The Top Five NFL…


Train Wrecks.


That’s Glen from Mad Men in the picture if you aren’t familiar.  He’s the biggest mess on television, and in honor of him and in honor of this Sunday night game I am watching, I thought I’d countdown the five ugliest situations in the NFL.  They could be units, teams in general, a specific position, really anything could qualify.  These are the first few things that popped into my head, with an honorable mention given to Andy Reid’s clock management and replay challenging.

5.  The Referees.  There are any number of problems with the refs.  The most recent issue isn’t even their fault, really.  With the crackdown on helmet to helmet contact and things of that nature it has added another type of play where the referees walk around on eggshells.  They err on the side of caution, they wait instead of react, and sometimes it feels like we are moving toward a league where every play will be reviewed after the fact.  In my opinion officials don’t have to be perfect, but they must maintain the flow of the game and act confidently and decisively.  That’s not happening in the NFL.  I don’t know if too many plays are open to review or if too many are being missed on the field, but a lot of these NFL games are turning into Red Sox/Yankees marathons.

4.  The Carolina QB situation.  For my money the Panthers are the worst team in the NFL.  Possibly even by a large margin (save Dallas).  It starts with their quarterbacks.  Ever since the day Jake Delhomme turned from improbable Super Bowl QB to interception machine they’ve been in trouble in Carolina.  Somehow last off-season they settled on Matt Moore.  Then they drafted Jimmy Clausen…and Tony Pike.  You get the feeling that coach John Fox feels like a short-stacked poker player looking down at 2/7.  Sunday was really the culmination of it all as all three quarterbacks hit the field for the Panthers.  Moore started and was injured after 6 passes.  Jimmy Clausen came in, and then he was finally yanked in the 4th quarter for Pike, because, why not?  No veteran, no prospect, no hope in Carolina.

3.  The NFC West.  This is the worst division I’ve seen in any sport in a long time.  First, I don’t want to completely disrespect the Rams.  It’s not their fault.  They were terrible, they look a lot better, but if the Rams are the best team in your division?   That means you’ve got issues.  The records in the division are a little deceiving, because the teams get to play each other, but a closer look and you see how ugly things are.  Aside from St. Louis, the Seahawks are also tied for first at 4-4.  They lost 41-7 at home on Sunday in a game the Giants started easing up on in the 2nd quarter.  In fact, the Seahawks have a point differential of (-51) and yet are somehow .500.  The entire division has a negative point differential.  The most recent starting quarterbacks are Troy Smith, Derek Anderson, Charlie Whitehurst and Sam Bradford.  The bad news is one of these teams is going to make the playoffs.  The good news is, you’ll be able to bet against them.

2.  The Vikings Coaching Situation.  This gets odder with every bit of information that comes out of Minnesota.  Brad Childress reminds me of George Costanza when he was trying to get fired from the Yankees.  Childress has played every card imaginable.   He traded for Randy Moss, and then weeks later he sent Moss to waivers.  This was done without consulting the owner, who then apparently contemplated firing Childress and keeping Moss.  Childress has also begun feuding with some players.  He doesn’t appear to be on the same page as Brett Farve.  There are reports that he and Percy Harvin had a confrontation that almost got physical this week during practice.  Childress has backed himself into a corner and now he’s just firing off wild haymakers.  The Vikings won Sunday, but I don’t think it helped Childress’ cause much.  Bottom line, this team continues to waste Adrian Peterson.

1.  The Cowboys.  They’ve gone past a disappointment at this point.  They are a complete disgrace.  It got almost uncomfortable tonight listening to Chris Collinsworth shred the Cowboys after every play.  He was shocked at every aspect of their game.  Discipline, execution, desire, none of it was there for Dallas.  It was so obvious that even Al Michaels jumped in.  The Cowboys fell to 1-7, and I can’t remember a team missing their expectations by this much in the history of the NFL.  There are so many things going wrong with Dallas that they could have occupied this entire top-five.  The focus now is on Wade Phillips and it isn’t his coaching as much as it is obvious that the Cowboys have completely given up on this season.   There’s no effort, the offense and defense is a comedy of errors, and at the end of Sunday’s game they didn’t even bother challenging a play, because…why bother?  They are playing out the string, but there are eight games left.  Poor Cowboys fans.


