Dan GrazianoESPN Workers CreatorShut
- Joined ESPN in 2011
- New Jersey native and author of two printed novels
Replace air went out of pretty just a few NFL balloons in Week 13. In case you would possibly perchance also very well be a fan of the Browns, Chargers, Colts, Raiders, Panthers, Jaguars and even Eagles, Sunday became an advanced day for whatever closing hope this season held for you.
Not that every a form of groups are cooked, tips you. But Sunday became some stage of gut punch for all of these groups if they had been gathered dreaming substantial postseason dreams. In some circumstances, it is miles seemingly to be an overreaction to claim the season’s over. In others, or now not it is now not, and or now not it is miles time to seem at ahead to a too-early offseason stuffed with questions and feel sorry about.
On that existing, we commence up our Week 13 Overreaction Monday column within the city of football feel sorry about.
For added, investigate cross-check NFL Live at 2:30 p.m. ET Monday on ESPN and within the ESPN App.
Freddie Kitchens will more than seemingly be a one-and-performed coach in Cleveland
The Browns had all the issues working of their desire Sunday. The Steelers had been down to their zero.33-string quarterback, twiddling with out their No. 1 wide receiver, their starting up working attend and their center. Every sides had unhealthy blood from their brawl-marred meeting two weeks earlier, nonetheless Cleveland — as has been the case for mighty of this season — had a roster that perceived to be in some distance higher shape.
And by the center of the 2d quarter, the Browns also had a 10-zero lead. Then the banged-up Steelers scored 20 points in a row to fetch the sport and toughen to 7-5, while the Browns, of their season of so mighty promise, fell to 5-7.
The Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. It is now not over, as Yogi Berra told us, except or now not it is over, and the Browns are completely two games out of a playoff situation. But they had been presupposed to be on that humdrum-season crawl that propelled them into the playoffs despite all the issues that went immoral within the season’s first half of, and in its save their season slid into a muddy ditch alongside the Ohio, the Allegheny and the Monongahela.
Until the Browns in a technique fetch their perfect Four games and sneak into the playoffs, here’s going to be an horrible spoil to an horrible season that became presupposed to be the season that stopped the total horrible. And while pointing the finger at the coach is too most frequently the easy intention out, there is just a few evidence that Kitchens wasn’t the involving different. He has made the immoral moves in-sport. He has made the immoral moves cloth wardrobe-shimmering. He has didn’t establish a culture or situation a tone that will maybe well maybe place the Browns on the droop out of their decades of misery. This became his assignment, and if the team wanted to confess a mistake and pass on when the season ended, it would possibly maybe perchance maybe well maybe now not shock somebody.
The Jaguars made a mistake with the Nick Foles signing
Rob, please, that the Jaguars signed Foles this offseason to a Four-yr, $88 million contract with $Forty five.a hundred twenty 5 million assured to be paid over the first two years. He bought wretchedness in Week 1, sat on injured reserve while Gardner Minshew and his mustache captivated a nation, then came off injured reserve to commence in Week 11.
The Jaguars bear gone zero-three since then, losing to the Colts, Titans and Buccaneers by the blended rep of 103-Forty Four, and Foles became benched for Minshew at halftime of Sunday’s house loss to Tampa Bay.
The Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. The point of signing Foles lay within the assumption that quarterback became the missing piece for a Jacksonville team that became otherwise ready to compete for the Tremendous Bowl berth that barely eluded it two seasons ago.
This season has gone off the rails for the Four-eight Jaguars, then one more time, and though Foles can now not be blamed for getting injured, his fracture history became a field sooner than they signed him. The reality that he omitted half of the yr and they didn’t contend for the postseason leaves the team in a true bind.
The Jaguars bear predominant salary-cap considerations, and he is considered one of them. They’d indulge in practically $34 million in 2020 humdrum money if they lower him and practically $19 million if they traded him. (And let’s be neutral, they’d desire to pay about a of the contract if they wanted to trade him at this point.) The offseason would possibly perchance well maybe result in predominant adjustments on the coaching personnel and within the front plot of job in Jacksonville, and if that is the case, the brand new administration there can bear predominant decisions to make while dancing around a monster quarterback cap number.
Foles would possibly perchance well maybe well rebound and bear a tremendous profession in Jacksonville, nonetheless considered one of many predominant causes they signed him became to save them over the tip this season. He didn’t, and the long-vary harmful results of the contract will more than seemingly be complex to beat.
