I don't think they suddenly started trying harder to win after we were out of the playoffs. I'm pretty sure they were trying just as hard at the beginning of the season. Sorry they didn't start the season out on a bang. That sucks, I know. But sometimes it's about how you finish and not how you start. We ended the season as a very respectable team throughout the league with one of the best defenses and offenses. We could have folded and been the laughing stock of the league again.
But that's the problem... this is the story every season since 2009, because we aren't approaching things any differently.
We had the talent to win AT LEAST 9 games.
You don't lose games like we lost them with a good coach/staff. People were out there who shouldn't have been out there to start the year and we paid for it. Then things settled at the end of the year, and again, the teams we beat had nothing to play for either. People can say what they want, but when there is nothing to play for besides pride, some players don't care about the outcome and just collect checks. Teams with more of those "check collectors" are easier to beat at the end of the year.
We happen to have guys with more pride. The problem is, they don't have a guy to lead them and show them how to win.
So, yeah, once Rivera and friends trashed any hopes of a successful season AGAIN, what do the wins matter when we've done the same thing time and time again?