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’ve started 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 GIFulmination, @SBNation GIF or@CJZero Twitter… so special thanks to those guys. Submit your favorites GIFs to firstname.lastname@example.org, and PLEASE BE PATIENT WHILE THIS PAGE LOADS.
In honor of the passing of Steve Sabol – who is the reason so many of us fell in love with professional football – SBNation posted these classic NFL Films GIFs:
Willie Brown running into your living room:
Earl Campbell = truck:
Here’s some good news for NFL fans … “A Football Life” – the acclaimed series produced by NFL Films for the NFL Network – is returning for a second season.
Following up on the success of last year’s inside look at the enigmatic Bill Belichick, “A Football Life” will premiere on September 12th, with (what else) a feature on Tim Tebow, and his wild ride through the 2011 season. A week later, we get to go on the field with Ravens LB Ray Lewis, who allowed himself to be mic’d up for every game last season for the production (the first player in NFL history to do so).
In addition to these two episodes, this season promises unprecedented insight into such NFL luminaries as Jimmy Johnson, Barry Sanders, and Steve McNair … as well as some of the more important moments in the history of the league (“The Immaculate Reception” and the 1995 Cleveland Browns).
Watch a sneak preview HERE, and get a complete list of subjects for the upcoming season of “A Football Life” after the jump.
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 Twitter … so special thanks to those guys. Submit your favorites GIFs to email@example.com, and PLEASE BE PATIENT WHILE THIS PAGE LOADS.
BEST GIFs of 2012 NFL Pre-Season Week 3
Matt Cassel touchdown celebration FAIL:
RGIII and Andrew Luck get welcomed to the NFL:
MORE AFTER THE JUMP
There were several lowlights for the New York Jets in their ugly 26-3 pre-season loss to the Giants tonight. Mark Sanchez’ general confusion and lack of production as the starting quarterback, or Wayne Hunter‘s impression of a turnstile in giving up 4 sacks are certainly at the top of the list for Rex Ryan and company.
But there was one play by Tim Tebow that epitomized one of the harsh realities Jets fans are going to have to come to terms with sooner or later: the guy just can’t throw the ball. For all the larger-than-life golden boy persona and nonstop ESPN coverage, Tebow has never had – nor will he ever have – an NFL-caliber throwing arm. He can make all sorts of things happen on the field with his legs, leadership, and even short-to-intermediate passes to (wide open) receivers … but you’ll never be able to count on him to make that difficult pinpoint throw in the clutch.
Starting the second half of tonight’s contest for the Jets, Tebow led his team into Giants territory on their best drive of the night, including several pass completions and one first down run. But facing 2nd and 20 from the 29-yard-line, Tebow had rookie WR Stephen Hill all alone in the end zone, thanks to a busted coverage by the Giants secondary. As he drifted to his right, Tebow never set his feet and uncorked a duck that landed well short of its intended target, bouncing harmlessly to the turf.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
In an effort to present the viewpoints of passionate fans from around the NFL, ReadAndReact will occasionally elicit special guest commentary from some of the more rabid fans we know. We’ll ask them to share their thoughts on the biggest news stories of the day, unfiltered and without limit, for your reading enjoyment.
GUEST COMMENTARY FROM A JETS FAN
Ok, now that I have had time to take it all in … I am still a little confused. I just don’t get it.
Mind you, I have been a Jets fan all my life, and have continually been baffled by what the team does both in the off season and on the field. Being a Jets fan is always like living on a roller coaster of emotions. Something will happen to spark hope, a glimmer of greatness if you will (two consecutive AFC championship appearances). But then reality sinks back in and we end up with the same ol’ Jets! I thought that all of our off-season moves were going pretty well — signing valuable players and filling needed positions at safety and back up QB and then … BAM. Tebow time.
As a displaced Jets fan living in Denver, this was like the nausea that arrives after you have been swiftly kicked square in the nuts. It sucked. But theres nothing I can do so I am trying to see the value and not try to understand the “why”. One thought I just can’t shake out of my head is that Woody made the decision to fill seats and sell jerseys. I went to a few home games in New Jersey last year and the stadium was maybe three-quarters full. I know that Tannembaum and Rex are really pushing to “win now”, as it’s likely that their fates are in line with the success of this season, but picking up Tim Tebow doesn’t really seem like the team’s golden ticket.
That being said, maybe that was never the Jets intent. Maybe they just saw an opportunity to bring value to the team at little perceived cost. With the media surrounding Tebow and New York being what it is, maybe we are just blowing this whole thing way out of proportion. If the Jets made this move to get back, say, Brad Smith, no one would be making such a huge fuss about it. Brad was a QB in college and took over 10 snaps in wildcat formation in many games for the Jets. The big difference was his fit on special teams and in other positions. If Tebow is really willing to do what ever it takes to help the team like he said in his press conference he could prove to be very valuable for the Jets.
