Category Archives: Injuries

BREAKING: Tom Brady Listed as Questionable for Super Bowl LII

Sources are saying that Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady’s right throwing hand is still not 100% going into tomorrow’s Super Bowl LII matchup against the Eagles. Just kidding, no shot any of you guys bought that, and if you did, you need to work on your reasoning skills. Anyway, now that I’ve got you here, here’s the real point of this blog.

Never ever forget. Fuck the Pats, fuck the Birds, XLII is the best Super Bowl of all-time and you’re never taking that from us. Go G-Men baby.

Carson Wentz Wants the Patriots to Win the Super Bowl

Carson Wentz wants the Patriots to win the Super Bowl.  Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

Sure, we might hear an interview this week with Wentz in which he says something like, “I’ll be rooting harder than anyone for Nick Foles and the Eagles.”  Sure, reporters will inevitably blow this up into a full-page story about what a great team guy Wentz is, as if he had not simply uttered the obvious cliché line that any player in his situation would say.  However, let us be clear: If Wentz says anything at all about rooting for the Eagles, he is full of you-know-what.    Allow me to explain.

Carson Wentz was an MVP candidate as of the time of his Week-14 injury.  The Eagles were 10-2 at the time and on the verge of an 11th win.  Wentz was injured in the third quarter of that 11th win, and Nick Foles was ultimately behind center as the Eagles scored the winning points.  Thus, the Eagles entered Foles’s first 2017 start with an 11-2 record.   Since that time, Foles has started five games – two dominant efforts (against the Giants and in an otherworldly performance in the NFC Championship game against the Vikings), a solid effort in the Divisional Playoffs against the Falcons, an underwhelming performance in a win against the Raiders, and a bad but brief and meaningless performance in the season finale against the Cowboys.  In the modern NFL, it is not unusual for any starting quarterback to have two dominant games, a decent game, a below-average game, and a bad game over a 5-game stretch.

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However, it is a big deal that Foles’s most dominant game of this stretch did come in the NFC Championship.  In that game, he threw for 352 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and a passer rating of 141.4.  That dominant performance against Minnesota has caused many people to shed a more positive light on Foles’s Divisional-Round effort with 246 passing yards and a 100.1 passer rating.  Furthermore, Foles’s win over the Giants saw Foles throw 4 touchdowns and bring the Eagles to a 99% probability of earning the top seed in the NFC.  Therefore, it is easy for Eagles fans to ignore Foles’s bad efforts in Weeks 16 and 17, as the games were essentially meaningless.

That all said, Carson Wentz did lead the Eagles to a 10-2 record this season and had them on the doorstep of 11-2.  Carson Wentz did all the heavy lifting to earn the Eagles the top seed in the playoffs.   In 13 starts, Wentz threw for 3296 yards, 33 TDs, 7 interceptions, and a 101.9 passer rating.  For good measure, Wentz also added 299 rushing yards.  Yes, Foles has had two dominant games and one respectable game over a 5-game stretch, but could Foles have done what Wentz did for 13 games?  I do not know.  Furthermore, if Wentz is as fierce a competitor as Eagles fans would want him to be, Wentz should think that Foles could not have done it.

Additionally, I am sure that Carson Wentz has thought from Day 1 in Philadelphia, “I am gonna be the guy who finally brings a Super Bowl Championship to Philly.  I am gonna be loved and adored in that City forever.   They will love me even more than they love Rocky, and they actually think that Rocky Balboa was a real person.”  Look, I hate the Eagles and hope that they go up in flames on Sunday, but, if the Eagles had drafted me to be their savior quarterback, I am certain I would be thinking the afore-mentioned quote as well.

Anyway, let us now take a quick journey through Carson Wentz’s career in Philly.  He had a strong, albeit losing, first season in Philly.  Then, he went out and dominated Season 2.  By midseason, the Eagles were the clear favorites to win the NFC.  Wentz put the Eagles on the doorstep of clinching the #1 seed, and then BOOM!…He got hurt.  By that point, Wentz’s replacement needed only to win one of three games to guarantee the #1 seed.  That replacement, Foles, took care of business in that first game.  Then, he stunk his way through Weeks 16 and 17.  After that, he played a very pedestrian game against the high-powered Atlanta Falcons.  Foles lead the Eagles to a mere 15 points but lucked out because his defense played a stellar game in holding Atlanta to 10.  The next week, Foles went out and played “the game of his life” against the Vikings to put the Eagles in the Super Bowl.

