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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

Detroit Lions v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

1) The NFL has a rule in place prohibiting players from using social media during games, so if a player Tweets while a game is still taking place, you figure there’s something serious going on. “This game has been so good to me no regrets,” Seattle safety Earl Thomas Tweeted. “A lot is running through my mind including retirement thanks for all the prayers.”

Thomas was just carted off the field on Sunday with what turned out to be a broken leg. With a day to think about it, Thomas still says retirement is an option, but he’ll still take it one day at a time.

2) Is there anything worse than when the cameras catch a player on the sidelines smiling, scowling or making no emotion at all, then seeing the media run with it like it’s an actual story?

The New York Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. was caught smiling and clapping when Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown scored a TD in N.Y.’s 24-14 loss. The New York Post ran the headline “Odell Beckham blasts refs after his Antonio Brown lovefest.”

A lovefest. Give me a break. called it smile-gate.

Ugh, really? Quick tangent; Slapping -gate on the end of a word is quite possibly the most idiotic thing anyone in the media could ever do.

From the New York Post;

“It is what it is, you can’t really sit there and worry about what everybody else has to say about something, or somebody’s mad because I smiled when he scored,” Beckham said. “It doesn’t really cross my mind. Like I said, the man’s like a brother to me, he’s taken me under his wing in the offseason, we go training, we do this … he’s just a good guy.

“And not like I’m sitting there rooting for him against our team, like, ‘Oh, man, tear it up.’ No, I don’t want us to lose! But at the end of the day, man, I love Antonio, I love the way he plays, I love everything about him, so … I do admire when he does his thing. Honest truth.”

3) The NFL had their Cleats For A Cause campaign during week 12, but one player didn’t get the spirit of the campaign.

There is no Yeezy Foundation. Dorial Green-Beckham just wanted to wear Kanye West’s Yeezy 350 cleats.

The NFL is going to do something positive and allow players to raise awareness for their causes, then we get some jackwagon trying to skirt the rules so he can rep some ugly ass shoes.

4) It’s that time of year again, where teams in the middle of their playoff push, start to worry more about playoff positioning rather than simply making the postseason.

Even with my favorite team nearly out of the hunt (Yes, the Bears are still mathematically alive!), I’m really excited about the teams that are still in the running. I think this could be a very exciting last few weeks of the NFL season, with some interesting potential playoff match-ups.

5) Did anyone expect the Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans or the Miami Dolphins to be realistic playoff possibilities heading into week 13?

Every year there are teams that no one expects to contend, actually contending, and that gives hope to those of us that cheer for a perennial loser.

6) Speaking of the Lions, there’s a simmering thought brewing among national football writers that Detroit quarterback Matt Stafford is a legit MVP candidate.

That is a sentence I never thought I’d write.

7) Here’s another sentence I never thought I’d never write.

Jeff Fisher signed a contract extension with the Los Angeles Rams.

Fisher must have some incriminating photos of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

He’s one more loss away from the NFL all time record of 165 losses, currently held by Dan Reeves.

FYI, John Fox is 20th all time with 108 losses.

8) The fan voting portion of the NFL’s Pro Bowl is all a big popularity contest and the Bears don’t have many popular players. Only Chicago’s Josh Sitton, who leads at guard for the NFC, is among the top 5 at his positions.

But at least the Bears have 1 top 5 player, the Lions, Packers, Texans, Jaguars, and 49ers don't have one player in the top five at any position.

9) The latest mock draft from SB Nation’s Dan Kadar takes the stance that NFL teams may not be ready to look past some of the issues surrounding the top quarterbacks, which could lead them all to fall out of the top 20.

It could happen once coaches really start to pour over game film.

With no QB worthy of a top pick in Kadar’s mock, he has the Bears going defense with the #4 pick.

Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan

Peppers is an enigma. He’s largely a defensive player, yet he’s a Heisman Trophy finalist. If nothing else, it’s a testament to his freaky ability. Michigan used Peppers a lot on defense this season near the line of scrimmage. In the NFL, he’s likely a strong safety who can play in the box or drop back. In other words, out of college he can be what Landon Collins has developed into for the Giants.

The thing I see with Peppers is he needs a defensive coach that will use his unique skill set properly, and I trust the defensive staff the Bears currently have in place to get the most out of Peppers. If you also trust Vic Fangio and company, then Peppers could develop into a dynamic play-maker.

10) The race for the #1 draft pick seems locked up by the 0-12 Cleveland Browns. The 49ers, with only 1 win, looks like a team that is ready for the offseason, so them staying at #2 seems probable. But the other crappy teams may have some jockeying left to do.

The 2 win Jaguars have shown some fight all year long. The 3 win Bears have been close in just about all their losses this year and the 3 win New York Jets are playing the 49ers this week.

Even the 4 win Panthers and Rams could be in play to fall down the draft board with their schedules.