Week 4 of the 2015 NFL season brought some all new controversy to the table. Or is it just the same old debate revamped? Yes, we are talking about the infamous NFL’s referee rulebook, a very thick piece of reading with many violations not known to man, football coach, player or referee?? alike. The latest one is called ‘illegal bat.’ Unfortunately for Detroit, everyone learned this rule at the expense of its football franchise. And what about those damn, good-to-nothing kickers? Aren’t they the worst? Not really as you are about to find out.
Calling Woes: What Just Happened in Seattle?
Forget about ‘Fail Mary’; we have a new calling controversy that could be very well named ‘Blind to the Bat.’ This is the name an anonymous group of Lions’ fans gave to the missed no-call back judge Gregory Wilson made on Monday Night Football. The fans bought seven billboards across the city of Detroit and this happened:
See this? ‘Blind to the bat’ billboards across Detroit – Detroit Free Press http://t.co/bQDF1Vjsx4
— Detroit Lions 360 (@DetroitLions360) 7 octombrie 2015
But before dissecting the play, let’s turn our heads to Seattle Seahawks’ safety Kam Chancellor who made a heck of a play at the one-yard striping the ball from Calvin Johnson’s hands with under two minutes left in the game. Here’s a closer look:
The missed called was made after that fumble. The football was loose in Seattle’s end-zone so K.J. Wright played it safe and threw it away for good measure. Apparently, the bat was illegal – according to the rulebook, you can’t punch or bat the football away in the end-zone – and the judge should have called a foul, gave the football to Detroit’s offense at the one-yard line and let them play four more downs – remember Seattle was leading by three. Instead, Gregory Wilson missed the call, gave the possession to the Seahawks who ran out the rest of the clock. And just like that, the Lions are 0-4 thanks to a bad no-call. Seattle on the other hand is at the .500-mark thanking Wilson for not going by the (NFL rule)book. Can you blame them?
Coaching Woes: Joe Philbin OUT, Dan Campbell IN
That didn’t take long…after a disastrous game in London and a comforting talk with the owner Stephen Ross, Miami Dolphins’ head coach Joe Philbin was fired. Philbin spent three seasons in Florida having an overall record of .461 (24-28). This NFL season, after a busy off-season and a 17-10 start against the Washington Redskins, the Dolphins lost three in a row. Sunday’s performance, against the New York Jets, was lackluster and many wondered why Philbin is still running the team. Reports leaked after the latest loss saying the head coach tried to protect his quarterback, Ryan Tannehill and told the practice squad to ‘take it easy.’
This approach is about to change as tight-end coach Dan Campbell took the reins of the team for the time being. He told the media he’s going to change the culture and make it much more competitive during the scrimmages.
Dan Campbell’s vision: https://t.co/WWBXZBF8z3
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) 6 octombrie 2015
Will this turnaround affect the Dolphins? Kicking Woes: Is It That Bad For The Kickers? After being bombarded with countless articles regarding the NFL kickers’ struggles, here’s an alternative look: no, Week 4 isn’t the worst in terms of kickers. According to ESPN, the percentage of made field-goals and point-after-touchdown is down only by one percent compared to the same period of 2014. It’s not even the worst week from the last five years: in 2010, there were 20 combined misses, including 19 FGs (in the first quarter of the 2015 NFL season, there were 18 misses, 14 FGs and 4 PATs). And to dig a little deeper, let’s put things into a football perspective:
On October 15, 1967, there were 35 missed field goals. — Football Perspective (@fbgchase) 5 octombrie 2015
What we need to learn is that everybody is overreacting nowadays, not to mention that everyone in this league looks for (near) perfection. And when you fail to reach it, you are out in no time – just ask former Steeler Josh Scobee or former Buc Kyle Brindza. Others time however, if you stick to the hard-work ethic and fight to improve every single day, you can become a legend – just ask 42-year-old Colt Adam Vinatieri. On Sunday, Vinatieri became the first player in NFL history to score 1,000 points with two different teams (Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots). Against Jacksonville Jaguars, he scored three FGs and one PAT including the game-winning kick. Congrats Adam!