What went wrong

The com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor among the NFL’S sad-sack squads are quar­ter­back is­sues and coach­ing in­sta­bil­ity

Edmonton Sun - - SPORTS - John KRYK

you prob­a­bly al­ready have a good idea how the NFL’S best teams are far­ing, as the sea­son en­ters its fi­nal four week­ends. be­fore we for­get about the teams at the other end of the suc­cess spec­trum un­til the pre-draft cy­cle kicks in af­ter the Su­per bowl, let’s look at what went wrong for the 13 teams with los­ing records en­ter­ing Week 14, listed in ap­prox­i­mate draft or­der if the sea­son ended now.

It’s im­por­tant to note that of the 13, eight teams now start a dif­fer­ent quar­ter­back from Week 1, ei­ther be­cause of per­for­mance or in­juries. also, two teams al­ready have fired their head coach, and seven al­ready have fired a co-or­di­na­tor or key as­sis­tant coach. they won’t be the last.

Oak­land Raiders

RECORD: 2-10

WINS: cleve­land (Ot), at ari­zona.

WEEK 1 QB: derek carr.

WEEK 14 QB: derek carr.

HEAD COACH STA­TUS: Jon Gru­den (1st year). Pre­sum­ably as safe as safe gets. Has nine more years to go on the re­ported 10-year, $100-mil­lion con­tract owner mark davis gave him in Jan­uary. ANY AS­SIS­TANTS FIRED YET?: No.

WHAT HAP­PENED: Gru­den blew up a roster and shipped away two of Oak­land’s most tal­ented play­ers, ar­guably the game’s great­est pass rusher in Khalil mack, and Wr amari cooper. No NFL coach/ ex­ec­u­tive made more head-scratch­ing moves in 2018. Lost his locker-room early.

San Fran­cisco 49ers

RECORD: 2-10

WINS: detroit, Oak­land.

WEEK 1 QB: Jimmy Garop­polo.

WEEK 14 QB: Nick mul­lens.

HEAD COACH STA­TUS: Kyle Shana­han (2nd year). Pre­sum­ably safe, but with im­pa­tient Jed york run­ning the Nin­ers, who is on his third head coach since he ran Jim Har­baugh (.695 in four years) out of San Fran in de­cem­ber, you never know.


WHAT HAP­PENED: Garop­polo go­ing down in Septem­ber with a torn acl killed the Nin­ers’ sea­son, full stop. c.j. beathard proved no bet­ter in year 2 — two losses to ari­zona in Oc­to­ber, c’mon man — then he got hurt. mul­lens stepped in and flashed prom­ise in a win over Oak­land, but lit­tle since. there’s so much roster work for Gm John Lynch to still do.

New York Jets


WINS: at detroit, den­ver, In­di­anapo­lis.

WEEK 1 QB: Sam darnold (r-rookie).

WEEK 14 QB: Sam darnold (r) or Josh mccown. HEAD COACH STA­TUS: todd bowles (4th year). Widely ac­cepted he’ll be fired at sea­son’s end. Is 23-37 (.383) with no play­off berths, al­though came close in 2015.


WHAT HAP­PENED: Start­ing a 21-year-old rookie Qb with a weak roster on both sides of the ball does not a recipe for a good year make. af­ter blow­ing out detroit in the opener, lit­tle has gone right. Over his last three starts be­fore suf­fer­ing a foot in­jury in early Novem­ber, darnold com­pleted just 47 per cent for two tds, seven picks and a 43.3 passer rat­ing.

Ari­zona Car­di­nals


WINS: at San Fran­cisco, San Fran­cisco, at Green bay.

WEEK 1 QB: Sam brad­ford.

WEEK 14 QB: Josh rosen (r).

HEAD COACH STA­TUS: Steve Wilks (1st year). In se­ri­ous dan­ger of be­ing a one-and­done.

ANY AS­SIS­TANTS FIRED YET?: yes. Of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor mike mccoy, af­ter Week 6.

WHAT HAP­PENED:THE cards are a mess. It’s not of­ten you read nu­mer­ous ac­counts be­fore de­cem­ber ex­plain­ing why a fran­chise must move on from its first-year head coach. On both sides of the ball this team has been a dis­as­ter in 2018. Of­fen­sively the cards still rank last de­spite mccoy’s fir­ing eight weeks ago, and de­fen­sively they can’t stop the run or in­ter­cept the ball.

Buf­falo Bills


WINS: at min­nesota, ten­nessee, at Ny Jets, Jack­sonville.

WEEK 1 QB: Nathan Peter­man.

WEEK 14 QB: Josh allen (r).

HEAD COACH STA­TUS: Sean mcder­mott (2nd year). Safe, and should be. Has done an ex­cep­tion­ally good job in his spe­cialty, coach­ing up the de­fence. Only blind spot is a big one: Qb as­sess­ment and man­age­ment. Oh, and in-game coach­ing chal­lenges (he’s 1-for-9).

GETTY Im­ages

The 49ers’ once-promis­ing sea­son went down the tubes early when quar­ter­back Jimmy Garop­polo tore up his knee.

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