Every year, 32 teams enter the NFL season with hopes of a championship, and every year 31 go home disappointed. Sometimes the end comes before Halloween, and sometimes it comes in overtime of the Super Bowl, but it comes all the same.
Welcome to Yahoo Sports’ NFL Fond Farewells. Today, we honor the first teams eliminated from postseason contention. Be kind, it’s the only honor they’ll get all season.
Three teams officially saw their postseason hopes vanish this past weekend, and two of them we expected. Our first Fond Farewell goes to, of course, the Cleveland Browns. If stockpiling future draft picks won games, the Browns would be undefeated. You CAN still win games with talent, coaching, or luck … but unfortunately Cleveland is lacking in all those categories. Hey, at least we got a couple more names to put on the league’s saddest quarterback list.
Next up, a Fond Farewell to the San Francisco 49ers. We never really got to know you, Niners. You lost so many games by less than a touchdown, but you lost them all the same. We have high hopes for Kyle Shanahan’s future in San Francisco, and maybe Jimmy Garoppolo’s too, but this season—like every one since that Super Bowl run—is best forgotten as soon as possible.
Finally, a surprisingly early Fond Farewell to the New York Giants. You’d figure that a team with a two-time Super Bowl MVP, one of the most exciting players in the game, and a costly defense would be a lock for a playoff run, and you would be very, very wrong…almost as wrong as benching a franchise legend for Geno Smith. Look at it this way, Eli … you might just get the chance to escape this dumpster fire of a team. When Odell Beckham Jr. lifting his leg in the end zone is the lasting image of your season, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
Three down, 28 to go.