Tuck: NFL Surprises Us Again

Any good expert knows this: you can’t predict the future.  We try.  It’s fun.  It’s really what we all want.  Not just in sports, but life.  Tell me the outcome, and I’ll tell you if I like it or not.

Life doesn’t work like that though.  Sports either.  Experts in sports are basically people that know more about the who’s, the when’s, the where’s, the what’s, the why’s, and the how’s.  They then take that information, and try to predict the future.  In the NFL however, there are so many little, delicate details that can change the outcome.

You ever have a day that either something really bad happened to you or almost happened to you?  You can probably think back to a moment that happened before it that could’ve changed the outcome.  It might have been seconds earlier, or hours, or even days or weeks.  If you had done that one thing differently, the chain of events that followed would have been completely different.  As they said in Back To The Future, “you can disrupt the space-time continuum” throwing out of whack future events.

That’s a NFL game.  One play can change the day.  What’s crazier than that is that it may not even be the play, it may have been a decision to call or not call a play, something we as the public may not even be aware of!  Heck, to take it a step further, that moment could change not just the game, but the season, whether a team makes the playoffs, where they are seeded, where they play in playoffs, and how far they advance.  On top of that, it effects not just that team, but other teams future destiny’s as well!

The NFL has produced at least one worst to first team in each of the last ten years.  It turns over almost half it’s playoff field every year for the last 15 years.  Everything you think you knew, you don’t know basically.  At least part of it.  Here is some of the craziness from this year so far.

Last year’s NFC playoff teams are a combined 12-15 right now.

The NFC is the better conference, hands down, right?  Through 5 weeks, the AFC has ten teams above .500 and the NFC has six.

The AFC is 17-9 versus the NFC this year.

The NFC South looks like a deep, competitive division.  The Saints are 5-0, the other 3 are a combined 2-11.

The Falcons were 13-3 last year, tied for the best record in the NFL.  They are 1-4 this year and have lost back-2-back home games.

The Browns traded their “best” player.  Everyone rips them for quitting.  They’ve won three straight and are tied for first place in the AFC North.

Kansas City won 2 games last year.  They are 5-0.

Even better, the NFL’s 10 worst teams last year won 44 games.  They’ve already won 26 this year in less than 1/3 of the season.  That’s with Jacksonville dragging down the improvement with their 0-5 start mind you.

The Giants and Steelers appeared in 2 of the last 3 Super Bowls and are a combined 0-9.

A tight end (Jimmy Graham) leads the NFL in receiving yards.

An undrafted free agent (Vontaze Burfict) in second in the league in tackles.

Alterraun Verner is tied for the league lead in interceptions.  He is a corner on Tennessee which I am sure you knew.  He is tied with former Bucs CB Aqib Talib and rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso.

8 of the top 9 passing yards totals in NFL single season history have been recorded in the last 2 seasons.  There are currently SEVEN players on pace to finish in the top ten ever. 

Peyton Manning is on pace to throw for 6029 yards!!!  Drew Brees rewrote the record books last year with 5476.

400 yard passing games by decade:

1940’s- 4

1950’s- 4

1960’s – 26

1970’s- 5

1980’s- 70

1990’s- 45

2000’s- 68

2010’s- 58 already, with 12 this season in 5 weeks!  Record for a season was 18 in 2011.


We love the NFL.  Things change.  We always end up surprised by something.  So what happens the rest of the year?  I could tell you, but I’d probably be wrong.