Week 11 saw the first team of the season mathematically eliminated from playoff contention — sorry, Bengals fans, we know you were holding out hope. While that’s not exactly a surprise, it does illustrate that we’re getting to the part of the season where teams are going to start facing a lot of mathematical must-wins to keep their playoff hopes alive in any realistic sense.
With high stakes come high expectations, and some people can’t reach those. Here are ten big disappointments from Week 11.
Mitch Trubisky, Matt Nagy, Bears
Trubisky had another listless showing for the Bears and was replaced by Chase Daniel with just over three minutes to go in a 17-7 loss. The Bears and Matt Nagy said the QB had a hip injury, though skeptics will question whether that information is a coverup for a benching in the latest lackluster performance by the former No. 2 overall pick. The conversation NBC showed Nagy having with Trubisky will only further the speculation that this was a benching. Whatever the case, Trubisky is just not getting the job done in Chicago, and many will question the timing of the move. Many viewed it as Nagy’s way of trying to pin the blame on his quarterback. Both Trubisky’s play and Nagy’s handling of it were disappointing.
Kyle Allen, QB, Panthers
Maybe the Falcons defense did discover something last week, or maybe Allen was just awful. Maybe it’s both. Whatever the reason, Allen demonstrated that he does not look like the future of the Carolina Panthers or any other team. Allen was sacked five times and picked off four times, frequently missing his targets. This was not a fluke, either; Allen just has not shown any real ability to consistently get the job done.
Week 10 of the NFL season produced quite an impressive share of dramatic finishes and exciting moments, as well as some serious letdowns. After all, the Miami Dolphins won a game, and that has to come at someone’s expense.
Who didn’t have it together in Week 10? Here are ten big disappointments.
Jared Goff, QB, Rams
Take Goff out of his home stadium and this appears to be what he is. It gets even worse when he’s facing a good defense like Pittsburgh’s. He turned the ball over three times, including one very bad interception, and couldn’t even hook up with Cooper Kupp once in a loss to the Steelers. In tough road environments, Goff barely even looks like an NFL starter. The fact that his great disparity in play between home and road games has not ceased suggests has to be a major worry for the Rams.
Josh Allen, QB, Bills
Allen completed just over half his passes, but didn’t find the end zone against a Browns defense that has been vulnerable this year. He was fortunate not to turn the ball over, as he had it punched out on a pass just shy of the goal line that could have been disastrous had a teammate not fallen on it. The Bills are a good team buoyed by a great defense, but it’s easy to see what happens to them if they run into an equally solid defensive unit — Allen might not be good enough to overcome it.
We’re officially more than halfway through the NFL season, and it’s becoming quite clear who has a chance to compete in the playoffs and who doesn’t. As the stakes get higher, the disappointments get more extreme, and there was no shortage of letdowns on Sunday, including quarterbacks playing for their jobs and a high-flying offense finding itself completely grounded.
Here are ten big disappointments from NFL Week 9.
The Browns were gifted a matchup with untested quarterback Brandon Allen, who took the reins of an offense that had struggled all season. Cleveland still couldn’t win. They outgained the Broncos, didn’t turn the ball over, and still lost thanks to, once again, some brutal red zone offense. This has been an issue for a while now and is still not fixed. Every week, the Browns seem to find a different way to lose despite all their talent. It’s the mark of a bad football team.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Bears
Trubisky’s hold on the starting job has to be tenuous at best by now. He completed just 10-of-21 passes on Sunday, and failed to complete anything beyond the line of scrimmage in the first half. That half was historically bad, in part due to scheme but mostly because of Trubisky’s limitations as a quarterback. It’s not clear how much better Chase Daniel would be for this offense, but he couldn’t possibly be any worse than what Trubisky is doing for the Bears right now.
Adam Vinatieri, K, Colts
Vinatieri looked to have recovered from a major early-season swoon that sparked retirement consideration. The warning signs resurfaced a week ago, when he missed a field goal and an extra point. That was generally forgiven when he made two field goals from over 50 yards, including a game-winner. No such luck Sunday. The laces were in when Vinatieri badly hooked a 43-yard try that would have put Indianapolis ahead with 1:11 left, and he missed an extra point as well. It’s hard to see the Colts running a legend like Vinatieri out of town, but one has to wonder if they’ll ask him to consider his future this week.
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The Detroit Lions surprisingly traded defensive back Quandre Diggs to the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday, and Lions players didn’t hide their displeasure on social media.
Diggs was dealt to Seattle for a fifth-round pick, as reported on Twitter by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Various Lions players reacted to that report in shock and disappointment.
