In the past month, I’ve noticed that Tamron Hall, Paige Spiranac, Kayce Smith, Katie Nolan, Jane Slater, Alex Flanagan and virtually every other attractive woman on Twitter has taken a potshot at you. I see you still got the magic touch with the ladies. On the bright side, at least they find you irresistible.
Hang in there, big fella. You just need a slump buster. Even the all-time greats fall into an occasional slump.
Here are your NFL Truths for Week 5:
10) Vikings coach Mike Zimmer planted the seed for Minnesota’s defeat late in the third quarter, not with his fourth-down decision in the final 2 minutes.
Minnesota cut Seattle’s lead to 21-19 with a little more than 3 minutes to play in the third. Zimmer foolishly attempted a two-point conversion. It failed.
In a close game, there’s zero reason to go for two points until the final 6 minutes of the fourth quarter. There’s no reason to chase points when there are multiple possessions left in the game.
Had Zimmer kicked the PAT late in the third quarter and made the score 21-20, his decision late in the fourth quarter would have been simple. Ice the game with a chip-shot field goal by going up nine points.
Add the extra point, and the score would’ve been 27-21 when Zimmer chose to go for it on fourth-and-inches at the Seattle 6-yard line. Minnesota could’ve kicked a 24-yard field goal and made it a two-score game.
Coaches chase points in the second and third quarters all the time. It’s stupid. They should let the game play out.
Zimmer blew the game in the third quarter.
9) Washington quarterback Alex Smith’s return to the football field is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in sports.
Two years ago, a defender broke the fibula and tibia in Smith’s right leg. An infection caused by 17 surgeries provoked doctors to consider amputating Smith’s leg. Smith nearly died.
Smith is 36 years old.
It was stunning to see him take the field Sunday after starting quarterback Kyle Allen injured his shoulder. It’s a testament to the power of the human mind, particularly Smith’s mind. He never doubted he could return to the field.
I thought his determination to play again was a mind trick he was playing on himself. He was shooting for the moon in hopes of landing atop a mountain.
Alex Smith is Neil Armstrong. He landed on the moon.
This COVID and Black Lives Matter-marred NFL season was worth it for no other reason than the inspiration Smith provided all of us who love the game.
8) Washington third-string quarterback Dwayne Haskins is the antithesis of Alex Smith.
Haskins skipped Sunday’s game because he wasn’t “feeling well.”
Let me be accurate. Washington excused Haskins from attending the game because Haskins told the team Saturday night that he wasn’t “feeling well.” Maybe it’s true.
But I think Haskins’ tummy ache was caused by his demotion from starter to third string. He can’t handle adversity. I hope I’m wrong. I hope his tummy ache was a real thing that can be cured by some hot tomato soup, a couple of Bayer children’s chewable aspirin and some TLC from mommy.
Right now, I think Haskins’ tummy ache is a symptom of the disease Victimhood-2020. Social media is a super spreader of Victimhood disease. And just like COVID-19, Victimhood-2020 is ravaging my community, the black community.
Victimhood will prevent Haskins from landing a lucrative job as a backup NFL quarterback. Football coaches and executives live in fear of their locker rooms contracting a single case of Victimhood-2020.
Victimhood is very contagious. It travels through the air and can live on football helmets and shoulder pads for 48 to 72 hours at a time. Masks are often ineffective at stopping the spread of Victimhood-2020. The disease can also be spread through sound. A carrier can infect a teammate simply by whining. Muzzles work better than masks at slowing the spread of the disease.
Many carriers are asymptomatic, or at least they believe they are. In fact, many carriers of Victimhood-2020 are Victimhood deniers. They don’t believe in muzzles or masks. They believe a victim’s mindset is the proper mentality for success in sports and life.
Washington should consider a permanent quarantine for Haskins. He’s a potential super spreader.
7) Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald has a chance to be the best football player of all time.
Donald recorded four sacks on Sunday against Washington. It was absolutely amazing to watch. He cannot be blocked one on one. Can’t be done. He’s the Reggie White of defensive tackles.
The Minister of Defense, for my money, is the greatest defensive player in NFL history. No disrespect to Lawrence Taylor, but Reggie is the most dominant defensive player I’ve ever seen. There was a three- or four-year stretch when Houston’s J.J. Watt was on Reggie’s level.
Watt, based on my research, is the only player in league history to record two 20-plus sack seasons. He did it in 2012 and 2014. Donald, an interior lineman, has a chance to register his second 20-sack season. He has 7.5 through five games this year. He recorded 20.5 in 2018.
The all-time great sack artists — Bruce Smith, Chris Doleman, Reggie White, Lawrence Taylor– are edge rushers. What Donald is doing between the tackles is unprecedented.
Look, Tom Brady is going to be regarded as football’s GOAT. I have no problem with that. He’s earned it, given all that he has accomplished individually and the success of the Patriots dynasty.
