There’s been sort of a ying & yang to this oddly unsettling NFL season thus far. Five weeks in and it’s fairly obvious coaches are basically relying entirely on their respective starting QB’s arm. If you’re the Patriots or the Packers, yeah, okay — that shit works for you. If you’re the Chiefs or the Broncos, well, go ahead and start drawing up your ‘Welcome Andrew!’ banners now.
Since implementing the highly enforced ‘safe hitting’ rules last season, the NFL has provided a somewhat strange ‘power ranking’ system of which QB’s will earn defenses penalties and which ones won’t. Like, say, if you’re Tom Brady and you get decked by Haloti Ngata? Haloti will be expecting a smaller paycheck. If you’re Jay Cutler and Ndamukong Suh decapitates you? Suh may receive a fine for that, but chances are, if Cutler is able to get up, no big fine will occur. Because if there’s something Jay Cutler is good at… it’s walking away from something.
You’re probably smart enough to see where I’m going here. Untouchable QB’s, like Brady in particular, are basically free to park their asses in the pocket and (with good protection from their line) throw it all fucking day, no consequences to be found. Uh, well, except with your basic mistake package, like pick 6’s or what have you.
Five weeks into 2011’s season and Brady is about to easily trump Dan Marino’s long-standing single-season passing record. While 5,084 yards in one season seems laughable in today’s game, well, you’re wrong dickweed. The record has stood the test of time since 1984. 26 years later, and Mr. Perfect is about to pass that by week 13. #12 is already at 1,553 passing yards through 4 games — and after the lousy pass defense the Jets did in Baltimore (see: Ray Rice), don’t expect Wes Welker to be overlooked; Brady will continue to fist punch the sky with his textbook spirals that moisten New Englanders crotchal regions, no matter the gender.
Cam Newton is still a rookie and he’s already exceeding expectations and shattering rookie records. His NFL debut lauded him an all-time best 422 passing yards, toppling Peyton Manning’s rookie debut. His first three games, Newton has passed over a thousand yards. I’m not saying Newton didn’t earn these numbers, because just watching the guy makes you want to take back every mean and racist thing you said about him when he was at Auburn (admit it, you bigot — you said something fucked up. I know you did — he played in the SEC for Christ’s sake! The college conference with the most prejudice fans in the world! Probably!).
These numbers are inflated and looking askew based solely on the fact that defenders are scared to play the game as gritty as we’ve come to expect. Certain star QB’s attract the calls that could cost players money and their team serious damage on the field. While guys like Michael Vick and Ben Douchelisberger are certainly stars, they don’t hold the same status such as guys like Manning or Brady. Could this be due in part to their ‘controversial’ pasts? Perhaps. But officials have let that go, and just like in the NBA, certain guys will garner penalty calls more than others, no matter the media coverage (pay enough attention to each game and all QB hits, and you begin to realize it’s a fucking politico conspiracy conjured up by the fatcats in Canton! Probably!).
The NFL’s current record-breaking numbers are quite simply ‘juiced,’ to tie it in to major league baseball, because anytime I talk about bulked numbers, I am required by law to mention baseball, steroids, Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Congress, shrunken testes, ass to mouth and A-Rod A-Rod A-ROOOOOOODDDDDDD!!!!
I like seeing Aaron Rodgers throw 4 touchdowns and run 2 more in himself. I like seeing Cam Newton finally prove that maybe black quarterbacks are pretty goddamn good sometimes (see, Donovan?). I like Tom Brady’s hair and face — I mean, his ability to pass, um, well. However, this current rule implementation is flawed and unfairly bumps numbers up while also highlighting the NFL’s biggest stat: sacks.
Keep an eye on this the rest of the season. Just watch how many sacks do occur overall, because you’ll slowly realize defenses figuring ways around this whole idea that since QB’s can’t be popped hard forever, the run game can be shut down. By the time we’re halfway through the season, one-dimensional teams will fold. Teams who rely on their QB won’t last forever, and as guys like Michael Vick complain about how many times he’s hit, coaches will think this is their strength.
You may wind up seeing the Kevin Kolbs and Tarvaris Jacksons of the league getting hit less and more flags thrown their way on late hits, but the treatment will not enhance the passing game. Teams have to ensure they can rely on a strong back, too. You can already see the potential in New Orleans, Buffalo, Oakland, Baltimore and Tampa Bay — teams with solid offenses built on stability. Cleveland is getting there (slowly), and the 49ers have made improvements (no telling how Gore will last the entire season). Guys like Eli Manning, who are having career years, will begin to see this strategy crumble as defenses account for the adjustment to how officials call hits on offenses. Teams like Detroit and Atlanta rarely see their QB’s touched, but has precise plays called in order to avoid this front. With so many weapons, it won’t be easy for a few select teams to get past this hump — but with a team as solid as New England on paper… it may wind up biting them in the ass. Tom Brady’s sweet, dimply ass. I mean, uh, boobs and tits and succulent melons with, um, bar-b-que sauce and car engines. Horsepower. Budweiser. I’m not gay. Moving on…
Again, we’re only in week 5, with 11 more to go. This may prove to be a watered-down offensive year in many regards, but the standings will be like Jason Giambi’s waistline circa 2006. Dan Marino’s record stood this long for a reason. Is it any coincidence that a 34-year-old 3-time champion quarterback on a strictly passing offense is about to take that record out on his yacht, feed it expensive steaks, vacation with it to Maui, have lots of sex with it, probably videotape said sex and hide it in a safety deposit box in Canada, only to cheat on it with another record and break its fucking heart? No. No goddamn way, man.
Root all you want for vets like Brady and rooks like Newton — just remember the NFL sort of tinkered with the formula to make it all happen.
- The Angry Sportsfan
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