1. Kevin Stefanski, Head Coach
This one should not be the case, but thanks to a fan base that’s desperate for a winner and an owner known for his impatience, Kevin Stefanski is likely feeling the pressure this weekend. Any other team would be beyond thrilled to be 7-4 after losing their star running back, franchise quarterback, and one of the highest-paid tackles in the game. But for some reason, the Dawg Pound continues to expect perfection from their first head coach with a winning record since 1999.
What makes it even more confusing is that Stefanski has won seven of 11 games this year with three different quarterbacks securing wins. Now, if Joe Flacco ends up starting and pulls out a win on Sunday, that would be four signal-callers he led to victory.
Despite this, the tension is there. Every incomplete pass leads to an outcry of “run the damn ball.” Normally, this feels like a case of people believing the call was bad simply because it didn’t work. Having said that, this past Sunday was hard to defend.
This isn’t to say he was wrong to throw the ball on Denver, because he wasn’t. The Broncos were stacking the box and daring them to throw — and DTR was making them pay. Instead, the issue was the ill-advised double-reverse from Elijah Moore to Pierre Strong. This led to a turnover and a score from Denver, which put the game out of reach.
Some were mad P.J. Walker kept throwing but at this point, he had to. Cleveland wasn’t coming back from two scores by running the ball. Having said that, Stefanski put them in that hole with his continued insistence on trying to get the reverse working — and time and again, it ends in disaster.