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The Detroit Lions have hired Darrell Bevell as their new offensive coordinator.

Bevell replaces Jim Bob Cooter, whose contract was not renewed by the team earlier this month. The Lions ranked 23rd in rushing yards per game (103.8), 20th in passing yards per game (223.5) and 24th in points per game (19.38) this past season.

Bevell was offensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks from 2011 to ’17. He was fired by Seattle after the 2017 season.

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Bevell helped the Seahawks reach two Super Bowls — including a win against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. But the 49-year-old is perhaps best known for calling a pass play on the goal line in Super Bowl XLIX against the New England Patriots. Malcolm Butler intercepted it, securing a win for the Patriots, whose defense at the time was coached by Matt Patricia, the Lions’ current head coach.

The pass play was largely criticized because the Seahawks had Marshawn Lynch, one of the game’s best short-yardage rushers. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll took all the blame for the call for following the loss.

During Bevell’s time in Seattle, the Seahawks averaged 131.9 yards rushing, 216 yards passing and 23.99 points per game. Most of this was done with Lynch at running back and Russell Wilson at quarterback.

When the Lions set out on an offensive coordinator search, general manager Bob Quinn said it would be largely Patricia’s hire. Patricia, coming off a 6-10 season in his first year, has seemed to favor a ball-control offense with a strong rushing game — the type Bevell ran with the Seahawks.

Quinn said in his season-ending news conference that more than anything, Detroit wanted a coordinator who could adapt his offense by the week.

“We want to be able to run the ball, we want to be able to use our quarterback because he has a ton of talent. So we want to be diverse,” Quinn said. “We’re not going to sit there and be in four wide receivers, shotgun every play and throw it 45 times. That’s not good for anybody. On the other hand, we’re not going to be three tight ends and run the ball 40 times.

“We need to do a better job of going into each week looking at the opponent and say, ‘How are we going to beat this team?’ If they have a great run defense and a poor pass defense, maybe we throw it 45 times and vice versa. So, we want someone that thinks that way. That thinks that, ‘Hey, I have an offense, but my offense is adaptable. I can change week-to-week, or I can change from this week I have this set of receivers, and two weeks later I don’t.’

Prior to his time in Seattle, Bevell was the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator for five years.

While there, the Vikings averaged 133.2 rushing yards and 201 passing yards per game.

Bevell played quarterback at Wisconsin, where he was a four-year starter, and overlapped with Quinn at Connecticut, when Bevell was the Huskies’ wide receivers coach in 1998-99 and Quinn was a graduate assistant within the football program.

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The Jacksonville Jaguars won the AFC South and dominated our postseason awards, but our voters were split: Deshaun Watson or Leonard Fournette for rookie of the year? Here’s how NFL Nation AFC South reporters Sarah Barshop (Texans), Michael DiRocco (Jaguars), Mike Wells (Colts) and Cameron Wolfe (Titans) voted for their division awards:

Coach of the year: Doug Marrone, Jaguars

NFL Nation Division Awards
Division awards NFL Nation reporters vote for the top offensive and defensive player, rookie and coach of the year.

• AFC East: Bills’ breakthrough season »
• AFC North: Black-and-gold theme »
• AFC South: Rookies a great debate »
• AFC West: A coach debate »
• NFC East: Pederson, Wentz win out »
• NFC North: Vikings, Bears represented »
• NFC South: Kamara, Saints dominate »
• NFC West: All about the Rams »
Marrone took a franchise that had won just 17 games from 2012-16 and guided the Jaguars to 10 victories and the first division title since 1999. He did it with most of the players from last year’s 3-13 team, too (16 of the 22 starters). All season long, players have talked about how Marrone changed the culture inside the building by making winning the top priority. That sounds strange, but former coach Gus Bradley’s philosophy was to emphasize the process over the result; if players worked to be their best, victories would follow. Marrone also believed the team lacked some toughness, so he subjected his players to a mentally and physically exhausting training camp that they initially grumbled about — until the season began with a 29-7 rout of Houston. The Jaguars beat seven teams by more than 20 points (no other team did that more than four times), led the NFL in rushing and pass defense, and finished second in scoring defense, takeaways and sacks. — DiRocco

Offensive player of the year: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

The Texans’ season crashed after Watson suffered a torn ACL in early November, but Hopkins still put up eye-popping numbers. He led the NFL with 13 touchdowns catches and finished fourth with 1,378 receiving yards. His 91.8 receiving yards per game were second only to the Steelers’ Antonio Brown. Hopkins did all this with Watson playing only seven games (six starts). Hopkins may have challenged for the NFL’s receiving title if the rookie quarterback had not been injured. Hopkins’ eight-catch, 224-yard performance in Watson’s last game of the 2017 season showed their potential as a tandem. The good news for Hopkins is Watson should be back in 2018. Hopkins edged out Fournette, who was the consistent focal point of the AFC South champion Jaguars offense but didn’t make the splash that Hopkins had this season. — Wolfe
Despite missing three games, Leonard Fournette ranked eighth in rushing yards (1,040). Logan Bowles/Getty Images
Rookie of the year: Deshaun Watson and Leonard Fournette

Watson was having a historic season before his knee injury during an early November practice. In seven games, six of which he started, Watson threw for 1,699 yards and 19 touchdowns. At the time of his injury, he was tied with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz for most touchdown passes in the NFL, and he was on pace to shatter the rookie record for TD passes. Although the Texans were just 3-3 in games that Watson started, Houston scored 71 combined points in two games, both losses, against the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. After Watson’s injury, the Texans went 1-8.

