Week 14 featured the Philadelphia Eagles (12-1) becoming the first team this season to clinch a playoff berth, the San Francisco 49ers extending their NFL-best six-game winning streak (although it was a costly win), Tom Brady returning to the Bay Area and suffering one of the worst losses of his career and the Miami Dolphins ending a disappointing trip to California.
There were seven one-score games in Week 14. After 14 weeks, 16 teams are above .500.
How much of an influence did coaches have on the outcomes in Week 14? USA TODAY Sports examined the performances of NFL coaches. Here are their grades for Week 14:
Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff: A
Nick Sirianni and the Eagles’ coaching staff deserve a lot of credit for Jalen Hurts’ MVP-caliber season.
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Hurts compiled 294 yards (217 passing and 77 rushing) and three touchdowns (one rushing and two passing), resulting in a 109.2 passer rating in the 48-22 blowout win versus the New York Giants.
This design quarterback run resulted in a 10-yard touchdown for Hurts. Hurts was barely touched as he knifed through the hole on the way to pay dirt.
Hurts has 10 rushing touchdowns for the second consecutive season. He is the first quarterback ever to record at least 10 rushing touchdowns in two straight seasons, per NFL Research. Through 14 weeks, Hurts has 3,157 passing yards, 22 touchdown passes and 10 rushing touchdowns. He’s the fourth QB ever to have at least 3,000 passing yards, 20 touchdown passes and 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season.
The Eagles (12-1) are the first team to clinch a playoff berth this season.
Los Angeles Chargers coaching staff, Detroit Lions coaching staff: B
The Chargers defense played press coverage all night and took away the middle of the field. The strategy forced Tua Tagovailoa to throw in tight windows, which he had trouble doing. Additionally, the Dolphins’ speedy receivers had a difficult time breaking free from the tight coverage.
“Don’t let fast guys run down the field. When you let fast guys run down the field — with as fast as they are — and you let them run through zones with no one around, then it’s going to turn into a track meet,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. “If you want a chance, you have to get closer to them.”
Los Angeles held the Dolphins to just 55 yards in the first half. Miami gained 219 total yards in the 23-17 loss to the Chargers. Tagovailoa’s 35.7 completion percentage against the Chargers was the worst by a Dolphins quarterback since David Woodley (31.0) in Week 15 of 1980, per NFL Research.
Lions rookie receiver Jameson Williams’ first career NFL catch resulted in a 41-yard touchdown. Detroit’s play-action pass froze Vikings safety Camryn Bynum and Williams ran right by him for the long touchdown reception.
Minnesota had no answer the Lions offense. Jared Goff passed for 330 yards and three touchdowns, resulting in a 120.7 passer rating. The Lions offense was clicking. Detroit even designed a play for tackle Penei Sewell to haul in a first-down catch.
The Lions have scored at least 30 points in four of their past five games.
Baltimore Ravens coaching staff: C
Lamar Jackson was out due to a knee injury and backup quarterback Tyler Huntley was concussed in the second half on Sunday, which forced third-string QB Anthony Brown into action. With Brown under center, the Ravens offense was pretty much one dimensional, but running backs J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Baltimore’s O-line were up for the challenge. Brown only attempted five passes as the Ravens dialed up the run for most of the second half
On third-and-3 late in the fourth quarter, Edwards rushed for six yards between the tackles for a first down. The first down run allowed Baltimore to ice the game.
On the play, the Ravens motioned wide receiver Devin Duvernay and faked a toss to him, before Brown handed the football off to Edwards on a read option. The nifty play design had Pittsburgh’s defense a little off-kilter, which paved the way for Edwards’s six-yard gain.
The Ravens rushed for 42 times for 215 yards and a touchdown in the 16-14 victory.
Las Vegas Raiders coaching staff: D-
The Raiders defense inexplicably played man coverage down the stretch and gave up two big passing plays en route to a Rams’ eight-play, 98-yard touchdown drive.
Receiver Ben Skowronek had a huge 32-yard catch on single-man coverage.
A few plays later, wide receiver Van Jefferson caught the game-winning 23-yard touchdown on single-man coverage.
The Raiders should’ve played zone in that late-game situation and helped their cornerbacks over the top.
Las Vegas’ defense gave up 144 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to a Rams offense led by quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was signed two days before the game. To make matters worse, late-game collapse snapped the Raiders’ three-game winning streak and likely ended their slim playoff hopes.
The Raiders (5-8) are the fourth team in NFL history to lose four games in a season after leading by 13 or more points, per ESPN Stats and Info.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching staff: F
The Bucs got manhandled 35-7 by the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Despite losing Deebo Samuel early in the game, San Francisco had its way offensively against a helpless Bucs defense. Running back Christian McCaffrey rushed for 119 yards and a TD. He also had 34 receiving yards and a TD catch in the win.
Tampa Bay’s 28-point defeat was the third-largest loss of Tom Brady’s career. Brady was outplayed by rookie QB Brock Purdy. Purdy’s 27-yard touchdown strike to McCaffrey while facing inside pressure was perhaps the throw of the game.
The Bucs looked slow and less athletic than the 49ers. Players and coaches deserve Week 14’s low grade.
BONUS: Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff: A
The Chiefs’ win against the Denver Broncos wasn’t pretty, but Kansas City improved to 10-3 this season. In the win, Andy Reid became the third head coach in NFL history to record at least 10 regular-season wins in eight consecutive seasons, per NFL Research. Reid and his staff deserve an “A” for the achievement.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.
Story Credit: usatoday.com