Now, we do not know what will happen this coming Sunday in Minneapolis.  However, if the Eagles win, Nick Foles will forever be the guy adored by Eagles fans for bringing Philly its first Super Bowl Championship.  It does not matter that Wentz got the Eagles to 10-2 this season.  Foles will be the guy hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.  Even if Wentz ultimately wins (shudder) six future Philly championships as the starter, Foles will always be the guy who brought the city its first Super Bowl Championship.  That has to kill Wentz inside.  In fact, if it does not, and if I were an Eagles fan; I would be mad that my starting QB is not competitive enough!

Now I know many of you might be thinking of parallels between Wentz/Foles and Phil Simms and Jeff Hostetler of the 1990 Giants.  We Giants fans loved Hostetler for stepping in for Simms and winning the last two regular-season games, two NFC-playoff games, and the Super Bowl.  However, we never thought that Hostetler could legitimately replace a healthy Simms (although a QB controversy did ultimately emerge in 1991 and 1992).  The Giants won those five Hostetler starts in the 1990 season on the strengths of an elite defense and a strong rushing attack.  Hostetler did just enough to win.  In fact, the Giants used a formula similar to that which the Eagles used with Foles against the Falcons.  That said, unlike with Foles against the Vikings, Hostetler did not have any “the game of his life” playoff games.

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In fact, when I put “the game of his life” in quotes for Foles’ NFC Championship performance, I did so because Foles did go 8-2 in 10 starts for the 2013 Eagles.  He threw for 2891 yards, 27 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and a passer rating of 119.2.  Wow, those are some great numbers!  Also, Foles threw for 7 touchdowns in one game against the Raiders that year.  In fact, I would argue Foles’ 2013 numbers are more impressive than Wentz’s 2017 numbers, and Wentz knows that such a case can be made.  To the contrary, Jeff Hostetler was a career backup, and neither Simms nor most Giants fans ever felt that Hostetler could outplay Simms for any significant period of time.  Moreover, prior to Hostetler’s Super Bowl victory, Simms had already won a Super Bowl, the Giants’ first.  Therefore, even though Hostetler did win Super Bowl XXV with “Simms’ team”, Phil Simms knew he would remain more legendary than Jeff Hostetler in the minds of Giants fans.   On the other hand, the analogous scenario is not true with Wentz and Foles.  Wentz knows that Foles had an all-time great (by any QB’s standards) season 4 years ago and that Foles was temporarily ruined in 2015 by known QB wrecker Jeff Fisher.  It is not completely unreasonable for a person to think that Foles is better than Wentz…Wentz knows that and cannot be happy about it.  Meanwhile, Wentz does know though that, if Foles loses the Super Bowl, fickle Philly fans will immediately criticize Foles and talk about how they will win the Super Bowl next year when the superior Wentz returns.  Wentz has to know that.

On the other hand, if the Eagles win the Super Bowl, not only does Wentz have to deal with the “scene” of Foles basking in the glory Wentz feels should belong to him……but Wentz also knows that it is actually fathomable that he would then find himself in a “Goddamn arms race” with Foles.  Boom. That is a double whammy that would eat at my soul if I were Wentz.

Therefore, Wentz can say whatever he wants…but, deep down – in his heart, in his brain, and in his soul; he wants to be the guy to bring Philly its first Lombardi Trophy.  Carson Wentz is absolutely rooting for the Patriots.

A List of Things Markelle Fultz’s Shot is Uglier Than

Remember Markelle Fultz? The first overall pick in the draft? Consensus best player in a stacked class? Sure thing, great speed, great vision, great player. Well…this is him now.

Feel old yet?