26 thoughts on “The Top Five NFL…

  1. On the helmet to helmet issue, there does have to be something done. I watched two games today and one was stopped for twenty minutes while they took Austin Collie off on a stretcher, and the second was stopped for ten minutes after the Packers DB laid out Roy Williams (I think) with a completely unnecessary blindside helmet to helmet hit. Do you see anything wrong with Collinsworth’s suggestion: simply eject players from the game rather than attempt to manage the issue after the fact with fines and whatnot?

    • well, the only problem i can think of is that it is a very big decision to make on the field. For example I dont think the hit on Collie warranted an ejection. The hit on Williams appeared to do less damage, but I think that was the more irresponsible play.

      The Refs see Collie knocked cold, literally stiff and it has to be something so they throw the flag…when, it was helmet to helmet at worst. Collie caught the ball and braced himself, the problem is he just braced himself right into a big hit.

      The good thing about after the fact is it gives you enough time to properly judge it.

      The most troubling thing I heard all week regarding the head injuries is that DeSean Jackson was contemplating wearing a helmet that was designed to reduce concussions by something like 80%. Why these aren’t the standard helmets and the fact that licensing is the biggest reason behind it is the worst part of it for me.

      • I heard that, and in the piece i thought i heard something that was even more disturbing. He chose to wear a helmet that reduces concussions but not the one that reduces them the most. Apparently there’s another, better designed and more protective helmet, but players don’t “like they way they look” in the helmet. In fact, i believe the direct quote was “it doesn’t pass the mirror test.” You can’t be serious. You’d rather risk your health than be protected?

  2. i’ve seen plenty of blowouts, but that was something.

    the packers are far from a juggernaut.

    that’s the kind of effort you see in week 17 with nothing on the line. there’s still half a season left.

  3. can you elaborate on these helmets that reduce concussions by up to 80%? So most players don’t wear them? I’m thinking this is the helmet you once in a while see a lineman or fullback wearing and it almost looks like a helmet on top of a helmet?

  4. these are things i’ve heard on the radio and in tv interviews. i’m not sure of the details. I don’t know what the helmet looks like exactly.

    but, I’ve heard players talk about how they played in the league for 15 years and wore the same helmet the whole time. now, it’s hard to believe they didn’t or couldn’t come up with anything safer in that amount of time.

  5. The helmet hit on Peyton on 4th down gave me the back door cover…thank you head referee. Incredibly lucky, but I will say that I deserve it after going for 30% last yr

  6. yeah, that was a great one…

    it looked for a minute like that might even cost the eagles the game.

    i don’t want to start ranting and raving about the games yesterday, because we still have tonight, but i feel like i was snake bit.

    how did the bills not cover that! I mean, come on. I know a push is not a loss, but that one hurt.

  7. I was at the game where they showed one of Andy’s challenges 25 times and I have no idea how it wasn’t overturned. The pylon moved when Avant reached for it. Did it not? Did they explain something different on tv?

    As good of a game as it was, it was so hard to watch with the refs and challenges and injuries.

    • I wasn’t watching super closely at that moment but my recollection is that it was all vague on television too. The explanation was something along the lines of Avant’s knee being down before the ball touched the pylon, and then some gibberish about there has to be conclusive evidence to overturn the call on the field, etc. The pylon definitely moved.

  8. The Bills…..please beat the Lions next week. Please.

    Can Jets fans shut up now? I mean, you needed OT to beat the Lions. At what point do you just accept that you aren’t that good? They celebrated like they won the super bowl, and really the only reason they won was b/c Suh had to kick an extra point. They’re just completely ridiculous. I hope they miss the playoffs. I just want to bask in the glow of that disappointment.

