Every Wednesday or Thursday during the 2017 season, Joe Caporoso will break down the upcoming week of NFL action. Unfasten the belts and prepare to gorge on another weekend of fandom, fantasy, gambling, tweeting, cheering, complaining…and complaining.
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Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell had a rant worth watching earlier this week:
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) December 6, 2017
It is hard to disagree with most, if not all, of what he is saying. There is few things that bother fans and commentators more than inconsistent and subjective punishment. This week had a rash of incidents that fired up many regularly turned over debates about player conduct.
Mitchell is right, it is difficult to avoid occasionally making a hit now deemed illegal if you are properly doing your job. Football moves fast and there is twenty two moving parts on every single play. If you misjudge something by half an inch, a textbook play could quickly resemble a “dirty” hit. You can teach form all you want, when an errant pass is thrown over the middle and a safety is sprinting towards a tight end who is ready to lay out to make a play, ugly things can happen.
This is a violent game and most people understand what they are signing up for when play it or watch it. Some understandably would never allow their children near it (I disagree with that stance and wrote why here). There is only so many rule changes you can make. Ultimately, this is a contact sport and collisions are going to happen. The answer certainly isn’t ignoring evidence of the sport’s danger but a league where all dangerous hits disappear is never going to happen.
On the other hand, you had Rob Gronkowski’s hit over the weekend. This was not a football play. This was a wrestling move on a defenseless player who had his back turned after the whistle had blown. Gronkowski’s own coach called the play “bullshit” and Gronk himself apologized after but people have every right to be infuriated about such a senseless play. Was a one game suspension enough? Probably not. Gronkowski and more importantly Tre White are lucky he didn’t leave the field in a stretcher with somebody that size dropping directly on to his neck at full force. Gronk doesn’t have a history of being a dirty player and is an eventual Hall of Famer, which made it all that more perplexing and frustrating. The league has enough issues right now, the last thing it needs is somebody like Gronk taking part in that type of “bullshit” (Belichick was right on).
Finally, OLD MEDIA had a field day tearing Odell Beckham Jr apart for this video.
The common thread is “BRADY WON ALL THOSE RINGZ HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS,” ignoring that Brady has likely had the exact same fiery personality his entire playing career, even before being a Super Bowl winner. Should’t a player who has not won anything yet, be that much more passionate and hungry to win? Odell has done his share of dumb things on the field but the guy gives a shit and is excellent. Without him on the Giants, Eli BENCHGATE would have happened a long, long time ago. The NFL needs more players like Beckham Jr, who genuinely care and play with this type of fire. There is nothing fans complain about more than players going through the motions and appearing to quit, HI 2017 GIANTS FANS AND 2016 JETS FANS. Let Odell be Odell.
A Three Team Tease Is Always A Bad Idea But…
- Packers (+3), Saints/Falcons (over 45.5), Patriots (-6)
Keep betting against the Browns! Saints/Falcons has shootout written all over it. I’m not buying the New England struggling in Miami hype. The Dolphins are terrible.
- Saints (+2.5), New England (-11)
Bet on the two of the league’s best teams, even if they are on the road.
- Dallas (-4)
Don’t forget how bad Eli Manning has been this year.
- QB – Alex Smith
- RB – Jamal Williams
- RB – Latavius Murray
- WR – Adam Thielen
- WR – AJ Green
- WR – Keenan Allen
- TE – Jack Doyle
- K -Mason Crosby
- D – Dallas Cowboys
Overrated Snack of the Week
In the great food chain of cookies, these couldn’t be any lower on the totem pole. Don’t fall into the trap that you have to eat these because of the time of the year. Eat chocolate chip cookies. Eat sugar cookies. Eat those cookies with the M&Ms or Hershey Kisses in them. Don’t be wasting your time with this slightly sweetened cardboard with an elaborate design. Use them for show, not for food.
Random Internet Complaint
Premature writing off of LeBron James’ team, like they aren’t going to eventually rip off a huge winning streak and be right back in the NBA Finals.
LeBron’s got that 13 game win streak feeling 😂 pic.twitter.com/5wHamxBmO5
— Whistle Sports (@WhistleSports) December 7, 2017
Survivor Pick Power Rankings
- New England Patriots
- Green Bay Packers
- Los Angeles Chargers
Survivor Status: Dead!
Random NFL GIF
It is just a flag, my friend…
- Cleveland will NOT get their first win, despite playing Brett Hundley.
- The Giants will still be bad with Eli back under center.
- New England’s offense isn’t going to miss Gronk all that much.
- Drew Bres will have his biggest game of the year on Thursday Night.
NFL/GM Coach Reminders
- Hue Jackson still can’t coach! (Cleveland Ownership!)
- You gave Vance Joseph no help. What did you expect? (John Elway!)
- Win out and ruin your pick! (Steve Spagnuolo!)
Photo Credit: NFL.com