Sports Column: I love the NFL, is that a crime?


First off, I want to apologize because I’ve decided to write about the NFL again. I’m very sorry, but I love it too much. I know I said I was “taking a break” from it, but it’s been three weeks, and frankly, it was three weeks too long. Anyway, here’s a quick update on the NFL just in case you’ve been living under a rock.

RIP Fitzpatrick

He’s benched and the joy ride is over. At least we got to see him in his truest form before he left: throwing picks left and right. I was watching the game with someone who started him in fantasy, and even he couldn’t help but laugh watching this man implode on the football field.

He ended up getting benched for Jameis Winston before the game ended, and Winston actually almost brought them back. The former Florida State quarterback has been playing well since replacing Fitzpatrick at the quarterback 1 spot, and I think they’re going to ride with him no matter what happens. However, if trends continue, the Bucs will pull Winston in a week and start Fitzpatrick so he can almost come back from a three-touchdown deficit.

The Rams and the Chiefs played the best game ever

I love this NFL where the best teams are just the ones that put up 50 points a game. I’m glad the Broncos, Seahawks, Panthers, Patriots era of playing good defense and kicking five field goals a game is irrelevant right now. I want to see touchdowns, and a lot of them. I want to see defensive backs getting exposed by Tyreek Hill and Deandre Hopkins and linebackers getting their ankles taken by Saquon Barkley and Alvin Kamara. I want to see exciting plays.

This game had it all. It had a Tuesday night MAAC conference game feel to it; anything can happen next. There was no security. It was like taking people who’ve watched Barney their whole lives and then throwing them in front of Game of Thrones. Everyone was thinking, “there’s no way they can score again,” and then they scored again. Pure ecstasy.

Dissecting this game from the Chiefs side, Tyreek Hill and Patrick Mahomes both had a day. Hill caught ten passes for over 200 yards and two touchdowns (which in standard PPR leagues is a 40 burger), and Mahomes threw for 478 yards and six touchdowns. What can’t this team do? I keep waiting for the Andy Reid collapse, but I’m doubting myself more and more every day on if that will happen. While the Bengals are holding true to what they always do, the Chiefs are venturing into uncharted territory, still being a really good team headed toward the playoffs.

Looking at the Rams, the reason they won this game is not entirely because of their offense but because their defense came up with key turnovers in crunch time. Jared Goff threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns, but Todd Gurley didn’t run the ball all that well. However, the Rams defense got those stops that made the difference in this game.

That seems to be the big difference between the Rams and the Chiefs right now – that the Rams defense isn’t great but it’s good enough to get key stops and win games. I think they have the makings of a Super Bowl team, but I also think it’ll come down to the young quarterback not breaking down. I think anyone else would agree that it’d be great to see these two juggernaut teams match up again in the playoffs.

Are the Texans good?

The Texans are really surprising me, but they are flying under the radar compared to the other big dogs of the NFL. The other teams that are winning a lot right now have much more exciting offenses and players that draw a lot more attention, but the Texans, for the most part, quietly go about their business.

They’ve had some big games and have performed well in the spotlight, but they mostly handle their opponents in relatively low scoring games. They are basically what the Redskins and the Cowboys could be if they had good quarterbacks.

What’s really made the difference this year is that combination of Lamar Miller playing well and Deshaun Watson having a career year. Those two have really been able to contribute with Deandre Hopkins, who will always have a good season, no matter who is throwing to him.

Defensively, the Texans rank eight in the league in yards allowed per game but are fourth overall in points allowed. They are also 11th in the league in forcing turnovers, which makes them a dangerous defense behind the solid offense they have. I think they are better than their numbers too. They just aren’t on the field as much as the other defenses ahead of them in the category due to the efficiency of their offense. Definitely look for the Texans to surprise people this year in the playoffs.

That’s it for now, but I hope my readers enjoyed that quick gut check of NFL nonsense. Have a nerry Christmas, sports fans, and a happy new year.

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