The Patriots would possibly perchance well maybe also now not obtain considered one of many tip two seeds within the AFC
Sunday evening’s loss in Houston dropped the Patriots from the 1-seed to the two-seed by virtue of a tiebreaker, since Baltimore beat them. At 10-2, the Patriots are gathered two games sooner than the eight-Four Chiefs and the eight-Four Texans. But they play Kansas Metropolis next week. And if they lose that one, that lead will shrink to one sport over Kansas Metropolis and presumably one over Houston. And in that hypothetical reveal, they’d lose head-to-head tiebreakers to the Chiefs, Texans and Ravens.
Perchance even extra alarmingly, their lead over Buffalo within the AFC East is completely one sport, and they desire to play the Bills one more time in Week sixteen. New England is gathered within the driver’s seat for a major-spherical bye, nonetheless issues bought a dinky extra precarious Sunday evening.
The Verdict: OVERREACTION. That’s a complete bunch of “ifs” involving there, and even if they all advance in, New England would gathered desire to lose to both the Bengals, the Dolphins or each for the nightmare scenario to advance appropriate.
The Patriots looked straight-up frightful on every aspect of the ball in Houston, and there is true motive to anguish that this would maybe well maybe also now not prove to be the form of dominant January team we’re historical to seeing in New England. But the Patriots bear proven a capability to beat the unhealthy groups this season, so or now not it is now not immoral to mediate they’ll fetch the Cincinnati and Miami games. And they’ve spent the past twenty years incomes the coolest thing in regards to the doubt as a team that can overcome adversity — in particular humdrum within the season.
No NFC East team will elevate out with a a hit myth
Whats up, no NFC East team has one now, so here’s clearly conceivable. After an inexcusable house loss to Buffalo on Thanksgiving, the 6-6 Cowboys gathered lead the division by a pudgy sport since the Eagles suffered an most realistic extra inexcusable loss Sunday in Miami.
For goodness’ sake, Washington is three-9, eradicated from contention for the wild card and any of the tip three NFC seeds, nonetheless is gathered, in a technique, alive within the division escape. Here’s horrible, of us, and the likelihood of an eight-eight or 7-9 NFC East champion has to be taken critically, if for no assorted motive than the calendar and the math.
The Verdict: OVERREACTION. I neutral mediate both Dallas, Philadelphia or each bear higher football internal of them than they’ve proven up to now. I construct now not know why I mediate this, assorted than that I believed it sooner than the season and in actuality feel take care of there is gathered time for them to camouflage me involving.
It is easy involving now, in mild of a brutal Week 13 for every of them, to agree with neither will fetch one more sport assorted than the one they play towards every assorted in Week sixteen. But issues would possibly perchance well maybe watch so a lot assorted Thursday evening if the Dallas protection gets its act collectively towards Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears and the team recommits to Ezekiel Elliott on offense.
The NFC East champ will practically with out a doubt be the No. Four seed within the NFC at this point, nonetheless that doesn’t mean this will bear limped into the playoffs.
On Nov. 29 in 2018, Stephen A. Smith poked some fun at the Cowboys. Exactly one yr later, Stephen A. donned the cowboy hat one more time to construct extra of the same.
Philip Rivers is playing his perfect month as a Charger
Rivers will turn 38 on Sunday and would now not bear a contract beyond this season. Tell what you are going to in regards to the Browns, Eagles, Jaguars and somebody else, then one more time or now not it is laborious now not to fetch the Chargers as basically the most disappointing team within the NFL this season.
They had been 12-Four perfect season and gave the impact primed to make a Tremendous Bowl crawl within the most effective yr of Rivers’ contract. Sunday’s loss in Denver wasn’t all on Rivers, nor is the atrocious season. But with 17 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions through 12 games, or now not it is shaping up as his worst season at perchance the worst conceivable time.
The Verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. I mean, if the Chargers had been fantastic they wanted him attend for 2020 and he became fantastic he wanted to be attend in 2020 … why is now not he signed but?
Here’s shaping up as a historically queer quarterback offseason, with ask marks about longtime starters in locations take care of New England, New Orleans, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Tennessee and Cincinnati. And the Chargers are a section of that. Rivers would possibly perchance well maybe mediate he wishes to head in assorted locations, or retire. The Chargers can bear one more probability in tips, whether or now not they’re gathered in drag-for-it mode or whether or now not they mediate to retool the roster.
At Four-eight and going nowhere in a season that started with high hopes, there can bear to be alternate choices on the desk that had been once impossible.