Week 11 saw plenty of surprises and several big disappointments as the playoff race truly heats up. Playoff contenders are separating from each other, with some teams looking a bit worse for wear as they come up against each other.
So who was a letdown in Week 11? Here are 15 big disappointments.
Dallas Cowboys in the second half
They say it’s not about how you start but how you finish. And the Dallas Cowboys could not have finished Sunday’s game any worse. Dallas went into halftime leading their division rivals 9-7. After that, they gave up 30 unanswered points as the wheels completely fell off. The Cowboys allowed touchdown drives of 75, 90 and 85 yards. They punted twice on their possessions in between Philly’s big scoring drives. Then they gave up a strip sack that was returned for a touchdown as the game turned into a laugher. As if that weren’t enough, their first decent drive of the half ended with an interception in the end zone. This marks two straight embarrassing defeats for Dallas without Ezekiel Elliott.
Sean McDermott, coach, Bills
The easiest thing to do would be to list Nathan Peterman and his five first half interceptions on here and be done with it, but frankly, that would be unfair to Peterman. He wasn’t ready and he shouldn’t have started — especially over Tyrod Taylor, who had done nothing to lose his starting job. But McDermott decided to make the change, and he watched as Peterman was picked off five times in one half as the Los Angeles Chargers essentially had the Bills buried by halftime.
This is on the coach. It’s his job to know his players and put them in the best situation to win. Now, he’s put the rookie Peterman into an awful spot, dented his confidence, and left Taylor wondering what McDermott saw in him to make him the inferior option. It is an enormous self-inflicted error that has only served to muddy the waters — especially when he was left with no choice but to put Taylor right back in after the nightmarish first half.
Jay Cutler’s rotten Sunday got even worse after he left his game with a possible concussion.
The Miami Dolphins quarterback was replaced by backup Matt Moore early in the third quarter of the team’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the team announced that the veteran was being evaluated for a possible concussion.
#Dolphins QB Jay Cutler is being evaluated for a concussion and Matt Moore is now in the game.
Cutler had thrown three interceptions on only 12 pass attempts even before leaving the game, so it’s safe to say he was having a rough afternoon already. The quarterback has taken a real beating this season — he probably didn’t envision that coming out of retirement would be like this.
It’s unclear if Cutler would have been able to play this week had the Dolphins not been playing on Thursday, but you can understand why he needs the rest. Though there isn’t much that can be done about cracked ribs, pain management can be a huge issue.
Given the way Miami fans reacted when Cutler left last week’s game against the New York Jets, you have to wonder if they prefer to keep Matt Moore as the team’s starting quarterback. Moore will have a chance to state his case vs. the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night.
Cutler was 12 of 16 for 138 yards, two touchdowns and an interception prior to his injury — arguably his best numbers of the season. Matt Moore replaced him and also threw for two touchdowns and an interception while helping the Dolphins beat the Jets 31-28.
Some Miami fans have vocally wanted Moore for a few weeks now. They got their wish, albeit through injury. This is definitely not how Cutler envisioned his season going after he came out of retirement to join the Dolphins.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler was the victim of a lot of jokes for his rather disinterested body language during a Wildcat play, but it turns out there was a legitimate reason he looked the way he did.
Dolphins coach Adam Gase explained Wednesday that Cutler’s indifferent reaction to being forced out wide was the result of a direct order from the coaching staff to stay out of the play and off the line of scrimmage.
“As soon as he steps forward they can knock the … I won’t say it. They can hit him,” Gase said, via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. “If he steps back or doesn’t move, now you’re looking at a different kind of penalty.”
Gase said that he had no issue with Cutler’s body language on the play.
“No,” Gase said. “You guys worry about a lot more things than I do.”
It’s good that Cutler wasn’t sending a message through his actions, but the Dolphins might not go back to the Wildcat anytime soon — according to Gase, four Miami players missed their assignments on the play.
The Miami Dolphins have looked completely lost on offense through their first three games of the 2017 season, and there are already rumblings about Jay Cutler being benched in favor of Matt Moore. However, the man who would be in charge of making that decision says it is not happening.
After the Dolphins suffered a 20-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints in London, Adam Gase was asked about the possibility of making a quarterback change. The coach emphatically dismissed it.
Adam Gase definitively says there will be no QB change. Acts like it's an absurd question.
Cutler completed 20-of-26 passes for only 164 yards, no touchdowns and a brutal red zone interception on Sunday. He has an average of just 5.84 yards per completion, and Miami’s offense just hasn’t been able to get the ball downfield. With a serviceable wide receiver duo in Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker and a great running back in Jay Ajayi, the numbers should be much better.
Former NFL offensive lineman Olin Kreutz, who played two seasons with Cutler in Chicago, predicts that Moore will be taking over before the year ends.
Matt Moore will start for the Dolphins before the year is over.
Cutler said after Sunday’s game that he is “embarrassed” by the results, and the whole team should be. Gase called his offense “garbage” after a 20-6 loss to the New York Jets in Week 3, and the team responded by putting up zero points. Perhaps the way Cutler looked when the Dolphins lined up in the wildcat on Sunday said it all.