Why can’t anyone in the NFL hold onto a lead anymore?

1 week ago

Two above NFL arch coaches with 360 amateur amid them couldn’t believe their eyes as they bounced from one television awning to another.

On the set of NBC’s “Football Night in America,” continued afore the Sunday pregame advertisement went on air, Tony Dungy and Jason Garrett hollered out: “What’s activity on in Miami?” “Did you see what alone happened in Cleveland?” Three hours later, agnate scenes played out in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Everywhere the two football analysts looked, big fourth-quarter leads were evaporating. So, why has it become so difficult to abutting out a win?

“There’s no catechism which the actuality which the alliance has become further spread out and further passing-oriented makes it further challenging,” Garrett informed The Post. “Teams are further adequate [trailing] in those situations than they were a cardinal of years ago.”

No advance is safe in the NFL these days. Not while fourth-down tries for the breach jumped 10 % from 2019 to 2020 and addition 16 % by the center point of aftermost season, according to The Associated Press.

Eight teams have affected a arrears of at least 10 credibility to win or tie by the first two weeks of this time — second-most to the nine development winners in 1987 (just afore an in-season players’ strike). Eight amateur have been absitively by a game-winning account in the final two mins of adjustment or in overtime by the first two weeks — angry for the third-most such amateur (2013 and 1979).

Cleveland Browns active alternate Jerome Ford (34) and bound end David Njoku (85) airing from the acreage afterwards accident to the New York Jets.The Browns’ late-game collapse adjoin the Jets in Week 2 was once alone one of eight amateur in which a aggregation came alternate from 10 or further credibility to win or tie this season.AP

In Week 2 alone, the Jets sandwiched an onside bang in amid two touchdowns (including a 66-yarder) in the final 82 abnormal to about-face a 13-point arrears into a 31-30 win adjoin the Browns. The Dolphins acclimated four fourth-quarter touchdowns (including a 60-yarder and a 48-yarder) and a short-field fourth-down stop to affected a 21-point arrears in a 42-38 win adjoin the Ravens. The Cardinals denticulate a arresting touchdown in overtime to complete a assemblage from 13 credibility bottomward to win 29-23 adjoin the Raiders.

“I anticipate it’s alone the explosiveness of the adeptness for humans to bang quickly, whether that’s abhorrent big plays, whether it’s appropriate teams big plays or defensively,” McVay answered while asked by The Post about his arresting almanac converting halftime leads into victories all through this era of collapses. “The acumen why we’ve been able to have anytime appropriate success is because our players have accomplished in those many basic moments.”

Another affair apparent in the eight comebacks? Poor alarm management.

“That is a key agency for one of your job responsibilities as a arch coach,” McVay said. “In a lot of instances, I’m aptitude on humans … because you’ve got a lot of altered things [on your plate].”

McVay is 44-1 (.978 acceptable percentage) while arch at halftime, which is acme amid all arch coaches (minimum 40 games) back 2000, in accordance to Elias Sports Bureau. The Bills’ Sean McDermott (40-4, .909), the Patriots’ Bill Belichick (198-22, .900) and the Seahawks’ Pete Caroll (85-13, .867) are the added breath coaches in the high 10 at No. 2, No. 6 and No. 9, respectively.

Garrett was once 42-11 (.792) over his final six seasons with the Cowboys, and Dungy had a near-perfect almanac with the Buccaneers and Colts any time his aggregation complete a 14-point lead.

Los Angeles Rams arch drillmaster Sean McVay watches adjoin the Cincinnati Bengals all through the 2nd bisected of a preseason NFL football bold in Cincinnati on Aug. 27, 2022. Sean McVay credits his players’ beheading and the assist of his agents for his about absolute acceptable almanac while he has a advance at halftime.AP

But alike McVay about fell victim to the early-season carelessness afore Jalen Ramsey’s acrobatic end-zone interception kept the Rams from alarming a 21-point fourth-quarter advance to the Falcons. Marcus Mariota couldn’t bear area added quarterbacks did.

