The Schein Nine  

 

Bears, Jaguars headline teams that suffered brutal Week 6 losses

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All NFL games are not created equal. And the impact of certain losses carries far greater weight than others. The sting's more lasting.

And some teams experienced rather damning defeats on Sunday. We rank them for you, Schein Nine style, starting with the worst of the worst ...

1) Chicago Bears

The loss: 31-28 (OT) at Miami Dolphins.

I was all in on the Bears. I was buying the defense. I was buying the head coach. I was buying Chicago as a playoff team and division favorite.

And then the Bears lost to Brock Osweiler. Following a bye. With the Patriots coming to town next week.

Welcome to Brock bottom.

Over the course of last week, I figured Sunday's game would provide us with an opportunity to really learn something about the upstart Bears' character. Fresh off an early rest week, how would they handle a business trip to hot-and-humid Miami? Then news broke that Osweiler would be starting for the injured Ryan Tannehill, and the big question was: How many times would Khalil Mack and Co. sack this punchline?

The answer: Zero. Mack and the defense didn't bother to show up. Brock Osweiler -- yes, that Brock Osweiler -- carved them up for 380 yards and three touchdowns in an overtime win.

And it was in the extra period where Matt Nagy really bothered me, playing for a long (and eventually, ill-fated) field-goal attempt by running the ball on three straight downs after the Bears had entered Dolphins territory. It was just awful. Running the ball on third-and-4? That is not winning football in 2018. Say what you will about Mitchell Trubisky, but here are the QB's numbers on third downs in the fourth quarter this season: 7 of 10, 7.1 yards per attempt, 123.3 passer rating. Instead of giving him a chance, though, Nagy took the ball out of his hands. And this ultimately allowed Osweiler to lead the Dolphins down the field for the dagger field goal at the gun.

That felt like the single most disappointing loss of the season, let alone Week 6.

2) Jacksonville Jaguars

The loss: 40-7 at Dallas Cowboys.

Ugh. After a 31-20 win over the Patriots in Week 2, Jacksonville looked like the AFC favorite. A month later, I'm not even sure this team will still be playing come January.

It was one thing to get smoked by Patty Mahomes in Kansas City. Quite another to be outplayed and out-coached in a 33-point loss to the Jason Garrett-led Cowboys, of all teams. This was a totally dysfunctional Dallas squad, ripe to be punched out. Instead, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott punished the Jags' vaunted defense drive after drive. Dallas racked up a whopping 206 yards on the ground alone.

Meanwhile, Blake Bortles looked like Blake Bortles again, leading Jacksonville on one scoring drive -- in the third quarter, when the Jags were already trailing 24-0. He's just not a reliable quarterback. Jacksonville's front office failed by not attempting to upgrade the position during the offseason. This offense needs Leonard Fournette back, ASAP.

I still like this squad, but if the 3-3 Jags don't get their act together very soon, they'll be watching the playoffs on TV.

3) Denver Broncos

The loss: 23-20 vs. Los Angeles Rams.

It seemed as if John Elway wanted to fire Vance Joseph after his first year on the job. He should've done it. Broncos CEO Joe Ellis didn't exactly give Joseph a ringing endorsement last week. Nor should he have. Joseph, who's now 7-15 as Denver's coach, is in over his head. It was a bad hire. Elway should've picked Kyle Shanahan. Or anyone else.

Yes, the Rams are the best team in football. No shame in losing to them -- in a vacuum. But Joseph is not operating in a vacuum. His team just dropped its fourth straight game. His defense -- the side of the ball he's experienced in -- just became the first unit in NFL history to concede 200-yard rushing games to opposing running backs in consecutive weeks. And nobody should be surprised that Case Keenum has turned back into a pumpkin.

The natives are restless. The local media is swarming. Denver is a mess. And the Broncos still, somehow, need a brand new coach and quarterback.

4) Cincinnati Bengals

The loss: 28-21 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers.

