A week of good football? Weird.
Like most people who are under the age of 55 and have any sense of morality, the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States was a traumatic event. Mike Evans is in year three of his successful NFL career and decided to sit during the national anthem during Sunday’s game against the Bears. He said he sat out of protest of the election of the reality TV star but his message then became muddled after the fact. Evans stated it wasn’t political that it was about the way African Americans are treated in the U.S. A few days later he put out a public statement that he will not be protesting the anthem in the future and that he was sorry for offending the members of the military. He still believed that black people are being mistreated in the US but he will protest and bring awareness to the cause in other ways. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the owner of the Bucs was a big donor to the Trump campaign and the quick termination of Evans protest.
The Bears are now 2-7 after their loss to Tampa Bay and are aiming for a top 3 draft pick. Jay Cutler regressed to the mean over the weekend turning the ball over like Jay Cutler is known to do. The only reason he is playing is because the journeyman back up Brain Hoyer broke his arm and is on injured reserve. There is no way the Bears will keep Cutler after this season making him a free agent, and because he has talent he will be signed by a desperate team looking anything at that position. God I hope the Browns sign him.
Alshon Jeffery contributed to the good news for the Bears by being suspended for the next four weeks after testing positive for an illegal substance. This isn’t a big deal as the Bears have no intentions of winning the rest of the season but adding a drug suspension to his injury prone resume will not help Jeffery in the future. But he is tall and athletic so he will still get a massive contract this off season.
As Tony Romo lives out his fate of being this generations Drew Bledsoe, the Cowboys continue to roll in a win over the Steelers on Sunday. The 8 – 1 record for the Cowboys is a bit misleading as their schedule hasn’t been the hardest, but with a rookie QB and RB and loads of suspensions on defense, they are more than just a good offensive line. Dak and Zeke are products of that offensive line that has somehow entered the MVP conversation, but they are playing smart which is rare for players of their age especially in that city and media coverage for that situation. I hope Romo gets his AFC championship game moment like Bledsoe did and signs with a good team that is a QB away from a playoff run (Minnesota? New York Jets? Denver?). The Cowboys are good and Tony Romo is a healthy backup, I never thought I would write that sentence this season.
Returned blocked extra point to win the game
After watching it happen a lot recently, everyone knows that returning an extra point block is worth 2 points. The Broncos blocked the Saints PAT and returned it for a 2 points to win the game 25 – 23. The Saints should have won by a point but a failed special teams play with some bad luck mixed in stole the victory from them. During the return by Denver, it appeared that the nameless black and fast special teams player who scooped the ball stepped out of bounds. But his white shoes made it impossible to meet the NFL standards of overruling the call on the field and the two points were rewarded to Denver. The Saints then attempted a slim chance onside kick that Denver recovered. Tough way to lose.
Jameis Winston made an incredible scramble play that saw him run into his own end zone, juke by several defenders and throw a bomb to Mike Evans who made a contested catch by the 50 yard line. It was amazing to see Winston stay alive and Evans convert for the first down without a holding call. In the Sunday night game that I did not watch, Gronk was put into a bad position by Brady and was hit by a torpedo wearing an Earl Thomas jersey. Gronk was slow to get up and wasn’t the same the rest of the game. It was reported that Gronk suffered a punctured lung on the play but that was later proven to be false. He has been hit a lot in his career but Gronk said that was the hardest he has ever been brought down. It is rare to see a hit like that in the modern NFL, especially one that was not flagged.
The Panthers blew a 17 – 3 lead to the Chiefs continuing their journey in their super bowl hangover. The Panthers had the ball late in the 4th tied 17 -1 7 looking to score the game winning points when Marcus Peters ripped the ball out of Kelvin Benjamin’s hands. Benjamin didn’t fumble, Peters just took it out of his arms and the Chiefs then kicked the game winning field goal.
And finally what might be my favorite story from last week in the NFL also involved the Patriots loss to the Seahawks on Sunday night. I have made my admiration for Bill Simmons clear on this blog but he got eviscerated by Cris Collinsworth on Sunday night. Being a homer fan, Simmons called out Collinsworth on twitter for being too complimentary of the Seahawks offensive line. Collinsworth then shot back with a tweet that might have been the biggest burn of all time. Both of them made up on a kind of awkward episodes of Simmons’ podcast this week. Props to Collinsworth for making me laugh harder than I have laughed in a long time.