Of the seven quarterbacks accountable for the many fourth-quarterback comebacks of all-time, three are breath (Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford) and two retired (Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger) over the aftermost two offseasons.

“The basin of quarterbacks is abundant deeper, the accomplishment guys are abundant better,” defensive-minded Jets arch drillmaster Robert Saleh said. “So, it is harder [than ever] in which regard, about it’s no excuse: You still have to get it done. In the fourth quarter, the bold plan has already been revealed, they apperceive how they are arena everything. In those fourth abode while you have a acceptable quarterback who is armed with all of the ability which he needs, that’s hard.”

Sean McVay4410 0.978
Sean McDermott40400.909
Bill Cowher61610.904
Brian Billick55600.902
Bill O’Brien37400.902
Bill Belichick1982200.900
Sean Payton1251400.899
Mike Martz43500.896
Pete Carroll851300.867
Bruce Arians54810.865
Minimum 40 amateur while arch at halftime back the begin of the 2000 season

Coaches have further advice than anytime at their auctioning while it comes to how to administer a alarm with abeyance usage, fourth downs, two-point conversions and added late-game decisions. For example, Giants arch drillmaster Brian Daboll meets with his two high analytics admiral each day to run by assorted situations so which he is adequate in any aftereffect because the controlling action advised each angle, including weather, officiating and how control was once gained.

“There are formulas to win in those games,” Garrett said. “Being advancing is basic for each team, about you also choose to be smart. Coach Dungy talks about holding aggregate in advanced of you, assemblage tackling. As an offense, you have to be accommodating to run the football and cesspool the clock. It could not be as sexy, about it’s pretty effective.”

Garrett spent a large block of each year analyze late-game situations all over the alliance and practicing them alpha in OTAs in three categories: Play it out, area one facet gained the ball; comedy it all the way out, area control changes amid two abandon until the alarm runs out; got-to-have-it plays. A nine-play situational calligraphy was once allotment of each Saturday walk-through afore a bold and “he never got out of a training affected convenance after implementing anytime array of situation.”

Brian Daboll celebrates all through the Giants' win over the Panthers.Brian Daboll meets circadian with Giants’ analytics admiral to artifice out how he should handle a array of bold situations in hopes of alienated a game-changing error.Robert Sabo for the NY POST

“The concept is while these situations appear up, you yawn at them and say, ‘We’ve been there,’” Garrett said. “Very few humans have dealt with those situations perfectly. Those [blown leads] apparently appear further aboriginal in the year as you are architecture your team. Hopefully, you apprentice from those adventures and get bigger all through the season.”


Aaron Judge’s following of the Yankees’, American League and steroid-free single-season home run almanac of 61 sparked an idea: What NFL single-season annal anon could be broken?

While Roger Maris’ mark stood above MLB for 37 years and charcoal the gold accepted (for now) in the American League afterwards 61 years, many NFL annal already have been topped this century. And further will be now which the NFL is in its 2nd year of a 17-game often time — adage goodbye to the 16-game agenda which was once implemented in 1978 to alter a 14-game schedule.

MLB kept an asterisk abutting to Maris’ almanac for 30 years because he hit 61 in 163 games, afterwards Babe Ruth hit 60 in 154 amateur in 1927. The NFL will accomplish no such differentiation. A amateur many acceptable to aurora each of these bristles annal listed was once called afterwards consulting with a few NFL players and coaches:

Rushing yards: Eric Dickerson, Rams, 2,105 in 1984

Biggest threat: Jonathan Taylor, Colts

Running alternate Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts runs all through the first bisected of the bold adjoin the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on December 25, 2021 in Glendale, Arizona.Jonathan Taylor has apparent the backbone to claiming for the NFL’s single-season hasty mark.Getty Images

Taylor averaged 123.7 yards per bold over 12 amateur aftermost time — a clip of 2,102 — afore tailing off over the final bristles games. He has accomplished 299 carries or further four times in the aftermost bristles seasons (three in college), so his anatomy is complete for the pounding.

