We wrap up the regular season with a look at the stupidest decision from Week 17 — one which might have cost a team a playoff spot.
Winner: New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions in the final 10 minutes of a close do-or-die game against the Buffalo Bills. One came as he was pounded on a desperate 3rd-and-long with two minutes left in a game New York was trailing by five, the other came on what was essentially a Hail Mary, but the one that wins him this award came when the game was still well within reach earlier in the final quarter.
A field goal would have given the Jets the lead, and it was only second down, so there was no reason for Fitzpatrick to take a chance. Instead, he threw a completely ridiculous pass against a good cornerback who appeared to have him read all the way.
The runner-up: Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam
Haslam gets a mention here for once again displaying a complete lack of patience and discipline in dealing with a team that lacks talent and a track record. He fired general manager Ray Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine on Sunday evening, despite the fact Farmer had been on the job just 22 months and Pettine had coached just 32 games.
To be clear, this wasn’t a good team when Farmer and Pettine were hired, and it isn’t much better now. But it was Haslam himself who apparently allowed a homeless man to convince him to draft Johnny Manziel, which is probably the primary reason the Browns continue to be stuck in NFL mud.
Just a few months ago, Haslam insisted to that he would stick with Farmer and Pettine long term, citing the need for continuity. How does that change so quickly? How is it possible that this dude is about to hire his fourth GM since taking over as owner in 2012?
It’s downright stupid.