Oh let’s not forget: A brief rewind of the 2016- '17 NFL season
As many of our 16 long weeks of football memories are thinned out and replaced by the hype surrounding Super Bowl 51, I thought it would be interesting to flash back to some of this season’s most exciting and news breaking moments (that I could recall). Take a look:
1. A Bradyless Patriots team That doesn’t even sound right…but it happened. With Tom Brady serving a four game suspension due to deflategate, it was up to backup quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett to carry the Pats for the first quarter of the season. Belichick and co. being able to post a 3-1 record with a second and third string quarterback during Brady’s mandatory time off, is pretty dang good, taking into account that those were his only four games missed in the last seven seasons. Needless to say, Brady came back in week 5 and lit it up from there on out, beating some personal records despite missing four games. Since we’re on the subject, how about that time in 2007 when Brady and the Pats went a whopping 16-0 after the Spygate scandal. Yea, they ended up taking a trip to the Super Bowl, losing to the New York Giants. All signs point to a great Sunday this weekend.
2. AB’s twerking clinic Despite being handed a $9,115 fine, the gesture was quite humorous. I’m sure many women would call it excessive sexiness, the league on the other hand, called it “sexually suggestive.” Not only was it the first generous fine of the season, but the first touchdown of the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers, making it that much more enjoyable.
3. Quality didn’t match quantity in New York Remember that top heavy list of players who were in a holdout with their current teams this past summer? If so, then you probably remember Ryan Fitzpatrick being the most notable one, not for who he is (or isn’t) as a player, but for the commotion he was making in regards to his money. Week 3, the New York Jets had traveled to Arrowhead Stadium, and that’s the end of that story, as they did just that, traveled to Kansas City. If it’s still not clicking, that was the game where Fitzpatrick threw a whopping SIX interceptions on 44 attempts, only completing 20 of them. This would also mark game one of a four game skid for the Jets. Oh yea, after the organization paid him a $12 million contract, the Jets would finish the season to post a lowly 5-11 record.
4. The list of players you didn’t hear much from after holding out before the ’16 season: *QB Ryan Fitzpatrick *OLB Von Miller *DE Muhammad Wilkerson *DE Joey Bosa *SS Reshad Jones *SS Eric Berry *QB Nick Foles
5. Julio did WHAT!? Week 4, divisional matchup between the Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons, things got ugly. My man Julio Jones put on a clinic, amassing a 300 yard game, against a what used to be, respectable Super Bowl defense and secondary. I mean to be honest, I don’t know what’s more eye opening, Jones’ 300 yard game, or Matt Ryan being able to victimize the Carolina pass defense for 500 plus yards and 4 touchdowns. Given the position they’re in now, it’s not at all a surprise the duo were able to accomplish such a thing.
6. Dak & Zeke took the league by storm for a majority of the season There’s A LOT to be said about this rookie tandem, but I’m going to keep it short and brief, and most importantly, honest. Before the season even started, I wasn’t giving Tony Romo 10 wins, so there was absolutely no way I was going to give a rookie starter 10 plus, or even 8…shut me up real quick through the course of the season. Here you have Dak Prescott who’s slinging the ball, moving the chains downfield, and putting drives together as if he’s been in this league for three plus years. Then there’s Zeke, short, stocky, real physical runner who’s running with a purpose every time he gets the ball in his hands as if he’s been labeled underrated for most of his career. Not only did this rookie duo take the Cowboys to the playoffs, but they made Cowboys football relevant again. This was just their first season in the league, tasting the waters and gaining experience. I’d hate to see what next season is going to bring.
7. Do right, and get paid accordingly Late July, early August the Arizona Cardinals inked Tyrann Mathieu to a 5-year 62.5 million dollar extension with $40 million guaranteed, making him the highest paid safety in the league this season. That’s a lot of money considering his injury and substance abuse track record. Given the changes he has made in his life once leaving LSU, it was very deserving and as a fan, exciting to see a player getting compensated for a positive life turnaround, on and off the field.
