The Texans are in a terrible spot. Four weeks into the season, it's clear that Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer are "leading" Houston to a top-five pick. Coach Bill O'Brien must be kicking himself for passing up Bortles, Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater two drafts ago. He won't make that same mistake again. As for Sunday? I'd shuttle between Mallett and Hoyer series-by-series and maybe even line up J.J. Watt under center. Get frisky, have fun, pray for a miracle.
Kansas City Chiefs, 1-3
Start Chase Daniel: Why not? Although Alex Smith tossed a league-high 386 yards on Sunday, he also failed to throw a touchdown. That marked the third-most passing yards in NFL history by a quarterback whose team failed to score an offensive touchdown. I like Smith's underrated mobility and overall smarts, but his 6-40-1 record (.138) when his team allows 21-plus points is the fifth worst among active starters. With Kansas City spiraling, it's time to test out Daniel. If he struggles, the Chiefs have to think about finding their quarterback of tomorrow in April.
Miami Dolphins, 1-3
Heat-seek a premier head coach: We dig the concept of musclebound fill-in Dan Campbell, but the historical record of interim leaders in the NFL is abysmal. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross cannot toy around with his latest coaching search. After previously whiffing on Jim Harbaugh, the 'Fins settled on Tony Sparano. Then they doubled-down on the boredom factor by hiring Joe Philbin. Not again. With more time to find the right guy than any other club, no excuses remain.