Two NFL Coaches, Freddie Kitchens and John Harbaugh, were criticized for their play calling after both their teams lost on Sunday. Kitchens and the Cleveland Browns lost to the Los Angeles Rams, 20-13, while Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens were defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs, 33-28.
There were two specific series that Kitchens is being scrutinized over; one when the Browns were in the red zone, and failed to get a touchdown, and another where Kitchens ran a draw play on fourth and nine, and it failed.
After the game, a reporter asked Kitchens if he would consider recusing himself of play calling, but the coach quickly shot down that idea.
“You can write that if you want to, but that’s not even feasible,” Kitchens said. “That’s not even, that’s not being considered. No, it’s not.”
Harbaugh Play Calling Questioned
Harbaugh’s play calling had Monday morning quarterbacks up in arms. Harbaugh told reporters on Monday that Kansas City’s potent offense made him change his offensive mindset for the game.
On four occasions, the Ravens went for it on fourth down. They succeeded three times, but let Kansas City score on just five plays after failing on one of the conversion attempts.
“We’re standing by our decisions,” Harbaugh said. “Our decisions gave us the best chance to win the game in that particular game. These are not like league choices. These are determined by this game, and for this game specifically in that venue. Weather is even factored into it. There’s a lot of factors that go into it that are mathematically calculated, and that’s why we did it.”
Daniel Jones Debut Hit, but Saquon Barkley Injured
The success of the New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones was tempered by the news that star running back, Saquon Barkley, will be out anywhere from four to eight weeks with a high ankle sprain. Barkley was injured in the Giants’ 32-31 comeback victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jones was incredible in his first NFL start. He became the first rookie in NFL history to have 300 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, and two rushing touchdowns in a single game. His 158.3 passer rating was the highest of a rookie QB in a debut.
Jones rallied the team from a 28-10 halftime deficit, pulling off the biggest comeback ever led by a rookie in his first game.
“We had a chance there at the end of the game. That’s all you can ask for,” Jones said. “We kinda struggled to move the ball there at points and — just a great job, great job moving the ball down the field as a team. We got some guys open, and they made plays. So great job, loved the fight and loved the grit of this win.”
While the team was jubilant over the victory, it came at a cost. Barkley was injured, and that will be a big blow for the Giants. Barkley told NJ.com afterwards that he will work to return.
“I’m not out for the season,” Barkley said. “I’m going to do whatever I can to get back as quickly as possible. Not for myself, but for my team. That’s what I continue to think about. I caught myself getting a little upset on the sideline just because I wasn’t able to be out there with those guys.”