Every year, we try to refrain from pulling a Tom Smykowski from Office Space, and jumping to any conclusions about the NFL season prematurely. In a sixteen-game season, it generally takes several games for teams to figure out their identity, and a lot longer than that to determine a realistic playoff picture.
So while it’s tempting to draw knee-jerk reactions from a couple of games, we at least try to wait until the quarter-point mark to start making our hyperbolic and definitive statements about the season ahead.
And even though many of these will undoubtedly prove wrong, we’re not afraid to draw these bold conclusions after just week four of the season.
So without further adieu, here are our top 5 observations on the 2012 edition of ol’ Jump To Conclusions mat:
We love our GIFs here at ReadAndReact, so we’re starting a new weekly feature where we collect the best GIFs from each NFL week, and post them all in one convenient spot for your viewing enjoyment.
Most of these come courtesy of the always-awesome @SBNation GIF or @CJZero Twitter… so special thanks to those guys. Submit your favorites GIFs to email@example.com, and PLEASE BE PATIENT WHILE THIS PAGE LOADS.
Holy crap, the NFL regular season starts tomorrow!!! Like kids on Christmas Eve, we can barely contain ourselves, so we’ll apologize up front for the relatively small number of GIFs in this week’s post … after all, it was the final week of pre-season, and with the holiday weekend, the interweb was a little bit light on content.
Replacement Officials to start the NFL Season … and we’re in trouble:
Marcus Thomas – who made headlines last week for being incorrectly represented on Madden 13 – scores the ever-elusive big man fumble return … which he nearly fumbles himself:
Thomas was released by the Giants on Friday
During last night’s Cardinals-Broncos pre-season game, rookie wide receiver Michael Floyd made a play that would be in contention for catch of the year, had happened in the regular season.
Early in the 2nd quarter, Floyd lept in the endzone between a pair of Broncos defenders – tipping the ball to himself while getting drilled – to come down with the circus catch from QB Ryan Lindley. Watch it below in GIF format, so you can see exactly how it happens over and over again:
GIF AND VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
In honor of the weekend and the return of the NFL in Canton, we bring you this heartwarming moment from Cardinals training camp last weekend, where young Cards fan Camrynn confessed her love to LB Sam Acho:
(wait for it … and prepare for cute overload)
Happy Friday everyone.
[H/T Hot Clicks]
So far, the story of the 2012 NFL off-season is Colts QB Peyton Manning, and where he’s going to play next season. The back-and-forth between Manning and Colts’ owner Jim Irsay has reached a near-comical level of he said-she said, with Irsay saying on Thursday that they’re currently in negotiations with the veteran quarterback. But the general consensus seems to be that Irsay is just posturing for the media, and that Pey-Pey has likely played his last down as a Colt.
Vegas released updated odds today on where Manning will play in 2012, which place the Dolphins as the favorite to land Peyton at 2.5-to-1, barely edging out “Does Not Play” (currently getting 3-1 odds), for those who believe Peyton’s neck injury could force him into early retirement. The Redskins are next in what seems like a perfect Dan Snyder move, followed by the Colts and Cardinals at 5-1, and Jets at 6-1.
My gut says Peyton will end up in either Washington or Arizona … what do you think?
SEE THE COMPLETE PEYTON MANNING ODDS AFTER THE JUMP
Put this one down as a finalist for play of the year.
From today’s Cincinatti-Arizona game, watch Bengals WR Jerome Simpson execute a miraculous front flip over Cardinals’ LB Daryl Washington – who stands at 6′-2″ – and somehow stick the landing in the endzone for the touchdown:
[GIF Via Mocksession]
Quite an improvement over the last time we heard from Mr. Simpson, when he was performing the most blatant flop in NFL history. It’s nice to see Jerome making history in such a positive way on this Christmas Eve.
From our friends at the SI Vault comes this image of Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan from back in 1994. At the time, Ryan was a defensive assistant with the Arizona Cardinals under his father Buddy, which was also his first NFL coaching gig.
And as this image shows, in addition to sporting a moustache and being a few pounds lighter than he is today, back then Rex also favored the Kenny Powers-esque mullet as his hairstyle of choice:
Aeneas Williams approves.
With our regular feature, Hit Of The Week, ReadAndReact will find the most brutal tackle, block or run from each weekend of NFL games, and present it for your viewing pleasure.
We’re back with our HOTW, and this week’s victim wasn’t even suited up on Sunday.
Watch as Vikings WR Devin Aromashudo absolutely destroys an unsuspecting cameraman on the sideline during Sunday’s Vikings-Cardinals contest:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
This is undoubtedly the most controversial play of Week 4 in the NFL.
From yesterday’s Giants-Cardinals game, with New York trailing by 3 points and driving with 2:46 remaining, Eli Manning hit WR Victor Cruz for a 19-yard completion. At the end of the play, Cruz fell to the ground, put the ball on the grass and stood up to return to the huddle. One problem: Cruz wasn’t touched by a Cardinals defender while he was down, so theoretically, the ball should still be alive. Or that’s at least what most everyone watching the play assumed, and Arizona jumped on the ball, thinking they had secured a crucial turnover.
But not so fast. Referee Jerome Booger had blown the play dead, ruling that Cruz had “given himself up” on the play. Because of that ruling, and despite a challenge flag thrown by Cards coach Ken Whisenhunt, the play was not reviewable.
Watch the play for yourself, and decide if Cruz should have been ruled down:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Panthers No. 1 draft pick Cam Newton had the best debut of any rookie NFL quarterback ever on Sunday, throwing for 422 yards and 2 touchdowns in a losing effort, falling 28-21 to the Arizona Cardinals. Newton’s performance destroyed the previous modern-day yardage record held by Peyton Manning, who threw for 302 yards back in Week 1 of the 1998 season, and ties Matt Stafford‘s 2007 Week 10 performance for most yards ever thrown for by a rookie. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the all-time record for a first-game by a rookie was 346 by Otto Graham for the Cleveland Browns in 1950.
Newton’s first professional touchdown pass came on this 77-yard strike to WR Steve Smith:
In total, Newton went 24-for-37 for 422 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception, plus 18 yards and 1 score on the ground. Both passing scores went to Smith, who finished with 178 yards receiving, with Newton completing passes to eight different receivers and making all the throws you could ever hope to see from your new quarterback.
Watch complete game highlights of the league’s newest superstar after the jump, via BSO: