The 10 most memorable NFL moments in 2016

DJ Gallo: Kaepernick kneeled, the Cowboys stood tall and Brady was Brady. A look at the NFLs best, worst and most controversial moments of 2016

1) rides off into the sunset … and makes QB chaos

The 2015 -1 6 season ended back in February with Peyton Manning kissing Papa John as the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in the first modern Super Bowl without Roman numerals. When Manning soon corroborated the inevitable and announced his retirement, the Broncos were faced with handing a championship team to Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian or a free agent QB from a class that featured names such as Sanchise and Fitzmagic. The Texans swooped in and signed Osweiler for big money( and undoubtedly now regret it ). Siemian started strong, but has faded along with Denvers playoff opportunities. And Ryan Fitzpatrick stayed with the Planes where, among other football sins, he put up a six-interception game and lost his job. Manning hasnt put on a uniform in almost a year, yet he has impacted the 2016 season as much as anyone.

2) Zeke+ Dak – Romo

The Cowboys were rumored to be Super Bowl contenders every year since Tony Romo took over the Dallas quarterback job way back when a Texan was in the White House. Yet for reasons ranging from botched field goal holds to traumata and no-catch calls to simply not being as good as advertised, the Romo-era Cowboys never get over the hump.

Rookie tandem Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott restored the Cowboys to prominence in 2016. Photo: Larry W. Smith/ EPA

Now the proverbial hump is the mound of clay where Romos Cowboys career is buried. After the longtime starter got hurt again in the preseason, fourth-round pick Dak Prescott took over and teamed with fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott to take the Cowboys to the top of the NFC. Romo may finally appear in a Super Bowl this season, but it will merely be as the most famous Cowboys cheerleader.

3) Colin Kaepernicks protest

Never before have the actions of a backup quarterback made such national hubbub. Kaepernick sat for “the member states national” anthem in the preseason, subsequently changing it to a kneel, to protest oppression of people of color in the United States. Other players throughout the league soon followed his leading. Kaepernicks actions and words, falling in the final months of a highly partisan presidential campaign, made the official response of 2016: yelling and ALL CAPS from all sides. Lost in all of that outrage( and all the 49 ers losses ), was that Kaepernick was solid on the field after regaining his starting job meaning hes earned the opportunity to induce whatever political statements he wants to again in 2017.

4) The NFLs ratings dip

The talk of the early part of the 2016 season at least the talk when people wore themselves out from arguing about Kaepernick was the decline in the leagues Tv ratings. Some on the right claimed Kaepernick had turned Middle America away from the league. Donald Trump( and league executives) said the election coverage cut into the leagues market share. Others blamed it on cord cutting and an on-field product that was fairly awful through September and October. The true cause was never exactly ascertained … and it probably never will be, because NFL ratings are back up to their regular heights. The NFL is still king, at least until President Trump proclaims himself King.

5) The rise of the Raiders

Its not quite the Cubs winning the World Series as a sign of the end days, but the Raider making the playoffs hadnt happened since 2002, a difficult feat to pull of in a league in which nearly 40% of the teams induce the postseason every year. Oakland presented promise a year ago and continued that progression in 2016 behind Derek Carr and Khalil Mack. The franchise cornerstones are both only 25, entailing the Raider are set to be contenders for a long time just like Oaklands . Best of all, its impossible for a football team to blow a 3-1 lead.

6) The farther autumns of the Jaguars and Browns

Like the Raiders, the Jaguars were a popular preseason pick as a breakthrough nominee in the AFC. Whoops. The young and supposedly talented squad was undisciplined on both sides of the ball and, unlike Carr in Oakland, Blake Bortles built nothing resembling progress. It ultimately expensed Gus Bradley his job. But at least the Jaguars can say they didnt bottom out like the Browns. Cleveland was no ones pick to break out in the AFC, but … going winless until Christmas eve?

7) The Eagles go all-in on Carson Wentz

After ending the Chip Kelly experiment a year ago, the Eagles decided to re-mortgage their future by trading with Cleveland for the No2 pick in the draft to take North Dakota State product Carson Wentz. A month into this season, government decisions looked great. Since then? A plenty of regression.

Carson Wentz, Philadelphias would-be savior at quarterback, plummeted back to globe after a scintillating start to his rookie season. Photo: Eric Hartline/ USA Today Sports

While Wentzs play has to have many Eagles fans fretted, its hard to get a fair read on a guy who is surrounded by the mostly talent-free roster that Kelly left behind. If Wentz does ultimately turn out to be a bust, Cleveland trading out of the No2 spot will go down as their only win of 2016.

8) Tom Bradys suspension

Roger Goodell finally won his two-year combat against ball deflation when a federal court of appeals upheld Tom Bradys four-game suspension back in April. Except Brady returned to a 3-1 squad, instantaneously built them better, had one of his finest statistical seasons, ran away with the AFC East again, locked up a 1st Round bye in the playoffs and is the odds-on favourite to win league MVP. Its a definite possibility that the commissioner will hand the Lombardi Trophy to Brady and the Patriots in February. Even when Goodell wins, he is a complete and total loser.

9) The wasted year of the Panthers and Cardinals

Denver taking a step back this season wasnt hard to see due to losses on the defensive side of the ball and having to hand the offense over to former Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian. But Carolina and Arizona were expected to be just as strong in 2016 and solid pickings to meet again in the NFC title game. Neither will even induce the playoffs. While Arizonas window may now be closed with a struggling Carson Palmer reaching advanced NFL age while Larry Fitzgerald contemplates retirement, the Panthers could be more competitive next season. Well, presuming the NFL stops letting everyone hit Cam Newton in the head.

10) The Rams ruin their LA homecoming

The countrys second-largest city became an NFL market again for the first time since 1994 as the went back West. But the 80 -year-old franchise performed more like an expansion squad. Head coach Jeff Fisher promised no 7-9 bullshit on HBOs Hard Knocks only to do then go and do much worse than that. No1 overall pick Jared Goff didnt get to play until the season was all but lost, and then looked very lost on the field. Todd Gurley said the team had a middle school offense, an affront to the many fine middle school squads across our land. And then Fisher finally got fired days after his latest contract extension was announced to the press. If the Rams were a typical Los Angeles production, they would have been cancelled after three weeks.

Read more:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *