Wednesday Morning QB (Week 17)

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The regular season is over and that means one thing for the teams that didn’t make the playoffs.

It is time for changes in the NFL as teams make decisions on how they want to move forward for the next year.

Nobody who didn’t make the playoffs is happy with where they stand right now as they all want to be in the playoffs and playing next week.

Not everyone can though and a number of teams are now sitting on the outside looking in as they prepare for the next season in hopes that they can improve.

For some, things went better this year than last and signs of progress have helped them to at least save face in the season.

More importantly for those teams that improvement saved a number of jobs on the staffs as the organization enjoys some stability while they continue to improve.

That will never be the case for every team though as some are tired of seeing little to no improvement in their teams and they want to make changes.

That is why the Monday after the final week of the season is now known as Black Monday because it is the day that coaches and GMs find out their fate for next year.

Every year a new crop of coaches find themselves on the hot seat throughout the season due to the poor performance of their teams.

As the season moves on those coaches or GMs that have a worse season or don’t improve become the people that everyone looks to on Black Monday.

This year the date hit hard again with a number of teams heading into a new year with a brand new staff.

In the NFC North things are really changing with Jim Caldwell and John Fox getting fired from their head jobs.

Meanwhile, in Green Bay, Ted Thompson was removed from the GM position and given an advisory role while Dom Capers was let go from his defensive coordinator position.

For three teams used to being better this year was not great and a number of them decided that the underperformance was too much to ignore this year.

Also in Green Bay, head coach Mike McCarthy received a one-year extension for what seems like a contract that is all about proving he can do something before they make a change.

Although the NFC North was the most active plenty of other teams made their own changes as the Colts fired Chuck Pagano and Oakland fired Jack Del Rio.

The Cardinals will go into a new season with a new staff as well with Bruce Arians announcing his retirement from coaching.

It was a busy day but the most interesting part of the day might have been who didn’t move rather than who did.

In Cincinnati, Marvin Lewis was assumed to be out of the picture as the Bengals had struggled for years under his coaching.football-sidebar

They had improved to levels beyond what they had before he got there but making the playoffs and never getting any further than the first game is not the picture of success.

With the Bengals missing the playoffs this year it seemed pretty sure that Lewis was not going to return and that they would go a different direction.

After weeks of rumours, it was revealed that Lewis would remain with the Bengals after signing a two-year deal with the team.

It was a surprising development after Black Monday had passed but it wasn’t the only surprise after the regular season.

Despite their struggles, Dallas, Cleveland, Denver, Tampa Bay, Houston and the New York Jets will all retain their coaches.

Many of those jobs were thought to be done after their struggles during the season but all will stay the course next year.

Black Monday is over for now and there will be some big decisions to be made this off-season as teams will all be looking to gain some momentum with big signings.

The best spot for any coach might just be the Raiders who seem to have everything in place to be a true contender.

Their health issues have really hurt them in the last few years but a coach could come into a team that is as close to turn-key as possible.

According to reports, John Gruden is the leading candidate for that job after he was reportedly in line for the Tampa Bay job that never opened up.

As these teams look to the off-season the others will begin their pursuit of the Super Bowl in the best time of year.

Playoff football is almost here and as always it looks like it could be another exciting year in the postseason.

 

Fifth Quarter

Palmer Calls it a Career

Carson Palmer has had a pretty storied career as one of the elder statesmen in the NFL. Playing with the Cincinnati Bengals and dealing to Chad Johnson aka Chad Ochocinco, made for one of the most potent offences in the league. He then went to Arizona and resurrected the franchise helping them return to the playoffs. After all of that Palmer has announced that he will be leaving the league and retiring from football leaving the Cardinals without a head coach or a quarterback leading to a busy off-season.

Changing Sides

The NFL, like every sport, has some various rivalries that run very deep and even head into the locker room where the players can feel it just as bad as the fans. The rivalry between Pittsburgh and New England is one of those rivalries as both have faced off in extremely important games for years leading to a lot of bad blood. That rivalry was tested this week when James Harrison asked to be released by the Steelers only to sign with the Patriots. The Steelers legend had only played five games all year and wanted to move on and play more but many think that the move to a long time rival was not a move that can be forgiven.

A Buffalo Thank You

The Buffalo Bills hold the longest drought in the all of professional sports in North America after missing the playoffs for 18 straight seasons. That was until Week 17 when the drought ended, thanks to a big play by the Cincinnati Bengals that put them ahead of the Baltimore Ravens. That win put the Bills into the playoffs for the first time in just short of two decades. As a thank, you the city of Buffalo sent a thank you letter and their signature Buffalo wings to the Bengals, while fans have donated to Andy Dalton’s foundation as one of the most dedicated fan bases finally, gets to see playoff football.

 week17-standings

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