Week 12 LVPs: Pair of NFC North head coaches had bad weeks

Brian McIntyre
Shutdown Corner

Jim Schwartz/Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions: After 59 games as the head coach of the Detroit Lions, Jim Schwartz has a 22-37 record for a .373 winning percentage. Schwartz's 37th loss came in a 34-31 overtime affair with the Houston Texans, when he lost his cool and attempted to challenge a scoring play, negating the review and essentially gifting the visiting Texans a touchdown and ending what little hope the sub-.500 Lions had of clawing back into the NFC playoff race. Making Schwartz's gaffe even more unforgivable was that he openly mocked San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh last season for being penalized for attempting to challenge in the final two minutes of a half.

As for Suh, we give up. As fun as it can be to watch him dominate an opposing center and/or guard to lay a punishing hit on an opposing running back or quarterback, his supporters can no longer defend the downright stupid and dirty things he does on the football field. Suh's (non-penalized) late hit on Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, where the 2010 Defensive Rookie of the Year could have snapped one or all of Schaub's knee ligaments, was bad enough, but it would soon be outdone by Suh's fairly obvious attempt to turn Schaub into a soprano. As excessive as Suh's two-game suspension was for his stomp on Green Bay Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith, whatever amount of disciplinary action the league takes against Suh this week will be well deserved.

Miami Dolphins grounds crew: No member of the grounds crew at Sun Life Stadium should ever have to pay for a meal at a Buffalo Wild Wings after a "computer malfunction" set off the sprinklers during the third quarter of the Dolphins' 24-21 win over the Seattle Seahawks, essentially providing the national wing chain with a free in-game advertisement. According to the organization, the sprinkler system thought it was a Saturday. To be fair, so did the Seahawks.

Pittsburgh Steelers running backs: With the Steelers having to start 37-year-old Charlie Batch at quarterback against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, they absolutely needed production from a running game that had averaged 138.8 yards per game over the previous five weeks and had a full stable of backs at its disposal. Instead, the quartet of Rashard Mendenhall, Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and Chris Rainey combined for just 49 yards on 20 carries, a miserable 2.5-per-attempt average that was compounded by the group combining for six fumbles, four of which were recovered by the Browns, who scored the upset with a rare 20-14 win over the Steelers, who had won 21 of the previous 23 meetings with the Browns.

The New York Jets offense, defense and special teams: Any chance the Jets had of upsetting the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving night evaporated in a 52-second span early in the second quarter when the visitors scored on an 83-yard pass play on offense (Tom Brady-to-Shane Vereen), a 32-yard fumble return on defense (Steve Gregory) and a 22-yard fumble return by the special teams (Julian Edelman). A 56-yard touchdown play from Brady-to-Edelman gave the Patriots a 35-0 lead with three minutes to play in the first half. The "butt fumble" by quarterback Mark Sanchez that resulted in Gregory's touchdown may be the most fitting play to describe the current state of the Jets organization, a franchise that even "Fireman Ed" can no longer watch.

Mike McCarthy, head coach, Green Bay Packers: With Sunday night's 38-10 loss to the New York Giants, the Packers suffered their second-worst defeat during McCarthy's tenure as head coach. Contributing to the beat down was the Packers' inability to protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked five times and, according to ESPN Stats & Information, was "sacked, hit or under duress" on 51.5 percent of his 33 drop-backs, the highest single-game rate for any quarterback this season.

"I probably didn't call the best game I've called in my time here," McCarthy said after the game via Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com.

Another curious decision by McCarthy was sending Mason Crosby out for a 55-yard field-goal attempt midway through the first quarter. In a 7-7 game and facing a fourth-and-5 from the Giants' 37-yard line, McCarthy put his trust in Crosby's erratic leg instead of Rodgers' arm. The Giants took over near midfield following Crosby's miss, drove 55 yards in eight plays for a touchdown and the rout was on.

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