Wednesday Morning QB (Week 14)

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December football means a time when the true contenders separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

The best teams in the league rise to the top while everyone else begins to falter and show their true colours.

As that happens some teams fall out of the playoff hunt and they begin looking for a change heading into the off-season.

So begins the coaching carousel in the NFL as the first change for most teams is on the sideline with coaches taking the brunt of the blame.

It has already begun this year as the first team to let their head coach go was the Los Angeles Rams.

Only a week after announcing his contract extension the Rams fired Jeff Fisher in his first year in Los Angeles.

It was also his fifth year with the Rams organisation and his fifth season missing the playoffs.

After a loss to Atlanta on Sunday, the Rams were officially eliminated for another year and Fisher lost his job at the head of the team.

It seemed like a logical move as the Rams seemed like a team ready to make a jump with so much talent on the team.

Their defence may not have had the biggest names but they did have some of the best skill and yet they couldn’t seem to put it all together to make the playoffs.

Even if the coaches get the blame this situation is clearly one where the coach might deserve the blame for as the talent seems to be there and yet they continue to miss the playoffs.

What makes things stranger is that it was only last week that the Rams announced an extension with their head coach.

The timing seemed very off as a week after signing a new contract to remain in Los Angeles he was fired.

It did not look good on the team as they came off indecisive in giving an extension only to fire that person immediately after.

The thing is that Fisher was actually given an extension in the off-season but it wasn’t announced until last week.

The decision seems to be the correct one as even if it wasn’t all Fisher’s fault something needed to change for the Rams if they want to make their new fans happy.

The Fisher firing only begins what should be an interesting last few weeks of the season as he is the first to be fired but probably won’t be the last.

Rumours have already begun about who is next and the biggest one coming out of Buffalo as it seems like Rex Ryan’s time with the Bills might be over.football-sidebar

After years of promise the Bills have remained a team outside of the playoffs and Ryan hasn’t been able to improve much.

There are many that believe that Gus Bradley’s time in Jacksonville needs to be finished at the end of the year.

He has not been able to turn the team around and they might need a change before the best of their young group is over and they have to restart their rebuild.

There are sure to be many more rumours as the season moves on and teams continue to look to the future with changes on the sidelines.

With that will come the many names that arise as potential head coaches in the NFL whether they are from other teams or from the college ranks.

One of the biggest names that have been circulating is Josh McDaniels who has seemingly redeemed himself after a tough time at the head of the Denver Broncos.

He started well enough in his first year but then set the record for most losses in Denver and was fired after only two years at the head of the team.

From there he returned to New England and since has been able to do more with less as the offensive coordinator making him the biggest name on the market for head coaching jobs.

The Patriots might also lose their defensive coordinator as Matt Patricia has received some interest from teams.

Kyle Shanahan, Jim Schwartz, Anthony Lynn, and Teryl Austin are all receiving interest as well and there may be more to come especially some surprises from the NCAA.

The league already has one opening that the Rams will try to fill while other jobs seem to be primed to open up in the near future.

That will launch the search for the next head coach and will continue to turn the coaching carousel in the NFL.

That is the time of year as the league is coming to an end quickly and teams begin to either get set for a playoff run or look to the future to see how they can find their way to the playoffs next year.

As the season continues to close the rest of the league will come into focus and the coaching carousel will continue to spin.

Fifth Quarter:
(Thoughts on this week in the NFL)

NFL Pink Meets End
The NFL has decided to discontinue the sometimes controversial NFL Pink program instead allowing every NFL team to pick their own cancer cause during the month of October to support

Benching Already?
Dak Prescott has not been the super rookie that many thought he was but after his worst performance of the year it seems like people are ready to call it quits with some demanding that Romo returns to the starting roll

Jumping on the Pile
The Cleveland Browns continue to struggle but that doesn’t stop the trash talking as the Bengals beat the Browns this week with Pacman Jones calling QB turned receiver, Terrell Pryor trash after the game

Talib vs. Douglas
It was a week of trash talk and strange happenings as Harry Douglas chopped blocked Chris Harris in a dangerous play leading to Harris’ teammate Aqib Talib to threaten to knock out Douglas if he sees him outside of the field

standings-w14-fw

Key Scores:
Kansas City Chiefs 21-13 Oakland Raiders
– The battle for the AFC West continued this time with the rising Raiders falling to the Chiefs who took over the lead in the division leaving the Raiders to take a tougher path to the playoffs in order to break their playoff drought

Tennessee Titans 13-10 Pittsburgh Steelers
– The Titans are one of the fastest rising teams in the league right now and they continued to rise after beating the Steelers and getting closer to the AFC wild card although their path to the playoffs is not a simple one

Green Bay Packers 38-10 Seattle Seahawks
– December has always been a great month for the Packers and after a rough season it continues to be their best month as they won their third straight against a streaking Seahawks giving fire to their playoff hopes

New York Giants 10-7 Dallas Cowboys
– The Cowboys were finally shut down after nine straight wins and it came at the hands of the only other team to beat them this year in the Giants who still have a shot at winning their division

Next Week:
Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks (Thursday, December 15th; 8:25 pm ET)
– The Rams begin their search for a new coach but will need to finish off their season as they head into their final weeks starting with the Seahawks who are a motivated team after a poor performance in Green Bay

Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, December 18th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Titans continue to be the fastest rising in the team in the league and they will try to continue that rise against the Chiefs who are fighting a tough battle in the AFC West hoping to get closer to clinching the division title

New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos (Sunday, December 18th; 4:25 pm ET)
– The Broncos and the Patriots have been two of the best teams in the league over the last few years and although the Manning-Brady rivalry is no longer there both teams will still face off with the Pats looking to clinch a playoff spot and the Broncos trying to stay in the hunt

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, December 18th; 8:30 pm ET)
– The Cowboys looked like they were going to be the team to beat but they are at risk of limping into the playoffs unless they can begin to turn things around against the Bucs who are in their own fight for the NFC wild card

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