Written by LaShawn Encarnacion aka The Dark Knight of Sports
As Week 15 of the NFL season gets ready to finish with the Monday night game between the New Orleans Saints hosting the Detroit Lions. Teams solidifying their playoff spots, others clinching their first round byes. Then there are the teams who always seem to be asking the same question every season. “When is Draft Day Again?” Teams who always find themselves towards the top of the NFL on a routine basis and yet … cannot make a solid decision to change their fortune.
The Cleveland Browns:
After another defeat, this loss to the Seattle Seahawks 30-13, the Cleveland Browns guaranteed themselves another losing season. Last time Browns had a winning season was the 2007 season when they were 10-6 and on the outside looking in of the playoffs due to tie-breakers. Last time the Browns played a playoff game was in 2002 when the quarterback was backup Kelly Holcomb, who came in after Tim Couch broke a finger in his hand.
The most obvious issue is the revolving door at the main positions, coaching and quarterback. No real solid foundation to work off of and draft choices have not panned out on the offensive side. Trent Richardson, clearly a bust. Johnny Manziel, more the celebrity than a quarterback of the future and lets not even get into Josh Gordon and his constant issues with the weed.
Browns are in the habit of circling the day the NFL Draft is and it does seem at times this is done before the season even begins, well fans believe so once the product is seen on the field. Maybe the resurrection of this once powerful franchise was mistake as these Browns are not your grandfather’s Browns who were always in the playoff talks.
The Buffalo Bills:
With just one winning record since the 2000 season (2014 finished 9-7), the Buffalo Bills are the very definition of a team who looks forward to draft time the next off-season. It was not suppose to be that way though, not this season. A defense that just last year was ranked fourth in the entire NFL and with weapons on offense like LeSean McCoy, Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor beating out first round pick E.J. Manuel and incumbent Kyle Orton. Where did it go wrong for the Bills?
Is it on the coaching staff? Rex Ryan who is known for being a defensive-minded coach? Well, the rumblings within the locker room from players like Mario Williams would point that way. There is something obvious but so obvious that has kept the Bills with zero playoff appearances in the 21st century.
The Dallas Cowboys:
With just two victories in the playoffs since their 1995 Super Bowl win, the Dallas Cowboys are the definition of mediocre, a team who always finds themselves looking to the draft as oppose to looking to go deep into the postseason.
Players never being able to stay healthy for an entire season at key positions. Quarterback Tony Romo is the primary one with middle linebacker Sean Lee on defense. Bad decision-making at the running back position (who stays and who goes) and bad scheming and play-calling on both sides of the ball.
Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones continues to get in the way with his constant attempts to prove that he knows football talent and can put together a team that can win a Super Bowl. His constant micro-managing of the team always ends up coming up short in the end. Head Coaches being fired left and right … and yet … Jason Garrett continues to be coated with “Teflon” even with his consistent failures, reinforcing Jones’s micro-managing of the team.
Other teams of mention:
Other Teams of mention but on the rise OUT of draft day regulars:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
St. Louis Rams
So as the last two weeks of the regular season comes to a close, there are teams who are striving to improve and make the playoffs next season. Teams who are always in the playoff talks and then there are those few who for some reason, have draft day circled on their calendar even before the season begins.
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