Whether it was poor play-calling or foolish personnel decisions, a few notable names won’t be going to Hawaii this January thanks to their coaches. Here are the most egregiously screwed over.
3. Chris Johnson
Johnson still managed to rush for 4.7 yards a pop, the third-highest average in the AFC besides Jamaal Charles and another betrayed back on this list. If Tennessee would’ve upgraded their line and not given Johnson 80 fewer carries than Arian Foster, who averaged just 4.0 yards per carry, he would’ve been a Pro Bowl shoo-in.
2. Alex Smith
On top of those gaudy numbers is the fact that the San Francisco 49ers went 6-2 in Smith’s first eight starts and they’re just 4-2 in Colin Kaepernick’s six.
While the NFC has three worthy Pro Bowlers in Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and Robert Griffin III, if Smith would’ve maintained the otherworldly efficiency he had prior to his injury, he would’ve blown them all away.
1. C.J. Spiller
If Chan Gailey actually gave C.J. Spiller the freaking football, he’d be in the discussion for NFL MVP. Yes, right alongside Adrian Peterson.
Spiller is averaging a staggering 6.5 yards a pop this season. And according to Jeremy White of WGR550-AM, that number is historically staggering.
Week 17 Record Watch - C.J. Spiller's 6.48 YPC on 183 carries is the highest single-season average of any player w/that many carries.— Jeremy White (@JeremyWGR) December 27, 2012
Did Gailey cost Spiller a 2,000-yard rushing season?
At Spiller’s pace, he would’ve needed just 308 carries to surpass the 2,000-yard rushing mark. AP is at 314 carries with another week to play.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Gailey is as good as gone. He ruined a potentially legendary campaign for Spiller—which ironically could’ve resulted in more wins and saved his job.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.