  9. Re: the challenge, I think it wasn’t definitive that the nudged the plylon before he touched out of bounds, I forget what it was now, but he had a hip or elbow touch out of bounds and it was very close. Guess not definitive enough?

    The Jets are awful, they are submarining my fantasy team, and yeah, that was a crazy lucky win yesterday.

  10. His knee was out before the ball hit the pylon. The pylon definitely moved but it doesn’t matter if you stretch for the TD when you’re out-of-bounds. Not enough to overturn – great call.

    I thought the lack of a late game challenge by Dallas was due to the fact that they used all their timeouts and could not challenge – just another reason why Wade is an idiot. Granted, his team has given up, but he’s still a fool.

    The helmet to helmet and “rough play” calls need to be reigned in. I am all for player safety, and am not one of the “let them get hurt” kind of fans but I do think you need to let them play. Immediately suspend guys for mailicious and unsportmanlike hits, a la Merriweather, but you can’t penalize Robinson or the Eagles who hit Collie. And the helmet contact for QBs is a joke. Again, penalize someone for a blatant hit, but brushing Peyton’s head on the way in? C’mon. That’s ridiculous. And I would normally cheer anything that hurts the Eagles.

  11. i know at the end of the first half they didn’t have time outs, but i thought they did when Dez Bryant muffed the punt…

    i wasn’t paying too close attention at that point, though.

    regardless, a dallas team coming off that abortion is probably just what is needed to cool off the giants.

  12. I can’t feel sorry for the ‘Boys. I am loving how awful they are. And I live Collinsworth calling them out- he called out mike Jenkins pretty badly for not attempting to tackle somebody entering the endzone.

  13. I’m with Kraft. Year in and year out we hear about America’s Team and how great they are. It gives me great pleasure to witness the atrocity that is that Dallas Cowboys.

    As much as I hate to admit it I’m actually worried about the Giants-Cowboys this week. I can definitely see the G-men heading into the game acting like they already have a 2 TD lead at the opening kickoff. Could be bad. Especially heading into a very hard second half schedule. Hell, even the Jags are going to put up a fight.

  14. i think the g-men have outscored their opponents about 145-60 since your most colorful tirade.

    pretty effective.

    maybe dallas should hire you?

    or, have you just transfered all your bad karma onto the bills?

  15. I still don’t buy this g-men team. They beat Charlie Whitehurst-yawn. What’s their signature win? The Bears? I don’t think they’d beat any of the top 5 teams in the AFC, i don’t think they’d beat the Packers in the playoffs…..I’m just not buying this “resurgence”. If it weren’t for Romo being soft and injury prone, the ‘boys would have slaughtered the gmen.

    I think i’ve effectively jinxed my beloved buffalo bills. At least no one can call me a fair weather fan.

  16. what’s up with position players kicking/warming up to kick? you’re telling me the lions punter is a worse place kicker than Suh? how is that possible. i read that suh “played soccer growing up.”

  17. i was just talking about this.

    hard to believe the punter isn’t as good.

    suh put a nice move on it, but just blocked the nonsense out of it.

    regardless of that…how do you let him kick? go for 2, have someone toe one through there…

    you are really going to let your stud rookie d-lineman kick?

    i don’t care if a kicker gets hurt once in 5,000 kicks, it isn’t worth it.

    • yeah that was another point i meant to bring up. how can you risk that? remember canseco blowing out his elbow or something doing mop up duty one game? an injury to suh would be way worse and more ridiculous.

  18. I just can’t imagine that a 350lb DT is the best kicker on the team, i don’t care how athletic he is. What about all the special teams guys? No one thought that maybe that would be a good idea? Out of 53 guys, Suh is the one we give a shot to? How about a timeout in there too?

    There’s a certain young lady who’s a bills fan who could have kicked that extra point, i have to believe there’s someone on the Lions who could have handled it better than Suh.

  19. the whole suh was a soccer player is an interesting angle.

    what does that mean exactly?

    i played soccer when i was 10, but i’d have to think that the guy who spends his whole life kicking balls (the punter) would be better suited.

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