Wednesday Morning QB (Week 17)

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Every year on the Monday after the season ends the NFL goes through a massive change throughout the league.

As some teams prepare for the playoff run and hope to find their way to Santa Clara others are beginning to prepare for the draft.

The day is known as Black Monday and it is a day where teams begin the process of finding their new coaches and general managers.

For many teams it is a chance to get some new life into a struggling team and begin turning things around.

The theme this year seemed to be the impatience of teams that continue to put on poor performances.

The NFL is notoriously an impatient league where everyone is asking “what have you done for me lately.”

Teams that tend to do well put together a management group that can build a team, sometimes from the ground up, and can go through the bad times along with the good times.

They are allowed to struggle through a few bad years as long as they show some type of progress along the way.

Those are the teams that have constantly been near the top of the league and many are being represented in the playoffs this year.

The teams that don’t follow this pattern seem to be just spinning their wheels and that is a recipe for bad season after bad season.

This week the impatience began early when the Philadelphia Eagles fired Chip Kelly as their head coach.

Kelly had been the coach for three seasons and in two of them helped to put up 10 wins a piece and guided the Eagles to the playoffs.

He took over the team as a whole this season making personnel decisions along with coaching and the Eagles struggled finishing outside of the playoffs.

In most situations two good years is enough to give the coach the benefit of the doubt at least for one more

He definitely made some questionable decisions in the off-season but to fire him after one season in control was a bit of a quick trigger.

It might have been more about other issues that were brought up, namely accusations of racism when he cut a number of black players but kept Riley Cooper after a racist outburst last year.

Either way Kelly is now gone and the Eagles are set to search for another coach three years after they fired long-time head coach Andy Reid who brought the most success to the team.

The Eagles weren’t the only ones though as the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns also fired their coaches after a quick few years.

In San Francisco the fallout from disagreements between Jim Harbaugh and Jed York resulted in a quick search for a new coach that ended with Jim Tomsula, a member of Harbaugh’s staff.

The Niners went from a competitive team to one of the worst in the league under Tomsula and after only one year as the head coach he lost his job.

The Niners were in the Super Bowl with Harbaugh and constantly competing and although his last season wasn’t great it was better than the first season without him.

The Niners have a history of impatience as before Harbaugh became the head coach they had four coaches in eight seasons.

Not to be outdone though the Cleveland Browns have had eight head coaches since they returned to the league in 1999.

That’s 17 seasons with eight head coaches split among them. It has only been worse in recent years with three coaches in five years which included Mike Pettine who was fired on Sunday after another bad season.

All of these teams pulled the trigger fast not only firing coaches before Black Monday but firing short term coaches.

It is not the way to build success in the NFL and although owners want to win and win now hiring and firing coaches is not the way that a team builds success as they need to have time to build a team without fearing that they are on their way out.

All three of these teams will need to figure things out and try to find the coach that can help them build success but will need to express patience in doing so or they won’t have consistent winning seasons any time soon.

Fifth Quarter:
(Thoughts on Week 17 in the NFL)

Moving Manziel
He has been a source of controversy since he was drafted by Cleveland but now the Browns are reportedly finished with Johnny Manziel who didn’t show up for a meeting this week and apparently has expressed a want to be moved to Dallas

Mile High Controversy
Peyton Manning started the week as the backup for the Broncos but midway through the game he came into the game and kick started a struggling offence to lead the Broncos to a win and first place in the AFC

AP Back on Top
Adrian Peterson made his return this year and he once again made an impact as he won the rushing title this year becoming one of the rare few to win a rushing title after turning 30-years-old and showing he has plenty of gas left in the tank


Key Scores:
Buffalo Bills 22 – 17 New York Jets
– All the Jets had to do was to win their game against the Bills and they were headed to the playoffs but one of the worst performances of the season by Ryan Fitzpatrick saw the Jets drop the game opening the door for elimination

Pittsburgh Steelers 28 – 12 Cleveland Browns
– The Steelers were playing at the same time of the only team they needed to be worried about but with the Jets loss they had an opportunity and took full advantage against the Browns with an easy win that put them into the playoffs

Miami Dolphins 20 – 10 New England Patriots
– The Patriots could win and take first place in the conference but injuries and a relentless pass rush by the Dolphins sent them into a tough spot in the last week losing the game and finishing second with plenty of fans worried about their chances

Minnesota Vikings 20 – 13 Green Bay Packers
– It was the only thing that was going to change in the NFC as the Vikings and Packers fought for the NFC North title with the Vikings taking an easy lead before a comeback came up short by the Packers giving Minnesota a home game and handing the Packers their third home loss against their own division


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