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#pounditSunday, March 7, 2021

5 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 15

Sean McVay

Week 15 featured some of the most unexpected results of the entire NFL season — who saw the New York Jets winning, after all? Add in a bunch of dramatic and bizarre finishes, and it’s fair to say things are getting a bit wild as we move closer to the playoffs.

Who’s really going to regret how they performed this week? Here are five big disappointments from the weekend’s action.

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are almost certainly still headed for the playoffs. They even have a chance to win the NFC West, albeit not a great one. Still, those factors made it all the more shocking to see them lose to the New York Jets on Sunday, giving their opponents a first win of 2020. Jared Goff looked dreadful, and the offense sleepwalked until the second half. Sean McVay’s playcalling was unusual. In addition, key plays — including a 20-yard touchdown run by Cam Akers — were wiped out by penalties and bad discipline. Maybe this loss will function as a wakeup call for the Rams. Maybe it’s a sign of big trouble ahead.

Atlanta Falcons

It’s hard to imagine how it keeps happening, but the Falcons once again blew another big lead. This time they blew a 24-7 advantage in the third quarter. Tom Brady did it to them again. It’s hard to imagine that this isn’t at least partly mental at this point, even if the roster has turned over significantly over the past few years. The Falcons are a team waiting for bad things to happen. To be fair to them, they usually do, and they’re not always the fault of the players.

Keke Coutee, WR, Texans

The Texans are another team that seemingly goes out of its way to find ways to lose. They were rallying against the Indianapolis Colts, pushing for a game-tying touchdown, when Coutee simply lost control of the football. Perhaps the most amazing thing about this? It’s the second time in three weeks the Texans have botched this exact scenario against the same team. They really just need this season to be over.

New England Patriots’ offense

The Dolphins have become a very good defensive team, and they deserve full credit for shutting down New England in a 22-12 win. But it’s amazing how bad the Patriots’ offense has gotten. They were only able to manage 303 total yards on Sunday, with Cam Newton throwing for 209 of them and once again failing to find the end zone. They have few weapons and little juice. Predictions of Newton rediscovering his MVP form under Bill Belichick were woefully off the mark. It’s fitting, in a way, that the Patriots’ playoff streak was broken on the back of a performance like this, because it illustrated everything wrong with the team right now.

Drew Brees, QB, Saints

Brees wanted to play in a huge game against the Chiefs, and you can’t really blame him for that. However, coming off 11 fractured ribs, he looked rusty and errant for most of the afternoon. Brees only seemed to lock in late when he finally engineered a quality drive in the fourth quarter to keep things close. Ultimately, it was his inconsistency before that point that put the Saints in a hole. Brees was only 15/34 for 234 yards. He did find the end zone three times and was intercepted once, but he was fortunate that he didn’t have two or three more picks. Brees should get better once the rust comes off, but he was bad on Sunday.

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