The number three is increasingly becoming the most important number in today’s NFL. Why? Because it’s now a determining factor when comparing team’s depth in its most important positions.
For example, when comparing teams on paper, it’s the third wide receiver, the third cornerback, or the third pass-rusher that tends to be the decisive factor when giving one team an edge over the other. Having two quality players atop the depth chart is a significant reason why teams win football games, but a third quality player will usually ensure the team is a winning team for the entire year.
If you take a look back at the 2013 NFL division and Wild Card winners, each team had a third player on its team — whether it was their slot receiver, their nickel back, or a third pass-rusher that helped them to the postseason.