Flags flags, flags
Many of our writers are focusing on the flag-fest the league has turned the preseason into with its ridiculously obsessive interpretation of illegal contact.
During the entirety of the 2013 NFL season, a total of 37 illegal contact penalty flags were issued. Keep in mind that was over the course of 256 games. Through the first 17 preseason games in 2014, that number has already reached 27 flags thrown. So in 219 less games, there have been only 10 less illegal contact penalties. To put it simply: that's insane. I won't even mention that in the four preseason games on Friday night (Eagles-Patriots included) there were a total of 86 penalties called. ...
In any event, it's disappointing that this is how the NFL is choosing to operate. I'm all for player safety, but I'm not sure that slowing the game down to a stand-still with excessive penalties is the best way to go about it. Especially when players insist they're not going to change how they play. It just really takes the fun out of watching the game. If this is how the NFL plans to operate in the regular season, which I'm thinking (and hoping) it's not, it will soon be time to throw a red flag in response to the NFL's flurry of yellow flags.
The NFL Preseason has been a flag fest. The league has stated they want illegal contact called more this year, calling it a point of emphasis. That message has been received by the referees, who seem to be throwing flags on nearly every play. That may be a little hyperbole, and we all say that there are too many penalties every year. This one is no different.
But it is. Through the first 22 Preseason games, which includes last night's contests, there have been an average of 18.1 penalty flags per contest*. That's up from the first 22 games in 2013, when the average was 12.2. The games are hard to watch when every few plays, there's a flag flying and slowing down the rhythm of the game. It drags out the game, and turns the referees into the story. [*These numbers are using penalties enforced, not penalty flags thrown if the penalty was declined.]
The NFL apparently wants its refs to call illegal contact much tighter than they have in the past, but have they gone too far?
Jimmy Graham Dunks On NFL
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham dunked twice after touchdown catches Friday night, protesting the 'Jimmy Graham Rule' outlawing such an egregious show of emotion on an NFL field. He was, of course, penalized both times. Our friends at Canal Street Chronicles enjoyed the show but wrote that Graham "really needs to stop once the regular season starts."
Nah, bloggers never write stuff about quarterbacks.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have a plan for when to start rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, but with his performances through two games in the preseason, those plans should probably be amended. Bortles followed up his impressive preseason debut with another impressive showing against the Chicago Bears on Thursday night on national television.
Is Ryan Tannehill the franchise quarterback the Dolphins hope he is?
This year will really be the deciding factor. Personally, I still believe in the three year waiting process before deciding how any player, and especially a quarterback, will do in the NFL. The problem is, there are players like Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson who blow the learning curve for all young players.
I think Tannehill has all of the talent and leadership abilities you want in a franchise quarterback. He was not put in a position last year to showcase much, given the 58 sacks he suffered. Now, going into his third year, and with a new offense that should allow him to flourish, Tannehill should be able to demonstrate that he really is a franchise quarterback.
Just to be clear, there is no quarterback controversy brewing in Washington. Griffin possesses all the skills throwing the ball and running to become a great quarterback in the NFL. It will take time, and it will be frustrating at times, but I can promise you one thing Robert Griffin the Third is the future of Redskins football, end of story.