Heading into Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season, teams should be able to pinpoint weak spots across their rosters. Some coaching staffs have already made changes to starting lineups and rotations.
Some clubs should cut back on an underperforming player's snap count to try to get the best out of him. In other situations, ineffective starters belong on the bench, giving way to an upstart talent or a backup who's played well in a limited role. A starting quarterback who's struggling must find a way to snap out of a funk.
As we look across all 32 rosters, we'll identify every team's weakest link and that player's deficiencies, some of which relate to his club's overall issues on either side of the ball.
Every player listed below has started in half the games (three starts) or played at least 40 percent of the snaps on offense or defense, so the focus extends beyond primary starters in a league with so much emphasis on weekly matchups.
Arizona Cardinals: NT Rashard Lawrence
With a 6-0 record, the Arizona Cardinals have few roster holes. However, the coaching staff should address a glaring weakness on the defensive side of the ball.
Arizona is giving up 5.2 yards per carry, which is the second-highest average across the league. In four of the last five weeks, the Cardinals' opponents have accumulated at least 121 yards on the ground.
Nose tackle Rashard Lawrence has started in five out of six contests, although he left Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns with a calf injury. The second-year pro hasn't made much of an impact, logging only four tackles on the season.
To consistently match up against physical teams with strong ground attacks, the Cardinals must beef up their defensive front. At 6'2" and 308 pounds, Lawrence hasn't done enough to stuff the run.
Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph should give Corey Peters (6'3", 335 lbs) more snaps once he returns from the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Atlanta Falcons: CB Fabian Moreau
The Atlanta Falcons have allowed a ton of yards and several touchdowns in their three losses. In those games, quarterbacks Jalen Hurts, Tom Brady and Taylor Heinicke threw for a combined 830 yards and 11 touchdowns without an interception.
While cornerback Fabian Moreau isn't the only one to blame for the Falcons' defensive issues, opposing quarterbacks have clearly targeted him as the weak link in the secondary. He's allowed four touchdowns, a 71.4 percent completion rate and a 133.8 passer rating in coverage.
Coming out of a Week 6 bye, the Falcons should consider a new starter on the boundary in place of Moreau, who's played 91 percent of their defensive snaps.
The Falcons signed Moreau to a one-year, $1.1 million deal, so they shouldn't feel beholden to him as a lead cornerback. Perhaps he's better suited as a reserve for the slot and boundary spots, similar to his role with the Washington Football Team between 2017 and 2020.