Kane’s NFL Questions And Answers: Where’s The Beef?


We are six weeks into the NFL season, and here are the story-lines (some interesting, some decidedly not interesting) that you can plan on hearing about all week.

The Indianapolis Colts overlooked the San Diego Chargers, and if there’s one thing we know about the National Football League, it’s that you can never take an opponent lightly. The men in that opposing locker room get paid too, and they have pride. That is why you can never, ever, overlook an opponent in the National Football League.

Bill Belichick was way too aggressive…er…I mean…Sean Payton was way too conservative. Your job as a head coach in the National Football League is to put your team in the best position to win, and Belichick, er, I mean Payton, failed to do that on Sunday.

Andy Reid has done a marvelous job changing the culture in Kansas City…

Is there any way that Greg Schiano is not the first head coach fired this season? 

That Manning fella returns to Indy…

NFL players would rather get hit in the head than get hit in the knees…

OK, now it’s on to some questions.

Question #1 – Seriously, where is the beef?

When Tom Brady completed that pass to Kenbrell Thompkins to snag an unlikely 30-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints, it presented a moment of pure and unadulterated elation for the Boston faithful. You can learn something about a man/woman and the substance of their character in those moments. So here is your somewhat disconcerting but wholly entertaining glimpse into Scott Zolak‘s soul (courtesy of 98.5 Sports Hub):

So that’s something. But that’s not all; this moment also revealed that Bill Belichick might, in fact, be a living, breathing human being (quotes courtesy of Patriots.com).

Sorry if you had to rewrite some of those stories there at the end. What a football game. I feel like that took about five years off my life. [I'm] really proud of our team.

Count the human emotions: empathy (apologizes to weary beat reporters), excitement, humor (cracks joke about stress of game), and one bonus point for articulating his mortality in the process (confirming that he is not a really boring robot, sent here to make controversial coaching decisions and belittle journalists…worst Sci-Fi movie plot ever, right?).

So anyway…what a game, huh?

Question #2 – What is going on in the AFC West?

In more than one of my fantasy football drafts this year, the owner who drafted Peyton Manning caught grief for selecting the veteran QB. Why? Because the Broncos were going to have the division wrapped up by like Week 13, or so the line of thinking went, and so Peyton would rest for the last few weeks of the regular seasons to get ready for the real playoffs. That would, in turn, lampoon that fantasy GM’s chances in the fake playoffs. The AFC West was going to be terrible, after all. The Broncos were going to cruise, right?

Sure, people were on the Chiefs as a “sexy” preseason pick, although it’s hard to imagine anything that could be less sexy considering that it involves Andy Reid in fire engine red every week. But I’m not sure anybody reasonably expected that stuff like this would be happening…

reid

And now six weeks into the season, the Chiefs are a perfect 6-0. That’s unexpected, even for those who were onto the Chiefs being improved this season.

Entering Week 5, the Broncos and Chiefs were 1st and 3rd in the entire NFL in Total DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average, per Football Outsiders) at 51.3% and 29.4%, respectively. The Chiefs have a terrifying defense and picked on Terrelle Pryor all game to push their record to 6-0. The Broncos have a terrifying offense and they “stumbled” to a 35-19 victory over the 0-6 Jaguars. Oh, and the San Diego Chargers just pushed their record to 3-3 with an impressive Monday Night Football win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The AFC West teams might play some soft games this year (NFC East anybody?), but nobody is skating through their divisional schedule. And if the Broncos are the #1 seed in the AFC, they will have earned it and they will probably need all of their starters for all 16 games.

Question #3 – What the heck, select Houston Texans fans? What the heck?

A disastrous 38-13 loss to the St. Louis Rams might have been a tipping point game for the Houston Texans for a number of reasons. Perhaps most noteworthy among them would be the players turning on certain of their fans (and rightfully so). Cornerback Johnathan Joseph might have said it best (courtesy of Paul Gallant on Twitter):

Question #4 – What was Brandon Weeden doing?

I’m going to throw these names out there, and then you’ll watch this video and know why: Brian Griese, Eli Manning, Jake Plummer, and now, Brandon Weeden! (h/t to BuzzFeedSports)

weeden

Couple facts: this play happened on 1st-and-10, on the Lions’ side of the 50, down only one touchdown, with over four minutes left. This wasn’t the result of desperation or garbage time; Brandon Weeden actually thought this was a good idea in the context of a competitive NFL game.

Fox analyst Heath Evans called this interception a “Brett Favre type” play. Which, I have to say, really throws me for a loop. I never, ever thought it would be possible for me to feel defensive on behalf of Brett Favre, and yet the thought crossed my mind. In between hearty chuckles, I can’t help but think to myself, “Man, that’s really mean, Heath.”

It’s insulting but also hilarious. Did we really just reach a moment where Brett Favre was compared to Brandon Weeden in real, serious football analysis? I just, I just…I don’t know what to say…the combination of joy and shock is overwhelming…

Wranglers! Checkmate! Fore! And where’s the freakin’ beef?

Tags: Andy Reid Brandon Weeden Brett Farve Cleveland Browns Denver Broncos Features Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Kansas City Chiefs Kenbrell Thompkins New England Patriots New Orleans Saints Oakland Raiders Peyton Manning Popular Sean Payton St. Louis Rams Tom Brady

  • LTGray

    “NFL players would rather get hit in the head than get hit in the knees…”

    That’s because they’ve already been hit in the head a few times. If I get hit in the knees, I lose a year of play, likely shorten my career, and miss out on making more millions to go with the millions I’ve already made, to enjoy the rest of my life. If I get hit in the head (a few times), I probably get through a normal-length career, make those extra millions, and die within ten years after retirement, maybe at my own hands.

    • Hayden Kane

      It seems like players worry more about their knees because they are more likely to lose a season, or even have it be career ending, and so might be inclined to not think about long term issues (say, post-career issues, as you point out). It’s a complicated issue, to be sure, and if nothing else I am confident it is going to stick as a topic as long as guys are getting hurt like R. Cobb did this past weekend.

      Thanks for the comment!