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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Losers Keep Losing: Games, Players, Tempers

NEW YORK -- In the National Football League, "on any given Sunday'' means the unpredictable can happen any weekend.


Last Sunday, however, was strictly predictable; the Jets and Bengals lost and Bryan Cox mouthed off.


For the Jets, it was another example of how when bad things start, they snowball.


Not only did they lose 34-13 to Oakland, their sixth straight loss this season and the 19th in 22 games since Rich Kotite took over as head coach last season, but they lost their $25 million quarterback, Neil O'Donnell, with a separated shoulder.


They were already without Keyshawn Johnson and lost Webster Slaughter during the game, leaving Wayne Chrebet as the only experienced wide receiver -- Jeff Graham played but was hurt, too. They were also without middle linebacker Marvin Jones, who's rarely been healthy since he was picked fourth overall in the 1993 draft, and Hugh Douglas, last year's defensive rookie of the year.


What does this mean for Kotite, who is now 3-26 in his last 29 games -- he lost his last seven as coach of the Eagles in 1994? Probably nothing for this year and maybe nothing next year -- the injuries give Leon Hess a convenient excuse for the losses.


But it's interesting to note that Pete Carroll, fired after going 6-10 in his only season, 1994, is now the defensive coordinator of the 49ers and one of the hottest head-coach prospects again.


And Bruce Coslet, who preceded Carroll, could pop up again in Cincinnati, where he's the offensive coordinator.


As for the other predictables:


(1) Cincinnati also demonstrated that losers are losers are losers as Dave Shula lost his 50th game before his 20th win -- he has 19.


But Shula can hardly be blamed for what happened Sunday night: a good effort by the Bengals that was blown away by fate.


Doug Pelfrey, their 81 percent field goal kicker, missed a 41-yarder that would have given Cincinnati a win in regulation, then Al Del Greco hit a 49-yarder to give Houston a 30-27 win in overtime.


(2) Cox, a ticking time bomb after every game in Miami, had his first Chicago explosion during the Bears' 37-6 blowout by the Packers.


First he berated an official after Brett Favre and Antonio Freeman connected on a prayer for a touchdown to end the first half. And he stood on the field without his helmet while Chris Jacke was missing the extra-point attempt.


After the game, he exploded verbally.


"We need to look ourselves in the mirror, because some of us need to go see the wizard. We don't have a lot of heart,'' he said.


(3) The Lions were their schizophrenic selves, jumping off to a 28-0 lead of winless Atlanta, then hanging on for a 28-24 victory.


"You start thinking you're good and you're going to be a great team that can walk all over somebody,'' Herman Moore said. "I think it opened our eyes a lot, the players and the coaches.''


Until next week.


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The Atlanta Falcons said Monday they would trade suspended quarterback Jeff George to Seattle for Rick Mirer -- if George agrees to a long-term contract with the Seahawks.


"It's out of my control, really,'' Ken Herock, the Falcons' vice president of player personnel, said Monday evening. "It's now in Jeff's hands to make a decision, and it's in Seattle's hands to go along with that decision.''


A Falcons' spokesman said Monday afternoon that the only holdup to a straight quarterback-for-quarterback trade was George, who has not decided whether to accept a reported six-year, $30 million contract offer from Seattle.


George was suspended by the Falcons after a sideline confrontation with coach June Jones in a Sept. 22 loss to Philadelphia.


With Bobby Hebert at quarterback, the Falcons have fallen to 0-5, making them one of only three winless teams in the NFL.





Seattle coach Dennis Erickson said John Friesz, who threw for 301 yards Sunday in a 22-15 upset of Miami in his first start of the season, would remain the Seahawks starting quarterback -- trade or no trade -- in their next game Oct. 17.


Mirer, the No. 2 pick in the 1993 draft from Notre Dame, has been a major disappointment during his four years with the Seahawks. He was benched this season after he threw nine interceptions and only one touchdown in five games.