We’re past the midseason mark of the 2018 NFL season, and multiple teams’ seasons are beginning to spiral out of control. Let's check in on a few of those franchises: the three NFL teams in the midst of five-game losing streaks.
Oakland Raiders: Things are getting historically bad in Oakland. The Raiders’ 1–8 record is the third-worst start in franchise history, behind only the 0–10 start of Carr’s rookie year in 2014 and an 0–13 record in 1962. A reporter heard a Raiders veteran say, “I gotta get the f*** outta here” as he left the locker room after Sunday’s 20-6 loss to the Chargers. The most interesting part of Sunday's game was a fake punt on fourth-and two in the first quarter. Rookie punter Johnny Townsend gained 42 yards on the play, and according to Next Gen Stats, he reached a top speed of 20.48 mph, which is faster than Alvin Kamara or Kareem Hunt have reached as a ball carrier this season. Somehow, in the midst of this historical badness, the team’s Twitter account is sticking to a positive and encouraging tone, unearthing maybe the only positive stat from the game.
Jacksonville Jaguars: The 3–6 Jaguars are last in the AFC South and winless in the division, but came close in Sunday’s 29–26 loss to the Colts. RB Leonard Fournette, who returned after missing five games with a hamstring injury, scored two touchdowns and had 109 yards of total offense, but he averaged only 2.2. yards per carry and 3.8 yards per catch. Defensive end Calais Campbell gave an Aaron Rodgers-like run the table quote after the game: “It’s probably going to take 7–0 for us to go where we want to go, but is it possible? Without a doubt.”
New York Giants: The 1–7 Giants fifth straight loss came against Washington on Oct. 28, and New York will look to break that streak Monday night against the 2–7 49ers and third-string quarterback Nick Mullens. Even with talented weapons like Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Saquon Barkley, the Giants have failed to score more than 20 points in five of eight games, and Eli Manning has been sacked 31 times already this season. At the beginning of their bye week last week, coach Pat Shurmur wouldn’t commit to Manning as the starter, but has since said Manning will be the team’s starter for Monday night. If Manning doesn’t improve, it wouldn’t be shocking to see rookie Kyle Lauletta take the field, even though Lauletta has yet to dress for a game this season.
Narrowly escaped membership in this exclusive club: Cleveland Browns. The Browns had four straight losses going into their 28–16 win against the Falcons.
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NOW ON THE MMQB: Ben Baskin on yet another record for Frank Gore. ... Gary Gramling rounds up Sunday's action in the Week 10 FreakOut. ... Jonathan Jones explains why the Jets are overdue to fire Todd Bowles. ... Conor Orr on how the Cowboys’ defense is carrying the team right now.
1. Jay Gruden sums up his team’s style: “We're winning ugly.”
2. The Bucs now have the highest single-game yardage total for a team that scored three or fewer points (501 yards!)
3. I really love Tony Romo the broadcaster. He takes you into the mindset of the quarterback, even adopting fake voices of their internal monologue.
4. Even before Dez Bryant was sidelined for eight months, the Saints were interested in Brandon Marshall, and are expected to sign him.
5. Pat Mahomes wasn't available for interviews after the Chiefs game because of a family emergency. His girlfriend posted on Instagram that her stepfather died at the game.
Jared Goff uses "Halle Berry" as an audible, and the real Halle Berry demands an explanation.
Question? Comment? Story idea? Let the team know at firstname.lastname@example.org.