I hate the NFL.
Maybe that’s too strong. Let me rephrase.
I dislike that the NFL doesn’t allow for nuance when it comes to recognizing excellence and handing out awards to players.
I’m talking about Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who I think should have won the NFC offensive player of the week award Wednesday.
Instead, the award went to Arizona Cardinals receiver J.J. Nelson, who had an excellent game and made two big catches to help rally his team from a 13-3 deficit in the fourth quarter.
Yes, Nelson played great. But it wasn’t greater than Stafford completing 15 of 22 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. By Stafford’s standards, the numbers were pedestrian. His yardage total was the second fewest of his career and fewest of any full NFL game he has played.
Yet, in the nine years I’ve watched Stafford play, this was one of his greatest games. The game occurred on the NFL’s biggest stage in the regular season: Monday night in New York. And Stafford wasn’t blinded by the bright lights in the big city. He didn’t try to do too much by forcing passes and taking unnecessary risks. He didn’t try to be the hero.
Stafford just did what he had to do to win the game.
“I was pleased with some stuff and not so pleased with other things,” Stafford said Wednesday, “I think I played well with what we were trying to accomplish. I wish I would’ve hit some of those shot plays that…Read More