So close, yet so far. I took the cheese on Cincy -- and still like this version of the Bengals a lot -- but I obviously forgot one crucial factor in the run-up to this game:

Ben Roethlisberger doesn't lose in Ohio. With a 15-2 record in Cincinnati and a 22-2-1 mark in Cleveland, Big Ben torments The Buckeye State.

Prior to Roethlisberger's go-ahead touchdown to Antonio Brown with just 10 seconds remaining, the Bengals were sitting pretty in the AFC North. A win would've kept Cincy in sole possession of first place, with head-to-head victories over the Ravens and Steelers. But no.

I still THINK the Bengals can win the division, but they had a chance to make everyone KNOW it. And Pittsburgh is now 3-2-1, which equals life after a chaotic start. This loss carries a ton of weight.

5) Oakland Raiders

The loss: 27-3 vs. Seattle Seahawks (in London).

I actually thought the Raiders would acquit themselves well in London, proving the "law of averages" nature of the NFL. Nah. Seattle absolutely mauled Jon Gruden's team. Oakland lost 27-3, and really, it wasn't even that close.

It's mid-October, and it already looks like the Raiders have packed it in, with the turning point of the season occurring before the season even began. Of course, I'm talking about the all-time horrific Khalil Mack trade. In a stunning development, Oakland is tied for dead last in sacks.

The Giants and Raiders, both 1-5, are, bar none, the biggest embarrassments in the NFL right now.

6) Tennessee Titans

The loss: 21-0 vs. Baltimore Ravens.

So, following wins over the Jaguars and Eagles, Tennessee goes down in Buffalo and gets bludgeoned by Baltimore. Here's guessing Titans fans won't be crowing about a lack of respect anymore ...

The Titans' offense was wretched on Sunday. Actually, maybe nonexistent is the better word, considering Tennessee gained a grand total of 106 yards. Marcus Mariota got sacked nearly every single time he dropped back to pass! And the defense got punched early and never recovered. This was really bad, yet again.

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The loss: 34-29 at Atlanta Falcons.

After Tampa Bay was blown off the field by the Bears in Week 4, Dirk Koetter said everyone should be fired. After Tampa Bay lost to Atlanta on Sunday, defensive coordinator Mike Smith was fired. And if the 2-3 Bucs don't get their act together soon, you have to think Koetter will be following Smith out the door sooner than later.

8) Buffalo Bills

The loss: 20-13 at Houston Texans.

The was a Sean McDermott act the entire way. He's a superb coach who typically gets the most out of his roster's talent, specifically on defense. But he has a significant blind spot: McDermott's clueless with the quarterback position. Houston was ripe to be picked off at home, but the odd love affair with Nathan Peterman reared its ugly head again.

Josh Allen got hurt. Peterman came off the bench and, stunningly, threw a touchdown pass. But then he pulled a Peterman. You know, the act of destroying a football team with mind-numbing decisions and gruesome INTs. He tossed two more on Sunday, including the game-sealing, soul-crushing pick-six.

And it comes back to McDermott loving this 2017 fifth-rounder for reasons unknown. Why did he play last year instead of Tyrod Taylor? Why is he still in the mix in 2018, having even started the season opener? If Peterman were cut today, would another team want him?

Honestly, I don't blame Peterman for Sunday's loss. I blame the man who put him in. The man with a serious deficiency in evaluating the game's most important position. Which is too bad, because otherwise, McDermott has been superb as Buffalo's head man. But this is a huge deal.

9) Kansas City Chiefs

The loss: 43-40 at New England Patriots.

Look, there is obviously nothing damning about losing to the Patriots in New England. And this "Sunday Night Football" game lived up to its billing as an early game of the year. It was amazing. Quite a show between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. And Mahomes, after being a bit too wound up in the first two quarters, bounced back in a major way following halftime. The 43-40 ballgame was a classic showdown. I want to see it again in January.

But the reason this loss for Kansas City -- albeit the team's first -- makes this list is that it could have serious implications for where the AFC Championship Game is played. And these Chiefs would certainly be better served if that contest were to go down at Arrowhead Stadium, as opposed to the field in Foxborough.

Follow Adam Schein on Twitter @AdamSchein.

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