This Weekend in NFL Stupid highlights the dumbest decisions in football throughout the season. For Week 17, we start with a comically foolish move from a team that seems to love doing comically foolish things. 

Punts are not the same as kickoffs

Buffalo Bills running back/return man Mike Gillislee has been playing football for at least a decade. So either this was the ultimate brain fart, or Gillislee went that entire time not knowing that teams kicking off can recover said kicks in order to gain possession, or even — in this case — score.

Playing for pride is sometimes stupid

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 11: Head coach Hue Jackson of the Cleveland Browns during the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Hue Jackson

That’s what the Cleveland Browns did Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a lot of folks are patting the feisty Browns on the back for giving it their all and taking Pittsburgh deep into overtime. But in doing so, the Browns nearly cost themselves the top pick in the draft.

Ultimately, there’s little difference between 1-15 and 2-14, at least compared to the difference between the No. 1 pick and the No. 2 pick in the draft. The simple reality is Cleveland was much better served losing Sunday than winning. That’s not to say they shouldn’t have played hard, but they should have done so with all of their reserves on the field. Guys like Robert Griffin III, Joe Haden, Gary Barnidge and Terrelle Pryor shouldn’t have played.

NFL teams continue to fail to grasp the importance of timeouts

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 01:  Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York Jets watches from the sideline during the first quarter of their game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on January 1, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)

How else do you explain Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets using two timeouts early in the second half of a one-score game against the Bills?

The first timeout came on a 1st-and-10 play with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter. With the play clock winding down, Fitzpatrick called timeout rather than accepting a five-yard penalty. To be clear: You’re better off with three timeouts facing a 1st-and-15.

A few plays later, Bowles used another timeout when trying to decide whether to attempt a field goal or go for it on fourth down. And that’s on him, because coaches should have that decision in mind prior to the third-down play.

There’s really no excuse for the complete lack of attention to detail exhibited by coaches and quarterbacks every week when it comes to timeout usage. The Jets served as a great example in Week 17.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at, Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.