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A Recap of the Greatest 2 Weeks in NFL History

A Synopsis of the Wildest 2 Weeks in NFL History
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These past two weeks had me hornswaggled, anxious, and stunned. Football fans may have witnessed the greatest  2 weeks of football in NFL history with 4 walk-off field goals, a walk-off touchdown, and a game clinching interception.

If you want to see what predictions I made ahead of this madness, check it out here.

Pick a Storyline

Most people in the NFL and sport media in general love parody and storylines. It helps to draw attention to the most popular sport in America and makes the media’s job easier. Here’s just some of the storylines:

Can Josh Allen finally overcome Patrick Mahomes? Will Derrick Henry return with a vengeance? Can Joe Burrow lead the AFC underdogs to another game? How will Matthew Stafford fair against the GOAT in Tom Brady? Can Brady push for another title? Will Aaron Rodger’s nightmares against San Francisco be vanquished? How will an all-time classic rivalry impact the playoffs?

Those storylines are just from the first weekend of games. It doesn’t include the Championship games, both were exciting in their own right.

For those interested, here are some of the storylines from Championship weekend:

Can the Bengals O-line improve and give Burrow a chance? How will Steve Spagnuolo stop Ja’Marr Chase? Will the Chiefs become the 2nd team to pull off 4 straight SB appearances? Will the Rams and Sean McVay eradicate the team whose had their number? Can the 49ers go to another Super Bowl with Jimmy G.?

Teams have Changed

For the teams who’ve had disappointing seasons, there have been new front office and coaching hires. The NY Giants have hired Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll to be their GM and HC respectively. Chicago hired former Chiefs Assistant Director of Player Personnel Ryan Poles as GM, Matt Eberflus as HC, and Luke Getsy as OC.  Minnesota hired Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to become their new general manager and have been rumored to target Jim Harbaugh as new HC. Nathanial Hackett is the new HC in Denver, and Vegas hired Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler as their new HC and GM tandem.

Brian Flores is still without a job, Jacksonville won’t pull the trigger on Byron Leftwich, and only the Dolphins, Jaguars, Texans, and Vikings are still looking for head coaches. That was until we got a bombshell announcement that Sean Payton was stepping away from football.

Payton, who is 58, surprised the world when he announced he was moving away from the game for a bit. At the time, he was the 2nd longest tenured HC in football behind Bill Belichick. He overcame a lot of adversity from rebuilding a franchise in shambles, surviving and uplifting the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, bounty-gate, a one-year suspension, and playing in Jacksonville after Hurricane Ida.

More Off the Field News

Outside of the playoffs, we had some more game-altering bombshells. Ben Roethlisberger, franchise quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, announced his retirement. A man who doesn’t know what a losing season is can wait around for 5 years until he is enshrined in Canton. Big Ben has had noticeable declines over the past two seasons and the time seemed right to hang up the shoulder pads.

The biggest bomb or fake bomb came over the weekend when Adam Schefter announced Tom Brady was retiring. Social media went into a frenzy unseen since Kobe Bryant’s passing. Many were acknowledging the GOAT and then another bombshell came out. Brady pulled an UNO reverse card and it was announced he wasn’t retiring. A few days after the report came out, Brady posted a lengthy post on Instagram officially retiring.

Aaron Rodgers, the lone wolf of the old guard, is the only player that remains from that group. We should take the time to remember those players from an era that feels like eons ago.

Post Championship Thoughts

After seeing Joe Burrow and the Bengals become the 2nd team to win a playoff OT game and lose the coin toss, it opened many people’s eyes towards the future. The AFC is stacked with young, talented, and impressive QBs. Mahomes, Allen, Jackson, Burrow, and Herbert all have proven they’ve got the chutzpah to become all-time greats. Supported by veterans like Carr and Tannehill and alongside rookies in Mac Jones, Zach Wilson, and Trevor Lawrence, this conference is going to be spicy in the years to come.

While some people may hate the Rams because they’ve built a “superteam”, the only free agent addition they got from this was OBJ. They drafted stars like Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp and made successful trades for Stafford, Ramsey, Sony Michel, and Von Miller. This was how other teams made the original “superteams” throughout history. Do we hate the ’80s Celtics for trading for Robert Parish? Do we harp on the ’80s Lakers for trading for past superstars like Bill Walton, Bob McAdoo, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? No, we remember them for their greatness and applaud them.

On the losing side, this was probably the last game for Jimmy G. in a Niners’ uniform. Garappolo, who has one year left on his contract, started as Trey Lance (No. 3 overall pick in 2021 draft) got a year of practice and some game experience. Where the former backup to Tom Brady will end up is a mystery.

The Chiefs couldn’t overcome the Bengal’s adjustments in the 2nd half on both sides of the ball. Coinciding with the goal-line stop by Cincinnati to end the 1st half, the Chiefs were making nothing happen. Failure to convert points on a Burrow interception that could have swung the tide of momentum really killed them. Their very last offensive play was the opposite of what got them to the AFC Championship game in the first place, an unnecessary shot downfield. Mahomes learned this year that dinking and dunking the ball instead of the big play was better, but he forgot it then.

 

Road Ahead

On Tuesday February 1st, former Dolphins HC Brian Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL, Giants, Broncos, and Dolphins. In the lawsuit, he alleges racial bias in coaching searches, tanking for cash, and other allegations. A bombshell announcement to the public but not for those who work in the NFL, Flores is combatting one of the oldest enemies in sport: racism.

This story will be updated in a separate article.  

 

 

 

Author

  • Chris Johnson

    What's up sports lovers, it's Chris Johnson, a senior Sport Management major at the University of Delaware. You'll probably find a smorgasbord of different topics ranging from the NBA, NFL, MLB, and some college sports. If I'm not writing, you can find me watching my Knicks, Giants, Yankees, or endlessly scrolling on Twitter. "The world never sleeps and neither does sport"- Chris Johnson

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