We do a ton of insightful, thoughtful, and serious features here at Footballguys with smart people thinking deeply for you.
This is not one of those features.
This is Random Shots and it's a few pages of me downloading my brain that gets stuffed with way too many random items from too many hours watching, reading about, and listening to football every weekend and throughout the week. It's the only way I manage. Here's hoping it has some value for you.
We'll see. Now let's get to it.
Fantasy Football in Week 15...
Bashaud Breeland was every Viking fan Thursday night as the Steelers rallied...
Breeland finally realizing the disbelief Vikings fans have endured for the past several decades. pic.twitter.com/hob4rmBvbv— Stooph (@St3ffffffffff) December 10, 2021
Pretty much this.
Bruce Arians on signing Antonio Brown in 2020: “He screws up one time, he’s gone.” Antonio Brown fakes a vaccine card and is suspended by the league. But it turns out Brown is still really good.— Joe Bryant (@Football_Guys) December 15, 2021
Arians in 2021: pic.twitter.com/2bBn5Hu3A3
It's just one more example of how the world works. The rules are different when you're really good. It's not right or fair. But it is.
Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool was flagged for a personal foul in the first quarter and was benched by Mike Tomlin.
Tomlin concedes he benched Claypool for his first quarter personal foul. Safe to say, Claypool didn’t get the message. pic.twitter.com/c2momo8Mdb— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 10, 2021
When Tomlin says, "We'll see", I get the feeling he means it. This sequence at the end of the game with Claypool celebrating the first down as time ticked down will be an uncomfortable time in the film room.
My guess is that Mike Tomlin will have something to say about this…— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) December 10, 2021
It's that same principle I mentioned above though. Chase Claypool, like Antonio Brown, is really good. Managing that balance between getting the most out of difficult players and keeping a sense of fairness for the whole group is why coaches make so much money. It's a rare skill.
To be fair, Claypool acknowledged the issue after the game, "But I definitely do have to be better. I knew the situation, I know I'm near the hash. I know the ball is placed on the hash. I've got to be better."
It's back to what Tomlin said, "We'll see."
It's not your imagination...
NFL kickers are making 92.4% of their extra points attempts this season, the lowest mark since 1979, when they made 91.3%. pic.twitter.com/ubH0xI70Nj— Kendall Baker (@kendallbaker) December 10, 2021
I wrote this last week:
Pitt's Kenny Pickett with how to exploit the rules. This was fun (for Pitt fans) but they've got to change this rule.
KENNY PICKETT FAKE SLIDE ðŸ¤¯pic.twitter.com/XaDlNEkvI4— Boom or Bust: The Draft Show (@BoomOrBustDraft) December 5, 2021
Who knew the suits at the NCAA were Random Shots readers? "NCAA instructs officials to more strictly enforce slide rule after Kenny Pickett fake slides to TD"
Maybe I should start writing here about expanding the college football playoffs...
For insight into why folks loved Demaryius Thomas so much, it's stuff like this. Wait for the kiss at the end.
He will be missed.
This is my absolute favorite clip I've ever shot of DT. THIS was Demaryius. Such a loss. Just painful. pic.twitter.com/h7W3Lr11Ce— Ryan Greene ðŸ“· (@RyanCBS4) December 10, 2021
Hats off to Denver and Detroit for this tribute to open the game.
The official gamebook — the collection of statistics that details every NFL game — will forever reflect that when the Broncos opened the game against the Lions, they did so with a missing man. pic.twitter.com/cKbODPDWk3— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) December 13, 2021
We wrote a feature last week and recommended readers start Jamaal Williams. A few hours later, Williams was placed on the COVID Reserve list. During the time in between, we mailed the article to our readers with out-of-date information. I wrote a follow-up email and apologized and clarified and noted our advice "was true for a few hours". I think I'm with Brandon here that "True For A Few Hours" sometimes feels like Fantasy Football in a nutshell.
I laughed when I read your newest update on Jamal Williams being put on the COVID list. Where it says "that was true for a few hours." That feels like a one sentence summary of this whole fantasy football season. @Football_Guys— brandon (@IATEMYBROTHER) December 11, 2021
The Cowboys took their own benches to Washington...
As if the #Cowboys couldn’t be any more contemptible, they flew in their own sideline benches for the game … first time and only team that’s ever done that at FedEx … wild #WashingtonFootball pic.twitter.com/Qu46kPmP5P— Mitchell Tischler (@Mitch_Tischler) December 12, 2021
And yes, I know it's because the heated benches at FedExField reportedly don't work well. But I'm not letting facts get in the way of a good story. This league is more fun when the Love/Hate for Dallas is rolling.
Uncle Jerry letting them HANG today pic.twitter.com/4iWrnpENTO— Alex Robert Friedman (@Alex_Friedman31) December 12, 2021
Thanks to Footballguy Clayton Gray for that one.
Ryan Clark was all of us when Rex Ryan said we should trust him on Aaron Rodgers because "I'm a toe expert".
Thanks to Footballguy Jordan McNamara for that one.
Cameron Jordan missed his first game Sunday in forever.
Las time I watched my team play as a bystander I was 19… how do I do this? 7 layer bean dip still a thing? Let’s go @Saints ? Too early??— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) December 12, 2021
Micah Parsons is a problem.
I love how the hot take now is "He's not just Rookie Of The Year. He might even be Defensive Player Of The Year!" Umm. Yes.
Also, Tom Brady is good.
I'm with Chris Long here.