 

The Jaguars entered the season expecting to lean heavily on Fournette after deciding to go with quarterback Blake Bortles for at least another year. For most of the season, the Jaguars’ offense went through Fournette, although he dealt with injuries down the stretch and his production dipped. Even though Fournette missed three games with injuries and a suspension, he still finished the season ranked eighth in rushing yards, second only to Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt among rookies. Fournette finished the season with 268 carries for 1,040 yards and nine rushing touchdowns, and he had five games with at least 100 yards on the ground. — Barshop

Defensive player of the year: Calais Campbell, DE, Jaguars

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Campbell showed he was worth the four-year, $60 million contract the Jaguars gave him to leave the Arizona Cardinals by spearheading the NFL’s second-best defense. Campbell finished second in the league in sacks with a career-high 14.5. This season was the first that Campbell reached double digits in sacks in his 10-year career. “You have to stay balanced and be aggressive with him if you expect to have a chance,” an opposing offensive lineman said about Campbell in a recent ESPN story. “If you’re leaning, he’s already got you beat.” The Colts and Texans felt Campbell’s wrath more than any other teams in the league. He had six sacks in two games against the Texans and three against the Colts. Campbell’s presence allowed for cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, arguably the best cornerback duo in the league, to be aggressive in the secondary because they knew the quarterback wouldn’t be able to hold the ball in the pocket for an extended period of time. Also making Campbell’s season impressive is that he had his career year at the age of 31, when players are supposed to be on the decline. — W

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The New York Jets stock report, looking at risers and fallers from their 35-27 loss to the Carolina Panthers (before film review):

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WR Robby Anderson — He sparked a controversy by lobbying for Pro Bowl votes on TV during the game, resulting in a rebuke from coach Todd Bowles. I’m not a fan of what he did, either, but you know what? He belongs in the Pro Bowl conversation, especially after his six-catch, 146-yard, two-touchdown performance. He has scored in five straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL. Among wide receivers, he’s 13th in receiving yards (714), tied for fourth in touchdowns (seven) and fourth in average yards per catch (17.4).

WR Jermaine Kearse — Maintaining his reputation as a Panthers killer, Kearse finished with seven catches for a season-high 105 yards and a touchdown. There’s about Carolina blue that brings out the best in Kearse, who racked up 14 catches, 239 yards and three touchdown in two playoff games against them while playing for the Seattle Seahawks.

The Cam Newton plan — The defense did an outstanding job against Newton, who played one of the worst games of his career. The Jets held him to 168 passing yards and 28 rushing yards (one touchdown) — and he entered the game as one of the hottest quarterbacks in the league. His completion percentage (39.3) was the third-worst in his career. The Jets recorded three sacks and eight “hits,” including two apiece by Demario Davis, Leonard Williams and Josh Martin. Kudos to Jamal Adams for letting Newton know he didn’t appreciate his silly “Superman” celebration.

FOUR DOWN

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins — He has developed a case of the end-zone yips. Seferian-Jenkins cost his team a touchdown with a blatant drop in the first quarter, and he failed to secure a catchable ball in the fourth quarter. The latter was ruled a touchdown on the field, but it was overturned by replay, an all-too-familiar feeling for Seferian-Jenkins. On Oct. 15, he fumbled away a touchdown against the New England Patriots. That, too, was a controversial replay review.

DT Mike Pennel — Statistically, it was his best game of the year (seven total tackles), but no one will remember that because of his senseless roughing-the-passer penalty in the fourth quarter. The Jets should’ve had the ball back with just over two minutes left, down by five, but Pennel’s dumb foul extended the Carolina drive. That’s the type of play that could get a marginal player cut.

LB Jordan Jenkins — His offsides penalty on fourth-and-2 in the third quarter extended a drive, which, of course, ended with a touchdown. The Jets aren’t good enough to overcome those kind of penalties.

Punting unit — Kaelin Clay’s 60-yard touchdown return resulted from a number of factors. Start with Lachlan Edwards, whose punt was short (37 yards) and had poor hang time (about 3.7 seconds). Long snapper Thomas Hennessy missed a chance to wrap up Clay as soon as he caught the ball. The Jets like Hennessy because of his ability to get downfield. On this play, he showed his speed, but he had to make that tackle. Eric Tomlinson tried a lunge tackle, but it was no use; Clay was a goner, essentially sealing the Panthers’ win.

Two minutes earlier, the Panthers had scored on a fumble recovery. Prior to Sunday, they had scored just two non-offensive touchdowns in the fourth quarter in their previous 186 games combined, dating to the start of 2006 season. Why does the crazy stuff always happen against the Jets?