Not every player, coach and team can shine. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the more unremarkable moments and performances from Week 11:
Zach Wilson, QB, New York Jets: Sunday may have been the end of the Wilson era in New York. After head coach Robert Saleh spent the better part of 10 weeks hyping up Wilson to reporters and committing to the former No. 2 overall pick as the team’s starting quarterback, Saleh finally pulled the plug and benched Wilson for Tim Boyle in Sunday’s 32-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
The numbers weren’t pretty — 7-of-15 for 81 yards, a touchdown, an interception and five sacks — but Saleh’s willingness to finally try something different may have signaled he reached the end of his rope with Wilson.
The question on everyone’s mind now is will the Jets add another QB this week ahead of their clash with the Miami Dolphins the day after Thanksgiving?
Everyone, Carolina Panthers: The Panthers front office did rookie QB Bryce Young a great disservice by trading away a weapon like D.J. Moore, leaving him with 33-year-old Adam Thielen and a cast of young and inexperienced pass catchers to throw to. Young was sacked seven times and threw for just 123 yards in a 33-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday as the Panthers dropped their ninth game of the year.
Head coach Frank Reich is reportedly sitting on a very hot seat, and the Panthers could head into the offseason without their first-round pick and looking for a new head coach to mold their undersized franchise quarterback heading into Year 2 with nowhere close to a legitimate No. 1 receiver or any competent offensive line to protect him.
Brandon Staley, head coach, Los Angeles Chargers: Chargers ownership is likely running out of patience with Staley by now. The Chargers somehow turned a 13-10 lead into a 23-20 loss in the span of a little over a quarter, marking the fourth time in their last six games they came out on the losing end.
Justin Herbert, who most would agree has top-five QB talent, actually has a losing record (29-30) as the Chargers starter, and the prime years of his career are being wasted by Staley’s inability to maximize one of the more talented rosters in the NFL. It just seems Staley is coaching on borrowed time, and it’s likely (barring a miracle run to the postseason) that the Chargers will be looking for a new head coach come January.
Mike Vrabel, head coach, Tennessee Titans: Vrabel has actually had a good amount of success as the Titans head coach. But the last season and a half have been brutal to watch. With a 34-14 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Tennessee is now 3-7 and will likely be drafting in the top 10 come April.
Vrabel hasn’t had to worry about job security during his previous five seasons in Nashville, but after a 20-point loss to a division rival, his seat is at least a little warm. It’s hard to see controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk moving on from Vrabel given how much she’s sold him to the fans as part of the future of the team, but if things get much worse, anything is possible.
Matt Eberflus, head coach, Chicago Bears: In his first game back in over a month, Justin Fields put the Bears in good position to upset the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions. Fields had Chicago up 26-14 with 4:15 left in the fourth quarter, yet somehow, the Bears found a way to squander a double-digit lead in the final five minutes and lose 31-26.
Eberflus, who took over defensive play-calling duties after Alan Williams left the team in Week 2, shoulders most of the blame for allowing the Lions to score two touchdowns in less than four minutes and win a game they had no business winning.
Chicago ranks 26th against the pass and allows the fourth-most points per game, and Eberflus could be on his last legs as the Bears head coach.
Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: After investing the 20th overall pick on the 25-year-old QB two seasons ago, it would behoove the Steelers to go out and get an offensive coordinator next year that knows how to put Pickett in position to succeed because Matt Canada has failed him at every turn.
In Sunday’s 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns, Pickett passed for just 106 yards and he didn’t throw a touchdown for the second straight game. In fact, he has just one touchdown pass in his last five games and two in his last seven. As long as Canada is still calling plays, fans shouldn’t expect much from Pickett.
Will Levis, QB, Tennessee Titans: Levis impressed enough in his first two starts to take the starting job away from 35-year-old Ryan Tannehill. But in the two games since, he’s taken his share of lumps — literally and figuratively — thanks to an offensive line that seemingly hangs him out to dry on a play-by-play basis.
Levis had been pressured on 46.6% of his drop backs entering Week 11, per Pro Football Focus, and he was seemingly under pressure every time he dropped back in Sunday’s 34-14 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Because he was actively trying to rushers, Levis didn’t have the time to set his feet and show off his canon arm. At this rate, Levis will do well to make it to the end of the year without getting injured.
Dalvin Cook, RB, New York Jets: Cook signed with the Jets in the offseason because he wanted the chance to play with Aaron Rodgers. Instead, he’s had 10 games of playing second fiddle to Breece Hall in a Wilson-run offense. Cook had just two carries for 13 yards in Sunday’s 32-6 loss to the Bills — his ninth straight game with fewer than 10 carries.
Cook has totaled 49 carries for 160 yards through 10 games, and with the Jets playing from behind in most games, he’s been relegated to the sideline. Cook is presumably frustrated with his role in one of the worst offenses in the NFL, and it’s not likely to change until Rodgers comes back.