8. OBJ got married…on the sidelines After realizing how foolish he looked during his week three tantrum with a kicking net, Odell Beckham Jr. took it upon himself to man up, and work his problems out like a man, taking his relationship to the next level. By week four, OBJ was married to the rather wide, but highly publicized kicking net in which he named “Nettie,” that caused him to go viral the week prior. Sadly enough, his hugging and proposal of the net overshadowed the fact that it wasn’t until week four that he got his first touchdown of the season.
9. That doesn’t belong here How about that dildo incident in Buffalo when someone threw one onto the field during a timeout of a blowout Patriots Bills game, giving “Bills Mafia” the most excitement they’ve probably had all game, maybe season. The only thing news worthy about this incident, was that supposedly the fan that threw it onto the field, has been banned for life, other than that just one of those stupid incidents you just can’t seem to forget about.
10. Run me that chain lil homie I believe it was the last game of the regular season, when Broncos Aqib Talib and Raiders Michael Crabtree had been going at it all game. I’m sure tempers were hot, seeing how the Broncos who had all the juice a season prior, would be missing the playoffs and watching their division rivals, the Oakland Raiders get a chance to compete for a Super Bowl appearance. Any who, despite the Broncos being up the whole game, Talib wanted a personal win for his own books, taking it upon himself to snatch Crabtree’s gold chain from around his neck after a pass breakup. When asked why he would do such a thing, Talib replied “He has just been wearing that gold chain all year, it’s been growing on me…I said if he wears that chain in front of me, I’m going to snatch it off. He wore it in front of me, so I had to snatch it off.” What a character, humorously disrespectful *insert crying laughing emojis*.
11. Taking a knee Remember all the fuss about Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the National Anthem? Yea, just as I said before in an earlier post, if he didn’t turn his team around and put up some solid numbers, all the critics were going to say “well I guess he should’ve been more focused on football,” sure enough…Nonetheless, I didn’t have a problem with his actions, just his attitude when it came time to vote.
12. A black punter?
Now granted, the guys been with the Oakland Raiders since 2012, but it wasn't until this season that we seen him showcased in a new light. The spotlight. Man this brotha Marquette King has swag, he was appealing, and he was just all around cool! Why it took 4 seasons for the cameras to capture his post-punt dances and charismatic character, I have no idea, but he definitely brought style to the punting position like never before. Towards the end of last season, King was inked to a five-year, $16.50 million extension with $12.50 million being guaranteed loot.
13. Comeback kid Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw his way into the top-5 fourth quarter comeback quarterbacks in the NFL. If you’re a Lions fan, then you already know that these games can get ugly from the start, but if you’re really a Lions fan then you also know that Lions football doesn’t start until the fourth quarter. A very risky game plan nonetheless, but somehow it fits right into Stafford’s level of comfort who had an eye-popping eight fourth quarter comeback wins this season alone, which is three more than his 2014 season.
14. Calling it a career Former Texans Andre Johnson (Titans) and Arian Foster (Dolphins) both decided to step away from the game of football as they retired midway through the 2016 - ’17 season. Johnson was 35 and played the best of his career in Houston but felt his time was running thin, Foster who was 30 had battled injuries every season and couldn’t bear to put any more wear and tear on the body. *This was also the season where football fans around the world would have to accept that Detroit’s Megatron really wasn’t coming back.
15. So long, farewell It was already bad enough having to admit that you forgot Jeff Fisher was still coaching in the NFL. But what made this a relative headline was when the Rams coach was fired after posting a 4-9 record after he said earlier in the season “I’m not f***ing going 7-9,” lesson learned, don’t make promises you can’t keep…especially in professional sports.
16. List of head coaches who were fired by the end of the season: *Jaguars Gus Bradley *Rams Jeff Fisher *Chargers Mike McCoy *49ers Chip Kelly *Bills Rex Ryan *Broncos Gary Kubiak (retired)
These I’m sure are just a small snippet of the events that happened this season, but as I stated before, these are the unique memories that I have held onto through the 16 week NFL journey. Share some of your favorite 2016 NFL season memories below!