The motto for the State of Kansas is “Ad astra per aspera” meaning “To the stars through hopes and through difficulties”. Many commentaries on sports take that as a vector heading; sports are about striving to be the best against forces that would thwart such endeavors. Here in Curmudgeon Central, we like to look at things that never got off the ground on the way to the stars – – aborted missions so to speak. Today we will celebrate some of the worst – – and not the best – – “achievements in the NFL world.
I shall start by declaring:
- The Nathan Peterman Era in Buffalo is over.
- The Bills announced that they had released their beleaguered QB. While I am not anywhere near northwestern NY, I feel comfortable in assuming that this news was not met with a moment of silence and reflection among Bills’ fans.
I am well aware of the adage saying that low probability events happen every day. Nonetheless, it would be a head-scratching set of circumstances that would lead to Peterman being signed by another NFL team between now and the end of the regular season. It is more likely that he would be resigned by the Bills than anything else, but I think the braintrust there would fear the fan reaction sufficiently to pass on that option so long as people like Brady Quinn and Brandon Weeden are simultaneously vertical and taking nourishment.
The end of this “Era” does require some review of the stats and reflection just how bad those stats are. According to pro-football-reference.com, here is the accounting:
- Nathan Peterman started 4 games for the Bills and appeared in 4 others
- The Bills’ record in his 4 starts was 1-3-0.
- Peterman was 68 for 130 in passing (completion rate of 52.3%)
- His total yards passing were 548 yards (4.2 per attempt; 8.1 per completion)
- He threw 3 TDs and 12 INTs.
The Peterman Era in Buffalo got off to a rocky start, indeed. Many an NFL QB has struggled in his first start in the league, but Peterman took “struggling” to new depths. In his first start, he threw 5 INTs in 14 pass attempts in the first half of the game. Not surprisingly, he did not start the second half of that game.
Peterman was named the starting QB for the Bills this year – apparently with the idea that rookie Josh Allen would learn by osmosis and ease on into that job somewhere down the line. In the Bills’ opener against the Ravens, Peterman was 5 for 18 for 24 yards and 2 INTs. Later this year as the Bills shuffled QBs the way Brett Maverick used to shuffle poker decks, Peterman got another chance to start against the Bears. Here were the results:
- 31 for 49 (not bad) for 188 yards (paltry return on 31 completions) and 3 more INTs.
Early this week, the Bills announced Peterman’s release. Bills’ fans are probably happy to see that; I wonder if Peterman is happy to be out of Buffalo where he had become a household name – – but not in a good way.
Time for a Quick Quiz: What is the next career move for Nathan Peterman?
- Try to play QB in the CFL
- Try to play QB in the new AAF (Alliance of American Football)
- Try to play QB in “XFL 2.0” – assuming that gets off the ground
- Start a career doing some that does not involve “QB” and “Pro Football”
100 words or less – – you make the call…
Continuing on the vector heading of unsuccessful football happenings, we are at the halfway point in the season and I think it is time to handicap the race that does not get nearly enough attention – the race to see which team will be on the clock with the overall #1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft starting around New Year’s Day.
In looking at the possibilities, I have eliminated from consideration any of the teams who have already won 3 games in 2018. Yes, I know that a 3-13 record could well take the prize here; it has done so in the past. Nevertheless, for that to happen, one of those “3-win teams” would have to lose out AND all the teams on my list would have to win at least 2 more games between now and the end of December. While I pay homage to the mantra of “Any Given Sunday”, that is too far a stretch for me. Hence, I present here the 4 NFL teams on course to have the overall #1 pick in the draft next April.
- Oakland Raiders (1-8): The Raiders have the worst record so far this year and seem to play in a more moribund fashion as every week passes. The Raiders have a road game in Arizona against the Cards – – who shall appear on the list below – – and opened the week as a 3-point underdog. That spread has widened as of this morning to 4 points. That is as small a spread as the Raiders will see in the next month because after the Cards, they play the Ravens, Chiefs and Steelers. Then they will end the year with two meaningless games against the Bengals and Broncos. A loss to the Cards this week will make the Raiders’ ceiling for the regular season be 3-13.
- Arizona Cardinals (2-7): This week’s game against the Raiders is important to the Cards too. With a win, they will hand the tie-breaker to the Raiders; that would essentially eliminate them from a serious run at the overall #1 pick. Alternatively, the Cards could indeed lose out and with the loss to the Raiders his week on the way to losing out, the Cards would have a better claim on the overall #1 spot than would the Raiders. Two December games on the Cards’ schedule are “dangerous” in the sense that the Cards could win them. They host the less-than-fearsome Lions in Week 15 and then play the Falcons in Week 16 in a game that ought to be meaningless to the Falcons.
- NY Giants (2-7): Their win on Monday night this week over the Niners means they would forfeit the overall #1 pick should the Giants and Niners each win the same number of regular season games. Moreover, the Giants are 2-point favorites at home this week against the Bucs. I think the Giants are the longest shot among this “Gang of Four”.
- SF 49ers (2-8): The Niners have lost twice to the Cards already so they are in a good place with regard to a tie there. They lost to the Giants on Monday night this week, so they are in a good place there too. However, the Niners shellacked the Raiders just two weeks ago meaning they are a game-and-a-half ahead of the Raiders in this race to the bottom. The Niners need a Raiders’ win this week to stay in serious contention because the Niners have two winnable games upcoming in December – – versus the Bucs after a BYE Week for the Niners and at home against the Broncos on 9 December.
For this race to the bottom, it would be inapprorp0irate to say something like “Gentlemen, start your engines.” Instead it seems apropos to say:
- Gentlemen, apply your parking brakes!”
Finally, consider this comment from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had diamonds shaped as a cross implanted onto one of his teeth, TMZ reported.
“In keeping with the theme, Beckham requested they make it a two-minute drill.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………