Top 10 questions from the 2017 NFL Season

After the first half of the NFL season, let us look at my top 10 questions from the 2017 NFL Season.

10. Why are the refs so bad this year?

NFL season Questions

Nov 5, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman (24) is restrained by line judge Sarah Thomas (53) and referee Ron Torbert (62) during an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the season, the NFL announced that they would be hiring full-time referees, for the first time in league history. I do not think I was the only fan of the game that thought “Finally! A move that makes sense!”

After the first 9 weeks of the season, I cannot believe how inept these officials seem to be. Maybe it is because I had a higher expectation for them considering they are full-time now, but I think I have seen more bad calls this year than in years previous.

9. What is in the water in LA, and why are the Chargers drinking it?

NFL season Questions

Oct 29, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) argues an offensive pass interference call line judge Tim Podraza during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

When the Chargers decided they were going to move to LA, I figured that Los Angeles was finally going to get a winning football team. I was right, just not about the Chargers (more on LA winning football later, but first, here is more on the Chargers)

I think it is finally time to admit that while Mr. Rivers might be great at procreating offense (among other things), he is no longer capable of carrying the whole team. Maybe it is time for the Chargers to look for youth at QB and spend the money on some missing pieces like the running backs room, or a healthy core of O-Lineman (or a stadium in San Diego, perhaps.


8. Who are the Jets?

NFL season Questions

Oct 22, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) celebrates with Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) after scoring a touchdown during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets have been the hardest team to figure out this NFL season. When they traded away Sheldon Richardson for Jermaine Kearse, I figured they were quietly trying to get the best draft pick for next year that they could.  However, who knows what this team is going to do after the first half a season. they are sitting just under .500 right now, but depending on the game you watched, they could finish 11-5 or 4-12 or anywhere in between.

7. Which team blinks first, the 49ers or Browns?

NFL season Questions

Jan 1, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) scrambles against pressure by Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Dan McCullers-Sanders (93) in overtime at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a while since there were two teams in the NFL threatened to have winless seasons. I am thinking that since these two teams do not actually face each other, there is a real possibility that the top two draft picks go to winless teams.

The 49ers do have some winnable games left this season, against the Texans (sans DeShaun Watson) and the Giants at home so I could reasonably see them at 2-14 this year.

Cleveland, on the other hand, has a real chance of joining the 2008 Detroit Lions by going 0-16 in a single season. Granted, the only game I think they might have a chance at is the December 3rd meeting against the Chargers, but that’s only if they keep drinking the LA water.

My money is on the Browns getting yet another 1st pick overall, but maybe it will be a tie…


6. Why are Matt Moore and Tom Savage getting starts when Kaepernick is still unsigned?

NFL season questions

January 1, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) passes the football to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (17) against the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Granted there is a lot of political mumbo-jumbo around this player, but how bad does it have to be when the Dolphins will give Matt Moore a shot at starting a game, and Houston not only started Tom Savage, but also signed Matt McGloin, Josh Johnson, and TJ Yates ahead of even bringing in Colin for a discussion?

My opinion of Kaepernick has never been the highest. The man does not seem to have the tools upstairs to diagnose an NFL defense or make any decent decision on where to scramble, but in a fast-paced quick-draw offense where there is an intelligent lead QB to help him study, he is extremely serviceable. Just give him a chance, which is all I am saying.

5. Does the NFL respect the difference between personal time and playing time?

NFL season Questions

Aug 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot (21) smiles after the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has had,  a recent history of litigation surrounding player and team penalties.  Nearly all of the cases were things that happened on the field or during a game. Unfortunately, there is reason to believe a person’s image directly affects the Bazillion dollar Football industry, beginning with Ray Lewis and seemingly ending with Ray Rice. There seemed to be a pretty cut and clear line though. Basically, if the authorities arrest you, you are going to get penalized for endangering the league.

Enter the Ezekiel Elliot case. The police only investigated this man for wrongdoing. Not arrested, not charged, and not granted innocence by a high-priced lawyer. The league says that deserves a six-game penalty for violating the personal conduct policy.

I really dislike domestic violence.  And as a Seahawks fan, I would love Zeke to be suspended when they go to the Big D. But shouldn’t the NFL let the cops decide who is penalized for a crime?


4. What happened to Atlanta and Tampa Bay?

NFL season Questions

Nov 3, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter shakes hands with Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn (right) after a football game at Raymond James Stadium. The Falcons won 43-28. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay was really decent last year, and we all know how good Atlanta was. Well, except for the last 10 minutes of the Super Bowl. What happened to them? Were they possessed by a race of aliens that really stink at football? (going for an opposite reference to the classic “Space Jam”…)

I think the truth here is that the Falcons and Bucs came back to earth and are playing their normal level of competence. The Falcons were 8-8 in the 2015 NFL season and 6-10 in the 2014 NFL season,  while the Buccaneers were 6-10 and 2-14 respectively. Did we expect too much?


3. Who would have predicted the Jaguars and Rams would be competent football, teams?

NFL season Questions

Nov 27, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Los Angeles Rams tight end Lance Kendricks (88) celebrates his touchdown catch with Rams center Tim Barnes (61) and wide receiver Brian Quick (83) in the second quarter against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Seriously, the Jaguars and the Rams have become bullies in their respective conferences this NFL season.

The Jaguars are not good enough yet to be consistent game winners. However, I don’t think that teams are counting them as a second bye week anymore.

Having the Rams playing in the Coliseum has been kind of nostalgic. Especially because of the downright mean, physical game that they play. It especially reminds me of the old Raiders teams that would crush playoff dreams there.

Maybe it’s the magic of having a smaller fan base… maybe?

2. Why did nobody warn me how good DeShaun Watson is?


NFL season Questions

Oct 29, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) embraces Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) after a game at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 41-38. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

DeShaun Watson is seriously a stud. Reading defenses check. Throws well on the run, check. Pretty-looking deep ball, check. Rather reminds me of how Russell Wilson showed up and blew people’s minds. People in Houston were probably already naming their kids after him. That is, until he blew out his knee in practice, of all things.

When the kid makes it back,  they will have a real franchise building QB in Houston.

1. Is the sophomore slump taking the year off for Carson Wentz?

NFL season Questions

Nov 5, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) leaves the field after a victory against the Denver Broncos at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Typically, you wait until the third year to evaluate a QB, but Carson Wentz‘s second year is just different. He took the handle on a complicated offensive scheme and ran away with it.

Granted, the Eagles have a really tough December ahead of them. In fact, three of the four weeks they are visiting teams that cannot afford to lose. Their only home game is against the Cowboys, on New Year’s Eve. But with Wentz, the Eagles are looking like the team to beat in the NFC.

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