Week Seven in the NFL – Glass Half Empty
It was somewhere around the third quarter of the Seahawks-Cardinals game when I glanced at my beer mug sitting on the nearby table. I had been watching football and drinking beer for what seemed like the entire weekend when the moment struck.
Early in the day the mug sat there with enthusiasm, slightly frosted, and filled to the rim with a Mexican lager. The foam slowly dripped down the side. The lime wedge floated with excitement.
But it wasn’t until the games were practically over, and the recycling bin was full, when the great philosophical question thrust itself upon me.
Was the glass half empty or half full?
Looking back at week seven of the NFL, you could ask the same question.
- Atlanta running back Todd Gurley scored a late touchdown with time running out, giving the Falcons a six-point lead. Unfortunately, Gurley was supposed to stop at the one-yard-line in order to run the clock out and simply kick a game-winning field goal, but he lost his balance and accidentally crossed the goal line instead. The Lions would score in miraculous fashion to win the game 23-22.
- Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield would finally silence his critics by tossing five touchdown passes in a dramatic come-from-behind win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Unfortunately, Mayfield did suffer an interception that was returned for a touchdown on the very first pass of the day. To make matters worse, Cleveland’s star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. would tear his ACL trying to run that defender down.
- The Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers both hosted games at their brand new, state-of-the-art venues on Sunday. The combined cost of building Allegiant and SoFi Stadium was estimated to be around $7 billion. The combined attendance for those two games on Sunday was estimated to be around zero.
- John Elway may have thought he had finally found his answer at quarterback when he drafted Drew Lock in the second round of the 2019 draft. But after throwing two interceptions in a 43-16 drubbing by the Kansas Chiefs, Lock (63.3) now has a lower quarterback rating than his backups, Jeff Driskel (78.4), and Brett Rypien (66.1).
- Dallas quarterback Andy Dalton was forced to the leave the game on Sunday due to a concussion, which meant Ben DiNucci, a seventh-round rookie from James Madison, would have to run the show. DiNucci would complete just 2 of 3 passes for 39 yards, as the Washington Football Team would roll, 25-3. This is possibly the only time in history in which a quarterback, Dak Prescott, could suffer a severe season-ending injury and actually gain leverage in his contract negotiations.
- Phillip Lindsay looked like Denver’s top running back before being knocked out of the first half against the Chiefs with a concussion. The underpaid (3yr/$1.725m) and underappreciated Lindsay had already gained 79 yards on 9 attempts, while continuing to take carries from the pricey (2yr/$16m) Melvin Gordon. Gordon must have appreciated the extra second-half carries, along with the job security, as he continued to play despite coughing the ball up twice.
- Speaking of getting paid. Wide receiver Antonio Brown just signed a one-year/$1.05m contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, although incentives could make the deal as high as $3.5 million. The often-troubled Brown had made as much as $18 million-a-year in the past, but a history of detrimental conduct, off-the-field problems, and diva like behavior has cost him years of money, and playing time. But it’s still more than Phillip Lindsay makes.
- Finally, Quarterback Drew Brees of the Saints completed his 7,000 pass on Sunday. Which is more than any of the quarterbacks drafted in the first round over the last four years….combined.
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