The 2019 NFL regular season is in the books, so we're taking a look back on the year that was. Here's our look at the biggest flops from the regular season.
This is definitely the place to start. The Browns entered the season with enormous hype surrounding all the changes they made in the offseason. Baker Mayfield (more on him later) and new head coach Freddie Kitchens were supposed to keep the offense rolling after a 5-2 finish to the 2018 season and things were going to go smoothly in 2019 with an even more talented roster. Boy, did that all go wrong.
Splashy additions Odell Beckham Jr., Kareem Hunt, Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon all failed to live up to expectations. Mayfield regressed significantly, throwing 21 interceptions against 22 touchdowns, while also completing just 59.4 percent of his passes a year after completing 63.8.
It got so bad that Beckham and fellow receiver Jarvis Landry were actively asking other teams to "come get" them during games. Meaning they clearly want out of Cleveland.
The Browns finished a woeful 6-10 and fired Kitchens after just one season. Things could not have gone worse for a franchise that will now go back to the drawing board.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers opened the season as a trendy Super Bowl pick and ended it with the sixth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. It was an utterly embarrassing display in LA that saw the Chargers play terribly in all three phases throughout the campaign.
The season started ugly with Derwin James suffering a serious foot injury and Melvin Gordon holding out for weeks. Rather than band together and navigate those problems, the Chargers collapsed like a a house of cards. They started 2-5 in their first seven games and finished 1-6 in their last seven. As has been the case for years, the franchise just can't string good performances together when it needs to.
Head coach Anthony Lynn should probably be fired after failing with such a talented roster. Sadly, in what is likely Philip Rivers' last season with the team, the Bolts couldn't even give him clean pockets or at least send him out on a high note.
To make things worse, the opposing fan takeovers of Chargers "home games" that have plagued the franchise in Los Angeles only got worse in 2019. This is easily the NFL's most directionless franchise at the moment.
For two seasons Sean McVay was the talk of the NFL. He took the Los Angeles Rams from a joke to the new rising power in the NFL. In 2017 and 2018 the Rams won the AFC West, went a combined 24-8 and reached Super Bowl LIII. This year turned out to be a mess.
The Rams finished 2019 with a respectable record of 9-7 but struggled all season to find consistency on both sides of the ball.
While McVay's game plans varied wildly from week-to-week, he failed to reintegrate running back Todd Gurley into the offense and Jared Goff clearly regressed in his decision-making. Gurley finished the season with only 857 rushing yards, while Goff completed 62.9 percent of his passes and set a career-high in interceptions (16) while finishing 23rd in QBR (48.3) and seeing his passer rating drop from 101.1 to 86.5.
McVay's offense was so good during his first two seasons that it masked any defensive issues the team may have had. The offense couldn't provide cover for the defense in 2019. Meanwhile, the offensive line failed to hold up as it had in the past as well.
McVay will need to go back to Square One with his coaching staff. He may need to make a few big changes. With the 49ers rising as the new power in the NFC West and the Seahawks not looking like a team ready to wilt, the Rams have to make some major strides if they want to sniff playoff contention in 2020.
Like the Browns, Mayfield entered the season with high expectations. The No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft was good as a rookie and was expected to be better in his second season with even more talent around him. Instead, he regressed big time.
In 2018, Mayfield completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 3,725 yards, with 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He averaged 7.7 yards per attempt, had a passer rating of 93.7 and a QBR of 51.2. Almost all of those numbers were worst in 2019. This season Mayfield completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 3,827 yards, with 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He averaged 7.2 yards per attempt, had a passer rating of 78.8 and a QBR of 52.3.
Despite being a year deeper into the league and having better weapons around him, Mayfield was clearly worse in 2019. That regression helped take the Browns from a team that finished 2018 at 5-2, to a team that collapsed to 6-10 this season.
Mayfield has to turn things around big time in 2020 if the Browns are going to right the ship because what happened in 2019 can't repeat itself.
Oh yeah, Jason Garrett makes this list. Despite having a wildly talented team at his disposal and coming off a season where it went 10-6 and won the NFC East, Garrett steered the Cowboys to an 8-8 record. That's just unacceptable.
The Cowboys entered the season as a Super Bowl contender. They have a franchise quarterback, running back and wide receiver -- all of whom are among the best at their positions in the NFL. The Cowboys have a good offensive line and a defense full of playmakers and yet somehow flopped regularly in big games.
It's been a similar pattern for Garrett over the years. His Cowboys teams routinely fall short of expectations and fall apart when they need to step up the most.
Trubisky and the Bears entered 2019 being talked about as the risking power in the NFC North, instead they wound up as an 8-8 also-ran. Trubisky's 2018 season was overrated by talking heads as his numbers got inflated by Matt Nagy's quarterback-friendly offense. In 2019, those numbers flattened out.
In 2018, Trubisky completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 3,223 yards, with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He averaged 7.4 yards per attempt, with a passer rating of 95.4 and a QBR of 71.0. That QBR ranked third in the NFL.
In 2019, he completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 3,138 yards, with 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He averaged just 6.1 yards per attempt, with a passer rating of 83.0 and a QBR of 40.0. His passer rating ranked 28th out of 32 qualified quarterbacks and his QBR ranked 27th.
Trubisky and Nagy were flat-out awful this season and showed they may not have what it takes to lead a franchise in the NFL.
When the Jets signed Bell to a four-year, $52 million deal, big things were expected from him in New York. The veteran running back was supposed to be the focal point of the offense and take pressure off of young quarterback Sam Darnold as he developed. And after sitting out all of 2018, he was definitely fresh. None of those high hopes were realized.
The 27-year-old Bell had his worst statistical season in the NFL. Despite being among the highest-paid running backs in the NFL, he finished 23rd in rushing yards (789), tied for 33rd in rushing touchdowns (three) and 46th in yards per carry (3.2). He did catch 66 passes but only gained 461 yards and scored just one receiving touchdown.
The Bell signing was more evidence of a Jets franchise that invests in the wrong things. For years New York failed to stock up on offensive linemen and receiving targets when Mark Sanchez was the team's quarterback. Now with Darnold under center, a familiar pattern in emerging. Shoveling so much money at Bell came at the expense of the rest of the offense.