A few videos have been released of Fultz learning to shoot again, and it is UGLY. With free throws like that, he has potential to be the biggest bust of all-time. He’s still young, and he can still fix it, so I’m not going to be making any assumptions. But, for the time being, I don’t want to let an opportunity for humor slip away. Let’s discuss a few things that Markelle Fultz’s shot is uglier than:

Steve Buscemi

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50 Cent Throwing a Baseball

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Kyle Kuzma’s Outfit Choices

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Jabba the Hutt in his prime

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Kevin Durant Trying to Drink a Beer

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Dennis Rodman (two pictures were required)

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Matt Schaub Pick Six’s

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Ed, Edd, and Eddy in Real Life (Viewer Discretion Advised)

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Moles (both kinds)

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Anyone Who Consciously Hates on Nicolas Cage

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Science…it’s stupid and hard

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Kim Kardashian singing anything, let alone her own song “Jam (Turn It Up)”

Shaq Shooting Free Throws (didn’t know this was ever possible)

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And finally…this

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I’m sure I’m missing something, so comment below if you think there is anything Fultz’s shot is uglier than before he figures out how to be good again.

Ranking This Year’s Notable NFL Injuries

Injuries are an inevitable part of football.  Every year, many NFL players miss games.  Every year, some players suffer season-ending injuries.  However, this 2017 NFL season has clearly set the unofficial record for number of marquee players suffering season-ending or near-season-ending injuries.  By my count, ten marquee players have fallen into this dubious category.  Eight of these players likely rank among the Top 25 among offensive –skill-position players, while the other two are arguably the biggest defensive stars (albeit not necessarily the two best defensive players) in the game.  Naturally, the majority of the eight offensive players are stars as well.

Much has been written and tweeted about the NFL’s low ratings and problems this year.  That said, the NFL entered 2016 on a very lofty perch in terms of ratings and popularity.  Therefore, the NFL is still incredibly popular, even if it has taken a hit over the past two years.  For the ratings decline in 2017, some of it might be traced to the national-anthem protests; however, it certainly does not help to have so many stars standing on the sidelines on Sundays.

As a result, I am going to rank the ten most devastating injuries this season, as far as what I think the injuries have done to the level of interest in the NFL.  Without further ado, here is the list:

Honorable Mention) Allen Robinson: If you drafted him on your fantasy team, you were upset when he was lost for the season.  However, an excellent receiver on a terrible Jacksonville Jaguars team does not have much cache.  I know Jacksonville is now a good team, but, unfortunately for Robinson, he has not been a part of the renaissance.  Therefore, I doubt his injury has hurt the NFL’s popularity.

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10) Dalvin Cook: This running back, the Vikings’ first-round pick, was off to a solid start to his NFL career, with 354 rushing yards in 3-plus games, when he tore his ACL.  That ended Cook’s season.  In a league where young running backs usually shine and where first-round-picks at skill positions receive much hype, this was a minor blow to the NFL’s popularity.  While Cook was not yet a household name, he provided more ammunition for those who tune out because too many players get hurt.

9) Julian Edelman: Truthfully, as long as Tom Brady is playing quarterback, the Patriots are the NFL’s biggest draw.  Either you root for them, or you despise them.  Regardless, you are watching.  However, it was not great for the NFL’s image to lose a 1106-yard (2016 stats), Super Bowl-hero receiver for the season in a preseason game (non-contact ACL tear).  Moreover, I think that last year’s Super Bowl vaulted Edelman’s status from “He’s just Brady’s slot receiver du jour” to “This guy is actually a great receiver.”  This was the first season when the NFL could have marketed him as a star, but that was all for naught after he tore his ACL.

8) JJ Watt: Between 2011 and 2015 (when he played all 80 regular-season games), a JJ Watt season-ending injury would have been more devastating popularity-wise, but Watt played in only 3 games last year.  Therefore, fans entered this year accustomed to having Watt on the sideline.  However, we are talking about a defensive star.  Now, after breaking his leg this year, fans must start wondering if we have seen the last of the great JJ Watt, and that is bad for football.  Hey, at least we will always have Bad Moms.