Parsons has a HS highlight tape in the NFL already— chris long (@JOEL9ONE) December 12, 2021
This was a roughing the passer penalty. pic.twitter.com/icFl2Jl3X3— Doug Farrar âœ (@NFL_DougFarrar) December 12, 2021
To be fair, I feel for the league. On one side, they have "Make Player Safety A Focus". On the other side, they have "You're Ruining The Game". And the instrument the league has to walk this tightrope happens to be human beings in striped shirts making instant decisions on plays that happen so quickly one can often barely see them. It's tough.
It's my understanding they charged full-price admission for the Saints at Jets game.
Urban Meyer was a Southwest Airlines "Wanna Get Away?" commercial in real life.
Jaguar Mood RN pic.twitter.com/9YmD0IT4kE— Joe Bryant (@Football_Guys) December 12, 2021
In October of 2020, the Raiders beat Kansas City 40-32 and after the game, their buses took victory laps around Arrowhead Stadium.
After the Chiefs blew out Las Vegas 48-9 Sunday, Kansas City had a message.
The Wheels On The Bus is playing at Arrowhead after the Chiefs beat the RaidersðŸ˜‚pic.twitter.com/obvMPolIcM— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) December 12, 2021
In a year that's been uncertain, we can still count on a few things...
Jets have been eliminated from the playoffs pic.twitter.com/AKnwOuBMFr— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) December 12, 2021
Buffalo watched the Patriots run the ball on nearly every play two weeks ago. Then went full George Costanza against Tampa Bay.
The #Bills did not have one handoff to a running back in the first half against the #Buccaneers . It's the first time since 1991 that a #NFL team has played the entire 1st half and had NO rushes by a running back.— Scott Pioli (@scottpioli51) December 12, 2021
Ok. I know. Offensive line. Running backs. Wind on Monday night. I get it. But I'm trying to write a column here. Work with me.
Justin Herbert. You're kind of ridiculous.
I mean…âš¡ï¸âš¡ï¸âš¡ï¸— Darius Butler (@DariusJButler) December 12, 2021
Just as ridiculous from the field level angle.
I never expected Brian Kelly at LSU to provide this much material.
Brian Kelly at LSU so far is something pic.twitter.com/UJho1ndQH3— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) December 13, 2021
This guys entire career was on the line if he didn’t secure Bradys 700th td pass pic.twitter.com/mH9X3rliEJ— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) December 13, 2021
Who did this?
Brady and the Bucs survive Buffalo and move to 10-3 ðŸ’ª pic.twitter.com/cmI4CUN2tO— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 13, 2021
On a serious note, I'm sure this will jinx him but this is just nuts.
Think about this stat for a second. pic.twitter.com/eEIzUct6tg— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) December 12, 2021
Thanks to Footballguy Jake Bryant for that one.
This column is light-hearted. Here's something serious. Tornadoes and storms ripped across the Midwest and South late Friday night and early Saturday of last week. We're fine where I live in Knoxville, TN, but Kentucky, not too far away, was especially hit hard. The death toll has risen to nearly ninety, more than a hundred people are still missing, and thousands have lost their homes. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said, "This has been the most devastating tornado event in our state’s history. The level of devastation is unlike anything I have ever seen."
Garden And Gun is a magazine I've followed for years and I like and trust them. They compiled a list of on-the-ground relief efforts for those affected by the storms in Kentucky and beyond. Find ways to help here.
Van Jefferson's dad, Cardinals coach Shawn Jefferson, is a company man.
After the game, he was 100% a proud Dad.
Has had my back through it all! Love you till the end pops ðŸ–¤ https://t.co/ExdStOk4ev— Van Jefferson (@VanJefferson12) December 14, 2021
South Carolina's Shane Beamer is killing it.
If the Falcons Football Team was as good as the Falcons Social Media Team, they'd be the Super Bowl favorite.
This week's Steph Curry note. Thank you, Internet.
More college football talk. You knew it was only a matter of time...
Church Transfer Portal pic.twitter.com/QqI9DE46zr— John Crist (@johnbcrist) December 13, 2021
Music Note Of The Week. Going old school with a band and song I loved as a kid. And still do.
Before ZZ Top went Hollywood with the popular videos on MTV, they were a Texas cult hero band rooted in Blues. As a high school kid in Amarillo, Texas, they were my jam.
Wrapping with this one.
I wrote last week about part of the "The Patriot Way" is Bill Belichick instilling mental toughness in his team by having them practice in tough weather conditions.
It's why anyone watching the wind blow the field goals around before that Monday night game two weeks ago knew the Patriots would be ready.
I loved the post-game clip here of Belichick saying, "This is why we practice in this ####."
"Tonight is one of those nights...that you'll remember 10, 15, 20 years from now."— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 7, 2021
Inside the locker room after a big win in Buffalo. pic.twitter.com/akVz1RIm8R
But here's an overlooked point. The guy talking here is wide receiver, Matthew Slater. He's a Patriot team captain. He also hasn't caught a pass this year. To be fair, he hasn't caught a pass since 2011. He's been selected to nine Pro-Bowls and he's made five first-team All-Pros for special teams.
He's clearly an important player. No current Patriot has been on the roster longer. But he's not a glamour guy. The average fan outside of New England probably doesn't know his name, but he's crucial to the team's success. I think too many times we get caught up in the idea that we have to grab the headlines to "make a difference". Slater is a perfect example of how that's not true.
And even more applicable to us, we don't have to be an NFL player to make a difference. Most of us have an opportunity right near us where we can impact others for good. My hope and prayer for you this is week is you'll take a look around and see where that is for you. Then most importantly, go do it.
That'll do it this week. Thank you for being with me on this goofy journey.
Peace and Grace to you.