Wednesday Morning QB (Week 15)

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Football is inherently a physical game and is one of the most physical in the world where the most common way of stopping someone is to hit them.

Think of the lineman who on every play get into a collision at the line between 300 lbs men try to push each other backwards.

It is a tough game for tough people and has been for years as contact is just a part of the game.

What many don’t talk about though is the fact that football is also a very mental game that causes players to make split-second decisions.

For a ball-carrier the difference between breaking a big run or being stopped for a loss could be a decision to spin or juke.

For the quarterback an interception or touchdown pass is the decision to throw from one player to another while his three seconds of protection runs out.

The defence can make a big play by jumping a route or getting off of the snap quickly but make the wrong decision and a receiver flies past everyone or the offence gets and extra five yards for offside.

The mental aspect is one of the under rated parts of the game and to be successful at that part of the game players need to stay focused for the duration of the game.

That is where the mental game truly comes into play as there are more than a few players ready to get others off of their game.

The words exchanged between players is stuff that can never be aired the majority of the time.

It is all for a purpose though as players chirp each other in an attempt to get the person they are facing to focus on them rather than on their assignment.

Some are better at it than others and often can shut down their opponents by simply talking more than their actions.

Most of the time it is just a part of the game and as frustrating as it can get there is little that comes from it besides a bad performance.

That wasn’t the case this week when that talk turned into a full-blown meltdown by one of the league’s best receivers.

Odell Beckham Jr. had made his name thanks to a massive one-handed catch in 2014 but this year had become a reliable receiver who can make any catch for Eli Manning.

He had established himself as one of the best young receivers in the game but this week he was going up against the best corner of the season in Josh Norman.

The Panthers’ corner had taken on the best receivers in the game all year and none had broken 100 yards.

It was a match-up that everyone was watching when the Giants and the Panthers faced off with many believing the Panthers might drop their first game of the season against a tough out in the Giants.

The game began with Beckham and Norman immediately getting into it with some rough play.

That only progressed to Beckham taking a swing right at the helmet of Norman and both players wrestling each other to the ground.football-sidebar

Eventually Beckham seemed to snap when the Panthers tackled the Giants running back and from about five yards out Beckham ran at the pile that had formed.

He launched himself over the pile and at Norman, who was standing beside the bile, hitting him helmet on helmet.

It was surprising that he was left in the game but no action aside from an unnecessary roughing penalty was taken.

Both players received plenty of flags in what was a pure expression of how far the mental aspect of the game can go when someone gets in the head of another player.

After the game there were plenty of accusations flying from both locker rooms.

More of them came from the Giants who claimed that the Panthers had threatened Beckham with a baseball bat and had launched homophobic slurs at the receiver.

The bat is a part of the pre-game ritual of the Panthers but video released does show a player walking towards the Giants with the bat in hand.

Whether it truly was a threat or just the Panthers pumping themselves up nobody will ever know but the claim is that Beckham felt threatened and it put him in a different state of mind when playing.

Regardless of the excuses Beckham received a one-game suspension while Norman is currently under investigation for his role in the multiple penalties on both sides of the ball.

It is the perfect expression of just how important it is to stay focused throughout the game as Beckham is still a young receiver who will learn in time that nothing that anyone says means anything if he can help win the game.

Norman will likely try to keep getting in the heads of receivers and will do so with mixed results while he helps his team to the playoffs.

Fifth Quarter:
(Thoughts on Week 15 in the NFL)

Funding Mis-Information
ESPN has reported that the NFL has pulled out of funding a concussion study at Boston University over concerns about the researcher while the NFL and the National Institutes of Health, the group that the NFL funds to fund other studies, have stated that the reports is false

Woodson leaves the game
Charles Woodson has been one of the best defensive backs in the league after entering the NFL as the only defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy, he won as a DB and returner, but his career is coming to a close as he announced that he will retire after the season

Browner’s Record
There are plenty of records usually pursued at the end of the year but having the most penalties called against you is not one that many look for when they start the season although this year Brandon Browner set the new mark with 24 flags this year

standings-w15.fw.png

Key Scores:
New York Jets 19 – 16 Dallas Cowboys
– The Cowboys were still in the fight for their division heading into Week 15 while the Jets were looking to fight for the wild card in the AFC and their win this week kept them in the fight while the loss for Dallas ended their playoff hopes

Minnesota Vikings 38 – 17 Chicago Bears
– The Vikings have not had the best run over the last few weeks but they finally got back to winning this time against the Bears to keep them in line to challenge the Packers for the division title and keep a hold on the wild card

Houston Texans 16 – 10 Indianapolis Colts
– The Colts had held on to the division lead all year but after falling off recently the Texans had a chance to take over the lead in this game and did just that as they continued to ride a recent rise to beat the Colts and take first place

Green Bay Packers 30 – 20 Oakland Raiders
– The Packers looked great in the first quarter getting two interceptions and scoring on both of them but they struggled to keep it up just getting by the Raiders and staying ahead of the Vikings for the lead in the North

Next Week:
Washington vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Saturday December 26th; 8:25 pm ET)
– Washington is still leading the east but that doesn’t mean they are safe as the Eagles are coming for them and a win this week could put the Eagles in first place with only a week left in the season for Washington to come back

Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans (Sunday December 27th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Texans have taken the lead in their division but they are far from guaranteed that tile as they take on the Titans who hope to end the season on a positive note while making life difficult for the Texans

Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals (Sunday December 27th; 4:25 pm ET)
– The Packers look to get into a good spot in their division race before the last week of the season while the Cardinals are looking to defend their second place spot and their bye in the playoffs as a win clinches that week off

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos (Monday December 28th; 8:25 pm ET)
– There are still teams fighting for the South and the North in the AFC and both the Broncos and Bengals need a win to help fend them off as they head into a big match-up that could change the AFC playoff picture in a big

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