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5 Things We Learned From The 2013 NFL: Week 15

Maybe being healthy doesn’t matter? No more terrible booth reviews? Questions!?


Photo: Ron Antonelli/ Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013
 

NFL RedZone Featured The Giants’ Offense Only Throwing Interceptions
And only the first four; RedZone didn’t even bother with Eli Manning’s fifth pick. NFL Network’s all-highlight, no commercial channel didn’t have much reason to show the Giants other than to giggle at the less than 50 yards in total offense they managed to accumulate in the first half…and to show interception after interception after interception. Forget the “Is Eli Manning Elite?” talk radio circlejerk that happens every year. The real question might be, is Eli Manning any good?  

The Healthiest Teams Aren’t Necessarily The Best
It’s a commonly held football truism that the key to a successful season is staying injury free. But these great charts from spotrac.com reveal a more nuanced picture. While, of course, season-ending injuries don’t all occur in game one, teams like the Patriots have managed to have successful seasons even with 20 percent of their total salary cap devoted to players on IR. Some of the healthiest teams (those with less than 5 percent of their payroll on IR) have great records as you would expect, but some abysmal squads like the Vikings are in the same boat (they only have five players out for the season, totaling less than 4 percent of their cap space). So maybe having a healthy chunk of your team in full-body casts is a good thing? Or maybe the Patriots just continue to succeed because of voodoo magic and evil?

There May Be Centralized Replay Next Season
Wasted time, calls blown anyway…the boring and occasionally incompetent process of reviewing plays may go to the NFL central office starting next season. Instead of watching NFL refs ducking under hoods to stare blankly into TV screens with the resolution of a rutabaga, the league may take the smart step of having people who are watching the game in beautiful HD from 8,000 angles make the decisions. Because, seriously, 99 percent of fans can correctly reverse or confirm a call based just on the TV feeds…how NFL refs continue to screw teams over (like Jeff Triplette’s monumental boner last week) is mind-boggling.

The Patriots Are A Fantasy Nightmare
Just look at their leading rushers and receivers for the season. Six different receivers and three different backs have variously led the team. That’s frustrating enough, but even worse? No receiver has led the team in receiving two weeks in a row. Shane Vereen went from 22 points last week (standard scoring) to 2 points this week. Suicide is a perfectly acceptable response if you lost your fantasy playoff game because of this.

This Is The Jacksonville Jaguars
Right here.


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