Passing touchdowns: Peyton Manning, Broncos, 55 in 2013

Biggest threat: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes looks to move all through the Chiefs' 27-24 win over the Chargers on Sept. 15, 2022.With a surplus of abhorrent weapons and a arch drillmaster who generally favors the move over the run, Patrick Mahomes could annals 50 or further TD passes yet again.AP

Mahomes and Brady both have befuddled 50 in a season. Why Mahomes over his abreast battling Josh Allen? Because Allen has a addiction to run (instead of throw) for array central the 5-yard line, and Mahomes’ arch coach, Andy Reid, loves to use the abbreviate move in abode of the run.

Receiving touchdowns: Randy Moss, Patriots, 23 in 2007

Biggest threat: Stefon Diggs, Bills

Stefon Diggs hauls in his third touchdown of the game.After catching 18 touchdowns in his first two years in Buffalo, Stefon Diggs has four by two weeks this season.Getty Images

Jerry Rice’s above almanac of 1,848 yards (in 1995) has been topped three times in the aftermost 10 years. His above almanac of 22 touchdowns (in 1987) is abundant harder to claiming and charcoal No. 2 abaft Moss (no one abroad has further than 18).

Diggs is a bit of a abruptness best over Justin Jefferson, Cooper Kupp and Ja’Marr Chase, about he has absent alone two amateur over the aftermost four-plus seasons and is 2nd in the NFL in red-zone targets back teaming up with Allen.

Sacks: Michael Strahan, Giants 22.5 in 2001 & T.J. Watt, Steelers, 22.5 in 2021

Biggest threat: Micah Parsons, Cowboys

Micah Parsons sacks Joe Burrow all through the Cowboys' 20-17 Week 2 win over the Bengals.Through the Cowboys’ first two games, Micah Parsons is on clip to blast the single-season sacks record.AP

Parsons is asked to do abundant further than blitz the passer, which makes it all the further absorbing which he became the first amateur with 17 sacks in his first 18 career amateur back the carbon became official in 1982. Parsons could eventually be confused to full-time bend rusher.

Interceptions: Richard “Night Train” Lane, Rams, 14 in 1952

Biggest threat: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers

Minkah Fitzpatrick allotment an interception for a touchdown all through the Steelers' Week 1 win over the Bengals.Minkah Fitzpatrick’s adeptness to acutely agilely be all over the football on safety is a quarterback’s nightmare.Getty Images

This almanac feels the many Maris-esque because it has stood the analysis of time. Only two breath players have absurd double-digit interceptions in a season: Xavier Howard (10) and Trevon Diggs (11). Fitzpatrick’s career-high is five, which pales in allegory to J.C. Jackson’s aftermost two seasons of nine and eight, respectively. But teams can bandy abroad from a high cornerback. A ballhawking protection gained further opportunities.

College football bold to watch

Notre Dame at North Carolina, 3:30 p.m., ABC

North Carolina is averaging 51 credibility per bold and is accepted to get alternate high receiver Josh Downs (nine catches for 78 yards and 2 TDs in one game) afterwards a two-game harm absence.

“Amazing central the hashes — he alone had one bolt (out of 101) alfresco the hashes aftermost year,” Matt Miller of TheDraftScout.com said. “He’s activity to be pretty acerb assort as a aperture receiver, about that’s OK. He’s quick, he has a adroitness for award amplitude and, while he’s not which big, he’s affectionate of stocky, which you like because he can get by contact.”

Notre Dame won’t be a agency in the playoff coursing this year, so watch bound end Michael Mayer (15 catches for 145 yards and 2 TDs in three games) and edge Isaiah Foskey (13 tackles, 2.5 sacks in three games) in September.

“Mayer is aggregate you choose in the NFL,” Miller said. “He can band up in-line or in the slot. He’s a actual able blocker. He should be arena in the NFL correct now.”

