Wednesday Morning QB (Week 7)

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The NFL was having a pretty decent run at the start of the 2016 season with little controversy being talked about.

Aside from the suspension of Tom Brady, there wasn’t a lot to talk about when it came to the decisions by the league.

Then came the decision this week as the NFL found themselves in an all too familiar spot dealing with another player accused of domestic violence.

The charges of domestic violence were far from new as in 2015 Giants’ kicker Josh Brown had been accused of domestic violence by his then wife, now ex-wife.

The case stood at mainly an accusation but the NFL decided to suspend him for the first game of the season.

It was another example of the issues that the league has been dealing with over the last decade.

Players were often considered untouchable to the general public and for a very long time, anything they did outside of the field was entirely off limits.

That isn’t the case anymore as now they are bigger than ever before and people want to know if their favourite players are not just good on the field but good off of it as well.

That leads to more reports about players that highlight the great side and the ugly side of pro athletes.

Over the last few years, the ugly side has come out for the NFL with more players than ever before being accused and convicted of domestic violence.

It is far from a new trend in a group of players who are rarely told know and who are considered some of the strongest people in the world.

The difference now is that the stories are coming out and they are coming out at what seems like a rapid pace.

The NFL was not equipped to handle domestic violence issues and they showed that in a big way when Ray Rice was accused of domestic violence after a video of him carrying his then-fiancée out of an elevator.

The NFL suspended him for two games essentially admitting it looked bad but lacking evidence to suspend Rice any longer.

Then the real video came out of Rice knocking out his girlfriend inside the elevator and the league then took action to suspend him indefinitely, rice has never played another down o football since.

For some, the fact that the NFL couldn’t obtain that video seemed pretty unbelievable and the original video seemed damning enough for a much longer suspension.

Then again, the NFL never had a policy in effect to outline what the punishment for domestic violence would

That changed after the Rice incident and yet the NFL has continued to fail to make convincing decisions when it comes to domestic violence.

It is not as easy as some may think though as the NFL is in a very tough spot where they want to support their players if only to keep the NFLPA relatively happy, but they also want to please the fans who demand suspensions for these acts.

On one hand, it seems like the simple accusation of domestic violence makes someone guilty with even rumours turning the opinion of the public.

That leads to many fans wanting suspensions for players that have not been proven to be guilty.

Then again waiting a year for a player to go through an investigation and court doesn’t always seem like a fair thing to do.

That becomes especially true when there seems to be evidence, like the first video of Ray Rice or Josh Brown’s admittance of domestic violence that suggests that the player is guilty.

The NFL has to weigh the fact that they need to make a decision and punish a player for this type of conduct but also not punish a player without any evidence, which wouldn’t be the first time.

They walk that line every time something like this comes up and more often than not they seem to fall short.

With Rice, it was an embarrassing two-game suspension with seemingly clear evidence before they had to save face and re-suspend him when even clearer evidence came out.

In the case of Brown, the fact that he reportedly admitted it to the Giants should have been enough to warrant the minimum 6-game suspension under the new domestic violence policy.

Instead, he received a one-game suspension and the league was proven to be wrong when the evidence was presented this week.

The Giants eventually released him while the NFL blames the sheriff’s office for not providing the evidence.

It all seems a little too late though as things seemed to be set for the new policy to take effect and yet the NFL went off-script and once again seemed like they were utterly unprepared to deal with a real issue throughout the league.

Fifth Quarter:
(Thoughts on this week in the NFL)

Hall of Fame Opinion
When Geno Smith left the game for the Jets there were plenty that saw their QB switch as now fruitless but for Jets legend, Joe Namath the concentration was on Smith himself after he criticised smith for hurting his knee but standing the rest of the game on the sidelines

Foster Steps away
Arian Foster was once the next great running back in the league but injuries hurt his progress as he began to miss seasons and was unable to figure out a way to stay in the lineup and those injuries took their toll as Foster stepped away from the game without meeting his potential

New Captains
The latest version of the Pro Bowl format continues to be popular as legends return to the forefront and this year the legends leading both teams will be Jerome Bettis and Ray Lewis who will captain the Pro Bowl this year


Key Scores:
Green Bay Packers 26-10 Chicago Bears
– The Packers looked sluggish again to start the game but they were luckily facing another struggling team as their offence began coming through in the second half to take the win in a big rivalry game

New York Giants 17-10 Los Angeles Rams
– The Giants and Rams travelled cross the Atlantic to Twickenham Stadium as the international series continued with the Giants getting the win and the Rams leaving with questions at the quarterback position

Philadelphia Eagles 21-10 Minnesota Vikings
– The Eagles and Vikings were looking to prove that their trade earlier in the year was the right move and the best way to do that was a win which the Eagles got ending the Vikings winning streak and knocking off the final undefeated team

Seattle Seahawks 6-6 Arizona Cardinals
– The Cards and Seahawks fought a tight defensive battle all game but in the end, it was all about the special teams as both teams missed what are normally easy field goals in overtime and ran out of time to truly determine a winner

Next Week:
Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers (Sunday, October 30th; 1:00 pm ET)
– It was a weird week for the Cardinals as a great defensive performance did nothing to get them a win as they tied and now they hope to get back to winning against a Panthers team who will try to reinvigorate themselves after a bye week

New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills (Sunday, October 30th; 1:00 pm ET)
– Bill Belichick has never had an easy time against Rex Ryan no matter where he is in the NFL and that continued this year when the Bills handed the Patriots the only loss of the season but now the Bills have to contend with Tom Brady who could be the difference maker

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, October 30th; 8:30 pm ET)
– There is only one story heading into this game as the Cowboys have a decision to make at quarterback whether it is this game or the next with Dak Prescott potentially getting his final audition to remain the starter

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears (Monday, October 31st; 8:30 pm ET)
– The Vikings are coming off of their first loss of the season and they should get an easy game against a struggling Bears but if they can’t recover properly they might just be surprised in an important divisional game

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