Three Things I Know About the NFL After Week 11


If you were to ask me how my picks went this week, I’d just shrug. Kind of like Atlas, but without any weird political undertones. Why? Because being .500 is shrug-worthy. I’m also .500 for the season as a whole. I’d be really angry about that if it weren’t for those awful two weeks I had earlier in the season. (AWFUL. So awful that I just started another beer)

Player Safety is Confusing

I’m not going to spend my time here rehashing horse-collar tackles, complaining about late hits, or even calling the current incarnation of the NFL a little girl’s game that is so gentle now pads may not even be needed.

No, I’m going to wonder why something so seemingly common sense, so easy to figure out, is still something that the NFL doesn’t mandate; the Kevlar lined football helmets.

Head hunting (and head leading) Steelers linebacker James Harrison wears a Kevlar helmet. So does Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas. Sunday, Steelers safety Ryan Clark donned the Kevlar helmet against the Ravens and it made him feel so comfortable that he spent the game leading with his head. Again.

So here’s my question about the Kevlar headgear; if it’s so fantastic, why doesn’t the NFL mandate the new helmets for everyone? If Roger Goodell is so concerned with player safety, shouldn’t the NFL mandate the use of Kevlar to “reduce the rick of concussive and sub-concussive blows” to protect the players? There has to be a good reason, right?

There isn’t one. I promise. What would keep the NFL from spending a few extra bones per helmet if it would mean potentially saving players from long-term, debilitating injuries? Oh. I bet I know.

It doesn’t work.

As athletic trainer and Concussion Blog author Dustin Fink wrote on Wednesday: “We need to remember that concussions are mainly a result of acceleration, deceleration, rotational, and angular forces. Linear forces, where CRT is proven to attenuate, is low on the list of concussion culprits. There is no way this product can attenuate the most troublesome forces that create concussions.” ~ From’s NFL 2012

You heard right. Way to go NFL. You’ve made up a product that you can slap on players that think they need help to make them feel invincible so they can go out and never think to take any extra precautions. You guys are the best.

The NFC is Better Than the AFC

But not for the reason that you think.

I think the tops of the divisions could beat each other on any given Sunday. The Patriots, Ravens, Texans and Broncos could all beat the Giants, Bears, Packers, Falcons or 49ers right around half the time. But the bottoms of the divisions… ugh.

The AFC bottom feeders are so bad that the world’s most terrible argument is rearing its ugly head; that a college team could ever beat an NFL team. First, NO. Second, the Jaguars and Chiefs certainly aren’t helping the NFL’s cause with their combined 2-18 record. And the Browns can’t beat their way out of a paper bag. And the Raiders. And Titans. Good God, the Jets and Dolphins have managed four wins while being completely dysfunctional.

The NFC’s basement? I’d take the Lions, Eagles, Redskins, Cardinals or Rams over any of the .500 or below AFC teams. I’d give points, tease them and take the over in every match up. The two conferences could make some good games among their division leaders, but it’s the middle and bottom of the conferences that really make the NFC head and shoulders better than the AFC.

Picking Upset Super Bowl Teams is More Fun Than Really Picking Super Bowl Teams

I know full well that I’m too heavy for the limb that I’m climbing out on right now, but I have my Super Bowl teams picked. The Broncos are going to beat the Falcons. You heard it here first, and probably only. The injury to Willis McGahee won’t even deter me from picking Peyton Freaking Manning to troll the NFL and bag another Super Bowl MVP award.

What are your upset Super Bowl teams? (Comments, guys, comments. ↓)

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Josh says things. Here and at Josh Flagner {dot} com. #MTAF #CavsZine