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7) Richard Sherman: I will leave it to Rob Sartori to discuss the relative merits of the great players on Seattle’s defense.  However, Sherman is the biggest star.  He makes big plays, and he says memorable things.  Some people love him; some people hate him.  Either way, things are much more interesting when he is on the field, which he will not be for the remainder of the season.

6) David Johnson: After amassing more than 2100 yards from scrimmage in 2016, he entered this season as a Top-3 running back, alongside Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott.  No, he might not be as much of a name brand as those two backs, but a Top-Three running back is a Top-Three running back.  Furthermore, we have officially entered the “The injury makes the team a whole lot worse” part of this list.  With David Johnson, the Cardinals entered the season as a trendy playoff pick in the NFC.  However, when David Johnson fractured his wrist in Week 1, that all changed.  Very few running backs in today’s NFL have such a drastic impact on a team’s success level.  Bell, Elliott, LeSean McCoy, and Todd Gurley might be the only other backs who do.  True to form, the Cardinals’ offense (in part because of Carson Palmer’s injury) has generally been weak this season.

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5) Andrew Luck: The Colts would have been playoff contenders with him; they will be drafting in the Top 5 in April because they have played this season without him.  That is how tough it is losing Andrew Luck for a full season.  You might expect me to put Luck closer to #1, given that he is a Top-5 quarterback when healthy.  However, because he missed 10 games to injury in 2015-2016 and because there were rumblings about his health during the offseason, many NFL fans entered 2017 already bracing for his absence.  In my opinion, the NFL can better withstand season-ending injuries when they happen in the offseason.  In September, fans greatly crave football after the long offseason.  Therefore, they are less bothered by injuries.  However, as the fans get their fill of football and become attached to players during the season, injuries to players are more likely to push fans away.  Again, just my theory.

4) Carson Wentz: Speaking of midseason injuries pushing people away….It is one thing to have a terrible season like the Colts have had.  Again, their quarterback has been hurt all season.  It is another thing to end up with the #1 or #2 seed in the playoffs and be forced to use a backup quarterback, Nick Foles, instead of your MVP candidate, Carson Wentz.  If you are a sports fan, you feel “off” inside when a great team has to use a back-up quarterback in a playoff game.  Nick Costanzo sums it up best.

3) Odell Beckham Jr.: He is the biggest non-quarterback star in the league.  He is a dominant player, and his extracurricular antics are always interesting.  While the Giants did go 0-4 in games he played this year, his season-ending ankle fracture turned the Big Blue offense from “average” to “bad”.  The guy is a huge star nationally, and he is the biggest star of a “New York” team.  Furthermore, his absence has made Giants games unwatchable for many people.

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2) Deshaun Watson: While he had played only half a season for Houston at the time of his ACL tear, Watson had already established himself as a potential Top-10 quarterback in the league.  Meanwhile, he was playing like a Top-5 fantasy quarterback.  He had taken a chronically moribund Texans offense and made it elite.  Watson had vaulted the Texans into the discussion of “legitimate AFC Super Bowl contenders” with the Patriots, Steelers, and Chiefs.   Texans games were must-see TV.  Then, he got hurt, and viewers became stuck deciding whether or not to tune in for Tom Savage.  Not a good thing.  As for the “Super Bowl contender” thing, the Texans are now Top-5-draft-pick contenders.  Ouch.

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1) Aaron Rodgers: Beckham and Watson are rare examples in which one man’s injury changes a team from “very watchable” to “very unwatchable”. Aaron Rodgers is the extreme case of this.  While Brett Hundley has improved in recent weeks, he underwhelmed in his first few starts.  The Packers are annually a marquee team, and Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are clearly the best two NFL quarterbacks.  Every year, football fans count on being available to watch these two QBs’ games.  It does not matter who your favorite team is, if you do fantasy, if you gamble, etc.  Aaron Rodgers is an amazing quarterback, and sports fans love watching him.  It is great to have him back this week, because man was it depressing to watch the Packers without him.

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And there you have it, my list of devastating NFL injuries this season.  Of course, if Antonio Brown, Drew Brees, and Todd Gurley get hurt over the next three weeks; I will have to update this list.  Let us pray that does not happen, but we all know it is possible.