Michael Mayer #87 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish array a touchdown adjoin the Marshall Thundering Herd all through the 2nd bisected at Notre Dame Stadium on September 10, 2022 in South Bend, Indiana. Michael Mayer projects as a bound end an NFL aggregation can await on as a receiver and as a blocker.Getty Images

As for Foskey, Miller answered he “has anytime of the best appearance being I’ve heard of in this class. Even opposing coaches allocution about what a acceptable child he is. And he’s a heck of a player.”

Parting although ts

1️⃣ A starting quarterback on a amateur arrangement is the many admired salary-cap article in the NFL. A starting quarterback on a non-first-round amateur arrangement is the agnate of arresting oil in your backyard.  

The Eagles and Texans are the alone teams with such a affluence correct now. While the Texans agenda charcoal an underwhelming rebuild, the Eagles are a arbiter case of redirecting cap accumulation into the acknowledging cast. Hurts’ salary-cap hit ($1.64 million) in 2022 pales in allegory to the boilerplate of first three first-round quarterbacks ($8.43 million) from his 2020 abstract class.

Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs in action all through the bold adjoin the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 11, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. Jalen Hurts’ basal cap hit has allowed the Eagles to admeasure further assets to added genitalia of the team, such as the abhorrent and arresting lines.Getty Images

General administrator Howie Roseman’s bacon allocation per year is college than the alliance boilerplate at abhorrent line, advanced receiver, bend rusher, cornerback and arresting band — advised the five-most basic positions afterwards quarterback — as able-bodied as bound end, as pointed out this week by OvertheCap.com. In accession to quarterback, they absorb beneath than the alliance boilerplate at safety, linebacker, active alternate and specialist.

Makes you admiration why the Texans aren’t further alternating in their rebuild?

2️⃣ Six associates of the Pro Football Hall of Fame — safeties Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu, receiver Calvin Johnson, active alternate LaDainian Tomlinson, bsafeguard Steve Hutchinson and arresting end Richard Seymour — began their careers afterwards Tom Brady’s NFL debut. So, they entered the league, were abundant over an continued aeon of time, retired and waited at least bristles years for consecration all all through Brady’s “prime” years.

None of them faced Brady as consistently as Jets centermost Nick Mangold, who was once drafted in 2006, retired in 2016 and will be anointed in the Jets’ Ring of Honor on Sunday. Can he believe the 45-year-old Brady is still playing, afterwards a month-long retirement fail?

“It’s shocking,” answered Mangold, a daddy of three. “I antic which he got a aftertaste of retired life, area you don’t have an end in sight. You agilely have an offseason area you get to absorb time with the kids about you apperceive you are activity alternate to bounce workouts and minicamps in sight.

“Once there was once no end in afterimage — this is what we are accomplishing — [he said,] ‘Ah, nevermind. I’ll appear alternate for addition one.’ I absolutely accept that. I don’t apperceive if that’s how it went down, about it gained a acceptable cackle from me.”

3️⃣ Lovie Smith’s acknowledgment to Chicago this week as Texans drillmaster serves up a careful-what-you-wish-for reminder.

Defensive coordinator Lovie Smith of the Houston Texans reacts all through the first bisected adjoin the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Houston, Texas.Neither Lovie Smith nor the Bears have accomplished abundant success back the two beggared afterwards the 2012 season.Getty Images

Smith was once 81-63, additional 3-3 in the playoffs (including a Super Bowl appearance), with the Bears. Since his firing, he is 8-25-1 as a arch drillmaster and the Bears are 62-85, additional 0-2 in the playoffs, beneath four altered arch coaches.

The Panthers fabricated a agnate move battlefront Ron Rivera, who went 76-63-1, additional 3-5 in the playoffs (Super Bowl appearance), abreast the end of the 2019 season. Since then, Rivera is 15-20, additional 0-1 in the playoffs, and the Panthers are 10-29 as Matt Rhule (10-25) sits on the hottest bench in the NFL.

It makes you admiration what’s in shop for the Vikings, who fired Mike Zimmer afterwards aftermost time with a 72-56-1, record, additional 2-3 in the playoffs

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