Week 17 NFL Winners and Losers: Dak Prescott was never saving the 49ers

Before we look ahead to next week, let’s pause and reflect on some things from Week 9 as we take a gander outside the box score.

Winner: Dak Prescott

A lot of people have been beating the drum about how Chip Kelly wanted Dak Prescott but was overruled by Trent Baalke. If everyone can calm down for a second and take deep breaths from their brown paper bag, a little piece of reality might set in. The entire reason Dak is as successful as he’s been this year is that Dallas offensive line and a balanced attack.

Put Dak in San Fran with a horrible front line and no true deep threat (Dez Bryant is Top 5 in the NFL) and you get a disaster. Colin Kaepernick is not a bad quarterback but he looked attrocious behind a line that couldn’t block and in an offense that was putrid. So ho-hum all you want about how Chip Kelly could have saved his job by drafting Dak Prescott, but that leads to a situation where we then live in a timeline where Dak is just another mid-round project in a failed Chip Kelly system and Mark Sanchez quarterbacks the Cowboys into getting another Top 5 pick. The notion that he somehow saves the Niners season is laughably irresponsible.

Loser: Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia

Winning a Super Bowl is something no coach will ever say is a detriment, but that might end up being slightly the case for Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia. Both coordinators are top choices on the coaching market but they only have this week to interview. New England is likely headed to the Super Bowl, which means neither candidate will be able to interview again until the end of January.

Most coaching vacancies will be filled by then. With no absolute guarantee that McDaniels or Patricia will stay true to whatever behind-closed-doors word they give, no respectable team will hold a vacancy until after the Super Bowl. There’s a chance an agreement can be reached but a trip to the Super Bowl might actually prove to be a hindrance to the coaching futures of these two coordinators.

Winner: Tennessee Titans

They might have missed the playoffs this year, but they’re set up to be huge next year. They have two first-round picks — one of which is in the Top 10 — and appear to have a system that Marcus Mariota can thrive in. How good he is when he returns is a question that a lot of this hope hinges on, but the Titans could be next year’s sleeper team that makes big it me noise in a very winnable AFC South.