aaron rodgers by August Prum October 16, 2017
We’re already done with Week 6 of the NFL season and for the first time in awhile there was little noise off the field and much more on it.
After Vice President Mike Pence made a whole show of pulling up to the Colts game last weekend and leaving after 8 minutes because some players protested during the national anthem, this weekend there was much less talk about protests and more action on the actual field.
Regardless of whether the headlines are being made on or off the field, it’s still been a weird year of results from around the league. There appears to be no good teams in the NFL. Peter King wrote in his Monday Morning Quarterback column of the general weirdness of this season,
“This season is just plain weird. The President hijacks the anthem protest and makes it a monumental thing. Three of the top 10 stars in the game are lost for the season (most likely) in a span of eight days; Aaron Rodgers, the third, got taken down Sunday with the same run-of-the-mill ferocity he’d been hit with a thousand times in his life, only this time it broke his right collarbone. The defending rushing champ is likely to start a six-game suspension on Sunday, and it barely registers on the psyche of Football America.”
Usually by this time in a season, there are a couple clear favorites in each conference with other teams that look promising or could mount a serious challenge in the playoffs. That doesn’t appear to be the case at all this season.
But the worst part of this season has been the brutal injuries to star players. Odell, Dalvin Cook, and JJ Watt went down last week. David Johnson was lost earlier in the season. Julian Edelman tore his ACL in the preseason. Now Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best quarterback in the league, broke his collarbone.
NFL teams have a general mantra of ‘next man up.’ A philosophy that no matter who goes down, the team will be able to plug the hole if everyone does their job. But with star players like those mentioned above out for the entire season or large portions of it, the product on the field just becomes worse.
Perhaps no result exemplified the total weirdness of this NFL season more than the Steelers beating the Chiefs 19-13 yesterday.
The Steelers were coming off a blowout loss to the Jaguars where Ben Roethlisberger threw 5 picks and openly questioned whether he was still good.
While Roethlisberger didn’t have a great game, the Steelers leaned on Le’Veon Bell (179 yards rushing) and Antonio Brown (155 receiving yards), probably two of the best offensive players in the NFL right now, to beat the previously undefeated Chiefs.
Ultimately it was this ridiculous circus grab that sealed the game for Pittsburgh.
HOWWWWW?@AB84 goes the distance!
Touchdown @Steelers! #HereWeGo https://t.co/SAERohxsRF
— NFL (@NFL) October 15, 2017
Elsewhere, the Miami Dolphins, led by Smokin’ Jay Cutler, beat last year’s Super Bowl finalists the Atlanta Falcons 20-17. Cutler only threw for 151 yards, but did rack up two TDs.
Miami’s Rashad Jones ended the game with this rather disrespectful interception of Matt Ryan.
RESHAD JONES!!!!!!!!!!! https://t.co/MMQHdLjJ7t
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) October 15, 2017
Perhaps the most surprising result of the weekend was the 0-5 Giants going into Denver and beating the supposedly good Broncos.
The Giants were coming off a week in which they lost their three best receivers, were fighting in the locker room, suspending players for deciding to straight up leave, all while their head coach insisted that he hadn’t lost the team.
Head Coach Ben McAdoo and his big ass play chart gave up playcalling duties during the week and the Giants seemed to benefit from the decision.
They completed only two passes to wide receivers all game, because they no longer have any, but were able to move the ball on the vaunted Broncos defense through running back Orleans Darkwa.
Nothing makes any sense.
After Washington cornerback Kendall Fuller picked off 49ers QB C.J. Beathard late in the 4th quarter to seal the game yesterday, the Washington defense celebrated in interesting fashion.
Protesting via TD celebrations? @Redskins simulste stop and frisk after score.
— Philmonger (@phillipmbailey) October 15, 2017
With owners trying to crack down on player protest, perhaps we’ll see more and more political celebrations.
This was not a political celebration but after Golden Tate’s 1st quarter touchdown reception against the Saints, Tate had a little Rock-inspired display ready.
How, @showtimetate? HOW?
Unbelievable TD for the @Lions. #OnePride https://t.co/UUHCTtbOAp
— NFL (@NFL) October 15, 2017
.@ShowtimeTate comes hard with the People's Elbow. 😂#NFLCelebrations https://t.co/SrqLaqCWRd
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) October 15, 2017
Minnesota Vikings linebacker drove Aaron Rodgers into the ground in the first quarter yesterday and it was immediately clear that Rodgers was in trouble.
The Green Bay quarterback had some choice words for Barr after the play.
This is another blow for the NFL. It feels like every week, some of the league’s best players are being sidelined for the rest of the season or large portions of it. It’s a shitty situation for fans, teams, and the league as a whole.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Not good for them, their teams, nor the NFL.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 16, 2017
Could we see the Packers pick up Kaepernick? I wouldn’t bet on it.
With the Patriots holding a late lead against the Jets, tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins appeared to cross the line with the ball in his hands.
But upon replay review, the play was ruled a fumble and a touchback with the Patriots given the ball at the 20. You can see Sefarian-Jenkins briefly bobble the ball but it appears he recovers it in time to score.
#Jets just got screwed on this Austin Seferian-Jenkins call…ruled a touchback and the Pats ball. pic.twitter.com/nVLRNsHwjD
— 📽️ Red Tribe Cinema (@ClayWendler) October 15, 2017
Maybe the Pats got the benefit out of the doubt a little bit…