The major thing that is keeping me from jumping on the Tebow band wagon is the 4th and 6th round pick we traded away. Will the looks the Jets get with Tebow, combined with his unknown in special teams, be better than the other positions we could have filled in those spots? How bout some offensive linemen? Some pass-rushers perhaps? I guess the draft and the season are the only ways to tell, and it never does anyone any good to play the what-if game. He’s here, he’s a Jet, and now we can just wait and see.
The New York Jets introduced Tim Tebow as their backup quarterback today, which means that the circus has officially rolled into town for Rex Ryan & Co.
The anonymous player quotes and speculation as to whether Tebow will compete for starting time with the newly re-upped Mark Sanchez have already begun, and we’re months away from the start of training camp. Just wait until Jets nation gets a real taste of Tebowmania …
For his part, let’s just say that Tebow is “excited” to be a Jet. In fact, let’s let Timmy say it … a total of 44 times during his 30-minute session with the media:
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
In the words of Bart Scott , I genuinely CAN’T WAIT to hear Rex Ryan explain their thinking on this one. Let the Big Apple circus commence!!!
Before all you Jets fans out there go and purchase your new Tim Tebow jerseys, you might want to wait for the deal for the Broncos QB to actually be finalized.
It seems that the trade between the Jets and Broncos that would send Tebow (and a 7th round pick) to New York in exchange for a 4th and 6th round pick has hit a snag.
And despite the fact that the Jets announced the deal on their Twitter page (which is still up at the time of this posting), they apparently didn’t really read Tebow’s contract before agreeing to the terms. And now they’re contesting a clause that would require NY to pay back $5 million in advance salaries from his rookie contract in Denver.
If this deal doesn’t end up going through, the Jets are going to end up looking really, really stupid.
John Elway dangled a tasty carrot and the former Colt bit.
Peyton Manning, arguably the greatest free agent of all time, has chosen the Denver Broncos as team he will ride into the Hall of Fame. The Broncos will now be the hottest team in the league this offseason, and billions of eyeballs will be glued to Mile High Manning this autumn. Elway lured Manning by promising to build players around him, and by letting him run his own offense in Denver, which should easily make the Broncos the team to beat in the AFC West. And with a 5-year, $96 million dollar contract, it seems clear that the Broncos and their team of doctors believe Manning is healthy, ready to play, and capable of making a run at the Super Bowl for the next half-decade.
As a lifelong Broncos fan, I can’t help but be excited about adding an all-world player to the squad. Especially a cerebral quarterback like Manning who is one of smartest to ever play the position. But immediately after the shock of the ‘Manning to Denver’ news set in, many of us in Bronco Country asked the obvious question … what about Tim Tebow? What about last season? Timmy’s magical run, winning 7 of 8 games and leading the Broncos to a thrilling OT playoff win at home against the Steelers. Tebow’s 80 yard “Tebomb” to Demaryius Thomas was by far the most exciting play by any Bronco since Elway’s “helicopter” in Super Bowl XXXII. Every single Broncos fan enjoyed that season, whether they approved of Tebow or not, and Denver seemed to be headed towards next season with notable momentum. It was truly spectacular, and many fans thought we had something special.
But now – almost unthinkably after you grasp what he did last season – the Broncos will show Tebow the door and welcome 36-year-old Manning to the team. Some Broncos fans and all of Tebow’s faithful feel betrayed, but the fact of the matter is simple: John Elway was never sold on Tim Tebow. He didn’t draft him, didn’t want him as the future of the team, and frankly, he didn’t believe in him. The ironic part for Elway was that Tebow went out last season and made A LOT of other people a believer. Not just Broncos fans, but sports fans all over the planet (as we witnessed with Tebow-mania) were hailing Tebow as the savior of the franchise. But Elway still wouldn’t publically give him the loving security fans thought he had earned. Now it makes since why Elway never backed him, because deep down he knew that Tim wasn’t his guy. He didn’t want to commit. Yet Tebow’s surprising success meant Elway was stuck with him, at least for this upcoming season, if not more if Tim kept winning. There was nothing Elway could do but wait it out and see if Tebow succeeded or failed.
Lucky for Elway, the QB Gods work in strange ways, and they sent Manning into free agency this off season… and it didn’t take long for the Broncos VP to connect the dots. Manning is only QB on the market that Elway can immediately swap for Tebow without disgruntling the Denver fanbase. This is the only logical way Elway can divorce the Broncos from Tebow in a way that looks like he’s making the right move, the smart move. He is choosing proven over potential, and you can’t really argue with that. Tebow did wonderful things for the Broncos last year, but Elway saw a way to get rid of him without being the villain and jumped at the opportunity.
Yup … pretty much. Except replace “me” with “the Broncos”, since Timmy probably won’t be sticking around for whatever happens next in Denver.