by Amy Lignor
This was one heck of a BIZARRE weekend of football.
The first fact that must be stated is that the Carolina Panthers’ unbeaten season is no more. What’s even worse is that the loss was not served up by the Patriots, the Packers, the Seahawks, or any other actual “good” team. No, they lost to the Atlanta Falcons (20-17), who showed everyone in the NFL that Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers do not have shells made of steel. Whether or not the Panthers were simply believing this one was a given and would be easy as all get out to win, no one knows. But whatever the case may be, there is no longer ANY unbeaten team in the NFL.
But as 2015 heads on out and the New Year comes straight at us, there are those in the NFL who started out with great expectations and ended up failing miserably.
One of the great expectations that turned hideous came from Buffalo. Rex Ryan has many problems, but the ONE thing everyone could agree upon was his absolute skill when it came to producing defenses that could not be beat. Rex Ryan signs on as Head Coach of the Bills, however, and produces one of the worst teams Buffalo has ever seen. This week they played another great expectation that failed (without Tony Romo, that is) – the Dallas Cowboys. Does anyone even care? The Bills did win (16-6), but this was a whole field of dogged faces who basically looked like they wished this season was over. For these teams, it is.
Talk about BIZARRE!! The New England Patriots are a lot like the odd weather patterns. First, they’re the best; then, they’re mediocre just hoping for a spot in the playoffs; then, they are yet again the best in the AFC. They didn’t really start out as a great expectation, even though they were the defending Super Bowl Champions. The “deflated” stupidity in the off-season had people assuming that QB Brady would be tired. Thing was, he wasn’t. He was mad. Even though he keeps losing team members, the man doesn’t seem to stop. Today, the Jets played the Pats. If the Pats won they would have home field advantage throughout. After this game, the road to the Super Bowl for the AFC will, perhaps, still go through Massachusetts – but the laughter over the Patriots may be inflated this coming week. This game was a mess. OT comes, flip of the coin occurs, the Pats win and elect to…kick it away? No, says Slater of the Patriots. I said receive. The ref says, no you didn’t, and would not let the Pats correct themselves. The Jets received the ball only to immediately win the game. Bill Belichick did not seem angry at his man for calling to kick. He may just have had a plan. But after this game, with all the new injuries atop all the previous injuries, the Pats could deflate once and for all, even under the best of QB’s.
When it comes to the NFC “Least,” the Redskins win the crown. Yes, it seems silly to say that. The Redskins were a great expectation that failed when it came to QB RGIII, but Kirk Cousins came in and proved that they do have the will to fight and the talent to win. It probably seems like an episode of the “X-Files” for the New York Giants, considering they were the shoe-in to clinch the division.
Baltimore Ravens expectations? Not even worth talking about. God, they ended up bad. But they did ruin the Steelers this week.
The 49ers? QB Kap is as dazed and confused as all the fans out there, wondering why this once sparkling team went right into the gutter.
The Eagles paid mega-bucks for a RB that brought the Cowboys a stunning year last season. They should have kept their money.
Steelers versus Ravens today was, in fact, a big game. QB Big Ben and the Steelers had been cropping up in conversations to go all the way to the end. Unfortunately, the Steelers failed (20-17) and Pittsburgh’s season is basically over.
An honorable mention needs to be given to QB Drew Brees, who is looking more and more like Jack Bauer from “24.” He is hurt. He most likely needs to sit down and wave 2015 goodbye, while sitting in his living room and resting his aching body. Will he? Not a chance. This guy refuses to go down and the New Orleans Saints should thank heaven for him.
Most bizarre and worst thing in the NFL this week didn’t come in the form of a great expectation that failed – it came in the form of something fans always expect bad things from: a so-called journalist. Peyton Manning is actually trying to do battle now while attempting to heal and come back for the playoffs. He is dead center in a storm of a whole lot of stupidity surrounding a journalist’s report that Human Growth Hormones (HGH) were sent to Peyton’s home while he was recovering from neck surgery in 2011. Some undercover reporter interviewed a man who says that HGH was mailed to Peyton’s home under his wife’s name. But…the journalist actually said the story was a lie. So…why the story?
First the NFL tries to kill one legend with deflated balls, and now a reporter wants to kill another with hormone delivery? All football fans want is a delivery of aspirin to combat the headaches that these moronic reports continue to cause.