What went wrong
The common denominator among the NFL’S sad-sack squads are quarterback issues and coaching instability
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.
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
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.
ANY ASSISTANTS FIRED YET?: No.
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.
ANY ASSISTANTS FIRED YET?: No.
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.
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.
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).
The 49ers’ once-promising season went down the tubes early when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tore up his knee.