However, Brady is not one of the most dominant players in league history. That’s a different calculation. In no particular order, here’s Donald’s competition in terms of all-time dominance:
Jim Brown, Larry Allen, John Elway, John Hannah, Reggie White, Deion Sanders, Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Anthony Munoz, Lawrence Taylor, Jerry Rice, Dwight Stephenson, Barry Sanders, Earl Campbell, O.J. Simpson and Eric Dickerson.
There are some great names left off this list, especially the quarterbacks. Joe Montana, Steve Young, Johnny Unitas, Roger Staubach and Dan Marino could be added. I love Brady, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers. But NFL rule changes have made QB play way too easy the last 20 years. Mean Joe Greene, Bruce Smith, Bob Lilly and Dick Butkus could be added to my list. Randy Moss? Didn’t play hard enough all the time. People will be irate I left off Walter Payton. Sweetness is the Tom Brady of running backs. His body of work is second to none. He led the league in rushing only one time.
Look, my list is my list. I might have a slight bias for offensive linemen. Allen, Hannah, Munoz and Stephenson are guys I idolized.
Here are my first three picks: Elway, Reggie and Deion. Just unique talents. Stephenson would be my fourth pick. And then I’d consider taking Aaron Donald.
Dude is incredible.
6) Best performance this weekend that no one will discuss: Carson Wentz.
People who don’t watch Wentz think he’s a bust. If you just read the stat line, you’ll think he’s struggling.
Wentz was the NFL’s best quarterback on Sunday. He and practice-squad receiver Travis Fulgham kept Philly in the game with Pittsburgh. Their performance was magical.
Pittsburgh’s pass rush harassed Wentz all afternoon. He connected with Fulgham on 10 passes for 152 yards. Two weeks ago, Fulgham was on the practice squad.
If Philly is dumb enough to unload Wentz this offseason, the Indianapolis Colts better trade guard Quenton Nelson to get him. Yes, Quenton Nelson, arguably the best offensive lineman in football.
5) Indy would’ve been better off acquiring Andy Dalton for cheap rather than paying Philip Rivers $25 million.
Rivers remains the NFL’s worst offseason acquisition. Rivers tossed two interceptions Sunday and cost the Colts a chance to upset the Browns. So far this season, Rivers has thrown four TDs and five INTs.
The Cowboys signed Dalton as a backup for $3 to $7 million, depending on incentives. At this point in their careers, Dalton is a much better quarterback than Rivers.
Indy would be a Super Bowl threat with Dalton. They’re a wildcard threat with Rivers.
4) I’m not heartless. I’m logical. Dak Prescott should’ve taken the $32-million-a-year contract Jerry Jones and the Cowboys offered before hitting him with the franchise tag.
That’s not 2020 hindsight. I’ve been saying for two years that Dak has an inflated sense of value. His agent, Todd France, talked him into a bad negotiation strategy.
Dak needlessly gambled and lost. The season-ending ankle injury puts him in a very precarious contract situation. What if Andy Dalton plays well and the Cowboys win the putrid NFC East? How much money can Dak command from Dallas in that scenario?
All the people expressing sympathy for Dak now were singing a different tune last season when Jerry had good money on the table for a solid NFL starter.
Dak is not on the same level as Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers. It’s unlikely that Dak will ever be a real MVP candidate. Bad advice and greed have placed Dak in a tough contract situation.
The advice I was publicly offering Dak wasn’t “hate.” It was love and respect laced with logic and reason.
3) Odell Beckham, Jr. and the Browns should pray the COVID-19 shutdown never ends.
Odell without distractions is a beautiful thing to watch. Last week, after his three-TD performance, I commented that the lack of in-stadium crowds is benefitting Odell’s professionalism and performance.
COVID has also pretty much eliminated parties and social events. OBJ isn’t being asked to attend red carpet events or hang out in clubs until the wee hours. All he has is football.
I love this OBJ. He’s fun to watch.
Would the Browns be 4-1 without the COVID shutdown? I don’t think so.
2) The penalty for breaking COVID protocols should be points on the scoreboard, not suspensions, fines or forfeitures.
The Tennessee Titans should start their Tuesday game with the Bills trailing 7-0. That type of penalty would stop teams from breaking the protocols.
The Buffalo Bills deserve some sort of advantage for the irresponsible behavior of the Titans. Buffalo is being punished for Tennessee’s irresponsibility. Makes no sense.
1*) Despite the flashy statistics, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is off to a slow start.
No one should be surprised Kansas City lost to the Raiders. The most misleading stat in football heading into Sunday was Mahomes’ zero interceptions.
During the first month of the season, Mahomes tossed at least five passes that should’ve been intercepted. The Chiefs were due for a bad performance and a loss.
At the moment, Buffalo is the best team in the AFC.
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