NFL

Rabbit Punches: Unemployment on the rise in the NFL week 17

A Rabbit Punch has two meanings, both of which describe the nature of the article. 1. A series of fast punches. 2. An illegal punch to the back of the head between the skull and the first vertebrate that can cause permanent damage to the nerves or death.

Robert Griffin III became the third rookie QB to lead his team to playoffs this season ushering in a new era of NFL ready rookies. Tony Romo must feel a little the opposite of Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused. “I hate rookie QBs, they keep getting better and I just stay the same.”

Adrian Peterson left little doubt who the MVP of the 2012 regular season will be, putting his team on his back and making the playoffs. With all the focus on how Peterson fell 9 yards short of Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record, many overlooked the fact that Peterson had the second best single season for rushing.

The Atlanta Falcons opted to try to win the game even though they had already clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Falcons then lost to the Buccaneers while two defensive starters got hurt. This road bump in momentum for the falcons should not be a problem since the only game that has ever mattered for them this season has been the first playoff game, no pressure Matty Ice.

The Buffalo Bills defeated the New York Jets in an almost meaningless game. Both teams played poorly enough this season warrant major changes but just good enough to save a handful of jobs. Surprisingly, Tim Tebow never made a start in New York, which either means Tebow is not the savior of a struggling franchise, or this season was his 40 days in the desert.

The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Baltimore Ravens in what amounted to a junior varsity game. In the interest of getting healthy, both teams sat or took out many of their stars. Further more, as the home team Bengals are locked in at 6 seed and cannot play a home playoff game, all of the fans in attendance received as many free hot dogs as they could eat (while supplies last).

The Chicago Bears held off the Detroit Lions but failed to make the playoffs after winning 10 games. Detroit finished the season with 4 wins, six less than last year. Paradoxically, Lovie Smith has a better chance to loose his job than Jim Schwartz. I think it was Lombardi who coined the phrase, “Its better to run a three ring circus in Detroit than be a consummate professional in Chicago.”

The main story out of Tennessee this weekend was an NFL record. It was not rushing yard in a season, nor receiving yards in a season, it was 2 return touchdowns by two different players. Darius Reynaud and Zach Brown will be celebrating this record the same way the players from Northern Illinois University celebrated their season; Dancing to Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack.”

Chuck Pagano returned to the sideline and coached his Indianapolis Colts to a victory over the Houston Texans. The game and the ensuing celebration came off without a hitch, except for the awkward moment when Pagano and Bruce Arians bumped hands reaching for the same headset.

Drew Brees threw for over 5,000 yards this season but ended his season with a loss to the Carolina Panthers. Cam Newton only led his team to 7 wins in his sophomore effort, but many rookie quarter backs still owe him a debt of gratitude. Without Sean Payton the Saints had their first loosing season since 2007, and every good head coach owes Payton a debt of money for proving how much a good coach is worth in the NFL.

The New York Giants crushed the Philadelphia Eagles but still failed to make the playoffs. Andy Reid was fired quickly after the end of their season on Sunday. Reid will have a job coaching in the NFL if he wants it, but for tonight he will take great join removing the “Death Threat Filter” on his fan email account.

The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns in another game that did not matter. This game featured so little interest that even the reported firings afterwards are not making headlines.

The Denver Broncos clinched the top seed in the AFC, while the Kansas City Chiefs clinched the first overall draft pick. Just like a loveless wedding anniversary where each person buys their own present, each team got exactly what they wanted on Sunday.

The New England Patriots shut out the Miami Dolphins to earn a bye in the playoffs. On top of the win, the Patriots got to see Rob Gronkowski back in action. Does a wild bear… never mind.

The San Diego Chargers ended their disappointing season with a win over the Oakland Raiders. The Chargers were inspired to win by a halftime speech Norv Turner gave while holding a box with all of his personal effects from his office.

The San Francisco 49ers, with some help from the Vikings, earned a first round bye. After the game former 49ers starting quarter back Alex Smith saved himself a few months of agonizing about his future and went straight in the Arizona Cardinal’s locker room.

Russell Wilson tied Peyton Manning’s rookie touch down record with 26, while leading his team an undefeated season at home. Obviously, Wilson comes out as the steal of last year’s draft. Obviously, if salaries in the NFL were an hourly wage, Matt Flynn would be making more money per hour than Bill Gates and Justin Bieber combined.

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