The NFL offseason often brings a lot of changes and excitement to teams and their fans. Additions to teams, beloved players or coaches leaving, hold outs, the draft, drama is always present in the offseason. However, when a player retires, the drama seems to subside, and nostalgia takes over.
We all know its coming. No one can play football forever. But when a player has made an impact on the league, it’s hard to imagine them not being on the field anymore. It feels like a loss for fans, but a loss that they understand and respect.
The start of the 2019 NFL year has had a number of notable retirements, and its only March. Here are a handful of newly retired players that will be missed by fans.
Julius Peppers. Defensive God. His name alone put fear in the hearts of offensive coordinators around the league. In his amazing 17 year career which included time playing for the Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, and Chicago Bears, Peppers was a 6 time All Pro, with 9 Pro Bowl nods. It’s straight to Canton for Julius.
Admit it, you just rolled your eyes when you read that. It’s OK. I sort of did that as well, when I first heard about it.
I’ve often said, until someone can beat them, the road to the Super Bowl will have to go through New England at some point. But this year seemed a little different for the Patriots. After back to back loses early in the season to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions, you have to admit, people outside of New England started to get a little excited at the thought of witnessing the Patriots’ descent back to Earth.
Then after the stunning loss to the Miami Dolphins and then the Pittsburgh Steelers, the noise was getting louder. I mean, they weren’t even favored to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in the championship game. And while it could have been more for the sake of betting, they still weren’t favored and that’s not something we are used to.
The New England Patriots have won five Super Bowl championships, so it’s bound to happen that the once supreme dynasty may eventually topple.
The loss to the Miami Dolphins Miracle last week could have been an anomaly. Apparently, it wasn’t as the Patriots lose a week later to the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road 17-10.
Rumors swirled in the off-season that quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski would be retiring. Even head Coach Bill Belichick was on the rumor mill when offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels reneged on the head coaching job in Indianapolis to stay in New England.
There are obvious problems ravaging the Patriots as they enter Week 16 with a 9-5 record. It starts with Mr. Brady.
I have a confession to make – I didn’t watch the game live. I was at a Def Leppard/Journey concert in San Diego. That made watching it today, after knowing the outcome, a LOT harder.
As Patriots’ fans, we’ve been spoiled – we’ve seen a whole lot of winning. When the Patriots have a bad game, there’s no one better at coming back the next week and looking like a completely different team.
So the Patriots starting the season with a 1-2 record is a bitter pill to swallow for us. Most of us were sure that after the loss to the Jaguars, the Patriots would bounce back and walk out of Detroit with a win. But what we forgot is that Matt Patricia, now head coach of the Detroit Lions, knows the Patriots and he knows them well.
The New England Patriots started off the 2018 season with an exciting and sometimes nail-biting win over the Houston Texans, who were led by quarterback Deshaun Watson, 27-20. QB Tom Brady did Tom Brady things and completed 26 passes of 39 attempts for 277 yards with 3 TDs and 1 INT (a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage), spreading the ball around to 8 different receivers.
As with every game, there was good, bad, and definitely room for improvement. But, here are some of my thoughts on the game:
He gets it. Cleveland Browns defensive lineman Carl Nassibshares his thoughts on investment with teammates on HBO’s Hard Knocks.
“We got a lot of money right now, right? This is the easiest equation to make you rich. You have a million dollars and after seven years getting 10% of the money every single year, you are making money off of it, you’re going to double it after seven years. You’re gonna double it every seven years for 42 (expletive) years, you get 64 times your original (expletive) money. So if you got a million dollars you’re gonna end up with 64 million dollars by the time you retire.”
Drafted by the Browns in 2016, Nassib signed a 4-year contract worth $3.2 million, with a signing bonus of $890,000 dollars. Now, let’s assume he lives off of just the signing bonus, which is $222K, and invests the rest, he can have a very nice financial cushion upon retirement.
Once again, the Patriots walked into Miami the odds-on favorite and came out losers. Although the score doesn’t adequately reflect it, it was an ugly Monday Night Football game. One the Patriots lost to the division rival Miami Dolphins 20-27.
It was a game where quarterback Tom Brady didn’t look like Tom Brady. It took 2 1/2 quarters of football before a Patriots wide receiver (Danny Amendola) caught a pass. And New England went 0 for 11 on 3rd down conversions.
Let that sink in, folks…the Patriots could not convert a single third down. The last time the Patriots were that inept at converting on third downs was in 1991. I remember those days – back when the Patriots were really bad – they hadn’t won more than 10 games since 1986 and this particular season, they went 6-10. Does anyone remember head coach Dick MacPherson? Nah…me either.
Division rival Miami Dolphins came to Foxborough Sunday to take on the Patriots. The Patriots, who had won six in a row, were returning from their win over the Raiders in Mexico City. Division games are always difficult. They’re heated and emotional. Even though the Dolphins were without their starting quarterback Jay Cutler, Matt Moore is one of the better back up QBs in the league. All week I heard about Moore’s great connection with wide receiver Kenny Stills. It still wasn’t enough to beat the Patriots.
Introducing: Traci McCartney, New England Patriots Reporter // @Traciamc
Traci McCartney is a mother, grandmother, wife, full-time professional and a sports addict.
She is a New Englander transplanted to the California desert, obsessed with the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots.
Growing up, Traci’s father shared his love of sports with her, and through that they forged an unbreakable bond watching basketball, hockey, football and baseball on TV and in person. Continue reading “Just Doing Her Job”→
Sunday’s game was the highly anticipated rematch of Super Bowl LI’s Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots, to be held at Gillette Stadium.
Everyone has always assumed that the lighthouse and fog horn were just there for ambiance, but on Sunday night they might have actually proved helpful. The fog rolled into Foxborough and clouded visibility from the NBC cameras and coaches up in the booth as well as some fans, but it didn’t seem to bother the Patriots. They scored another win bringing their record to 5-2 and finally dominated their visiting opponent the way they’ve been expected to all season.
With a final score of 23-7, the Patriots sent the Falcons home without the win they had been vying for after losing the Super Bowl to New England in overtime last February.