No members of the team had a stronger reaction than star cornerback Darius Slay, who both questioned the trade and called it “some bull—-.”
— Darius Slay (@_bigplayslay23) October 22, 2019
Defensive lineman Damon Harrison and return man Jamal Agnew also had strong reactions when news of the deal came out.
Wowwwwwwwww no way
— Damon Harrison Sr. (@snacks) October 22, 2019
— Mal (@jamalagnew) October 22, 2019
Diggs was a popular member of the Lions’ locker room, and what’s more, this looks like a selling move despite the team being 2-3-1. Considering how close they were to leading the NFC North — and probably should have given the officiating in that game — it’s easy to understand why players are so furious. GM Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia might have some cleaning up to do over this one.
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It may take quite a while for Detroit Lions fans to get over the way their team was robbed of a win by the officiating crew in Monday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers, and a group of them appear to have found a way to channel their anger.
Billboards have been popping up along major highways in metro Detroit this week that feature a referee making a penalty call while wearing a cheesehead, which of course is the official symbol of Packers fandom. Anonymous Lions fans purchased the billboards through Outfront Media, and Max White of WXYZ in Detroit says there are at least seven in total.
— gamal alriyashi (@gamalalriyashi) October 15, 2019
The Lions and their fans have every right to be angry. Had it not been for two egregious calls and one no-call in Green Bay, the result of Monday’s game could have easily gone the other way. The NFL has since admitted that one of the calls should not have been made, and the league reached out to Detroit’s ownership group to address it.
Relative to how Lions fans feel as a whole, those billboards are fairly tame.
The Detroit Lions fell victim to a series of horrendous calls late in their loss to the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, and the NFL is admitting a flag should not have been thrown on at least one play.
NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said at the league’s Fall Meeting in Florida on Tuesday that the second illegal use of the hands penalty against Lions defensive end Trey Flowers in the fourth quarter should not have been called. He added that he will reach out to the team’s front office about it.
NFL exec Troy Vincent, here in Florida for this Fall Meeting, says the second hands to the face call last night is “not something that you want to see called.” Vincent says he’ll speak with Mrs. Ford today and reach out to GM Bob Quinn, as well.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 15, 2019
That may be a start, but it likely will not satisfy the Lions or their fans. There were actually two calls and one no-call that went against Detroit in the fourth quarter that were egregious, and the Lions could have won the game without them.
Obviously, the last thing the NFL wants is for the officiating to be the topic of discussion on a night when Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to a thrilling win over a division rival. We’ve already seen several prominent current and former players speak out about it, and it is something the league has to address.
The Detroit Lions lost to the Green Bay Packers 23-22 on Monday night, and they seemed to be working against two opponents when one takes into account all the penalty calls that went against them. Detroit was hurt by some unbelievable penalty calls from the referees, not to mention a missed call.
There are three calls that came in the fourth quarter that all went Green Bay’s way and had an enormous impact on the game. Here they are in chronological order.
1. Trey Flowers called for illegal use of the hands with just over 10 minutes to go
Green Bay had a 3rd-and-10 and Aaron Rodgers was sacked. The sack would have forced a 4th-and-long and likely punt to Detroit with the Lions up 22-13 in the fourth quarter. Flowers only had his hand on the shoulder, not in the face. It was just a totally missed call.
— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) October 15, 2019
The Packers ended up scoring a touchdown on the possession to make it 22-20.
2. Missed pass interference call
The Lions had the ball at their 41 leading 22-20 with 7:11 left. On a 2nd-and-6 play, Matthew Stafford threw deep to Marvin Jones Jr. Will Redmond mugged him but there was no pass interference call.
— College Football Blueprint (@CFBBluePrint) October 15, 2019
Detroit ended up punting.
3. Trey Flowers called for illegal use of the hands again
On 3rd-and-4 at the 16 with 1:36 left, Flowers was once again called. This gave the Packers a first down. It was a bad call.
I hate blaming the refs, I really think it's lazy and irrational. But the Lions were jabbed hard tonight multiple times. "Hands to the face" pic.twitter.com/wCtBGlQJJt
— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) October 15, 2019
Green Bay should have been forced into fourth down. Had they kicked to take the lead, the Lions would have had plenty of time to rally back for a field goal of their own. Instead, the Packers got to run down the clock and kick to win it.
All three plays — the two illegal use of the hands penalty calls, and the missed pass interference — hurt the Lions enormously in the game. Unfortunately, this sort of thing is nothing new for Lions fans.