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50 Reasons This is the Wildest NFL Season of All Time

Tony SantorsaSenior Writer IIOctober 12, 2016

50 Reasons This is the Wildest NFL Season of All Time

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    If by simply reading the headline you immediately disagree, then please leave a comment below explaining why.

    With that being said, 2011 has been the wildest NFL season to date. Think about it: the NFL went from being locked out all summer long, to being back in full force, and with such a shortened free agency, it was hard to image we would be treated to such a high caliber of football on the field.

    Many rookies have exceeded their expectations, teams we thought were good have underperformed, usual bottom-dwellers have done quite well and there have been players that have simply fallen on their faces.

    Keeping that in mind, here are 50 reasons why 2011 is the NFL's wildest season of all time. 

The NFL Lockout

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    At one point, it almost seemed like we weren't going to have a football season this year—how awful would that have been? I mean I probably would have locked myself in my room for months, or maybe even until next season. 

    However, the owners and the players finally came to terms on an agreement and ultimately football was back. 

NFL Free Agency

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    This year's free agency period was by far the wildest in recent memory. 

    In a matter of just a few short weeks, transactions were squeezed into an ultra-tight time frame—it seemed like every second there was another big name free agent being signed by a different team.

The Year of the Quarterback

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    Who can argue this? 2011 is definitely the year of the quarterback, with the NFL ultimately being a pass-happy league. 

    I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, but the NFL has almost turned into Arena Football with all of these quarterbacks having 300 yard games—even Rex Grossman has had a 300 yard game. 

Aaron Rodgers Has Been Unstoppable

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    Can anyone stop Aaron Rodgers? He is unstoppable.

    Rodgers has posted an incredible 122.9 quarterback rating through the first five weeks of the season, while tossing 14 touchdowns, accumulating 1,721 passing yards, completing an outstanding 71.7 percent of his passes and only being picked off twice.

    Is Aaron Rodgers the best player in the league? You certainly can make a very strong case for it. 

Tom Brady Gets Better with Age

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    Tom Brady is like a fine wine, he gets better with age—it's true. 

    The 2010 reigning MVP has been arguably the top player in the NFL to date. Brady has thrown for an unbelievable 1,874 yards, while tossing 14 touchdowns and being picked off six times. 

    If you don't agree that Tom Brady isn't one of the best players in the NFL, then you're simply jealous or a hater. 

Five Quarterbacks Are on Pace to Break Dan Marino's Record

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    Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tony Romo and Cam Newton are all on pace to break Dan Marino's single season record of 5,084 passing yards—how incredible is that?

    The NFL has definitely gone pass-happy, and there's a possibility that Marino's record is in jeopardy. 

Cam Newton Is the Best Rookie in the NFL

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    Cam Newton definitely had his critics entering the NFL as the first overall pick to the Carolina Panthers—but I can guarantee you that no one imagined that Newton would have been this good, not even the biggest Newton fans out there.

    Newton has posted a solid 84.1 quarterback rating, while throwing for 1,610 yards and seven touchdowns. 

    He is by far the top rookie in the NFL right now. 

Julio Jones Has Torn It Up Without Scoring a Touchdown

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    If I were to tell you that Julio Jones would have 25 receptions for 358 yards, but not one touchdown, would you call me crazy? Possibly.

    Jones has torn up opposing defense's, but has yet to score a touchdown. 

Tony Romo Is a Choke Artist

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    Well, we might have known this before 2011, but Tony Romo has definitely earned the label of being a choke artist. 

    Romo has put up huge numbers, but has fallen apart when it matters the most.

    So far this season, Romo has had two collapses which resulted in two Dallas Cowboy losses—keep it up, Tony! 

The Dream Team Has Been All Talk

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    I do realize that Vince Young, the Philadelphia Eagles' backup quarterback, labeled his team the "Dream Team," but they deserve every bit of the criticism that they're receiving. 

    Philly is far too talented to be a pitiful 1-4. 

Brett Favre Is Still Retired

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    Brett Favre is still least for now.

    How wild is that? Favre watch has been rather boring so far this season.

    Is he truly retired? What do you think? 

Chad Henne Is out for the Entire Season

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    Poor, Chad Henne—so much for having a breakout season and proving that he's a legitimate starting NFL quarterback. 

    Henne had a pretty average season until he separated his shoulder a week ago, and he has now been placed on injured reserve. 

    Do you think that Henne's time as a starting quarterback is over?  

Josh Freeman Has Taken Several Steps Backwards

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    I'm going to be as simple as I can. 

    Josh Freeman threw a total of six interceptions last season; he now has six interceptions entering Week 6 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Fred Jackson Is an Elite Running Back

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    Fred Jackson has always been a productive running back for the Buffalo Bills, and has always possessed the skills and talent to be great—2011 is finally the season that Jackson puts it all together.

    Jackson has been a dual-threat running back for the Bills, he's scored a total of five touchdowns this season while combining for 712 total yards. 

Chad Ochocinco Has Fallen Flat on His Face in New England

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    Chad Ochocinco has been a non-factor in New England's offense this season.

    No. 85 has only nine receptions for 136 yards and zero touchdowns. 

    Will Ochocinco ever click with Tom Brady? 

Kevin Kolb Has Struggled in Arizona

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    I'm not questioning Kevin Kolb's talent and upside, but he's been a major disappointment for the Arizona Cardinals this season.

    Kolb has thrown six interceptions and five touchdowns, while completing only 58.7 percent of his passes. 

Tony Sparano Still Has a Job

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    Many considered Tony Sparano to be on the hot seat entering 2011, including myself, but somehow he still has a job.

    Sparano's Miami Dolphins are a dreadful 0-4, and I would not be surprised if he loses his job sometime soon. 

Jack Del Rio Still Has a Job

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    Jack Del Rio should have been fired seasons ago—I'm being serious.

    Del Rio somehow has a job with the Jacksonville Jaguars as the team's head coach, but it's only a matter of time until the Jags' let him walk. 

Donovan McNabb Has Been Terrible for the Minnesota Vikings

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    It is so obvious that Donovan McNabb's skills have diminished and that he can no longer be a productive quarterback in the NFL.

    McNabb has thrown for only 849 yards while tossing four touchdowns and being intercepted twice. It's almost like he's a non-factor for the Minnesota Vikings. 

Wes Welker Is the Best Wide Receiver in the NFL

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    Wes Welker is the best wide receiver in the NFL right now—believe it.

    Forty-five receptions, 740 yards and five touchdowns, how does that not impress you? 

    Welker is the NFL's best, if you disagree, please try and prove me wrong. I'd love to debate with you. 

LaDainian Tomlinson Has Been a Complete Bust for the Jets This Season

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    I think that it's time for LaDainian Tomlinson to finally hang up his cleats. It's been an amazing ride, but his time has past. 

    L.T. has averaged only 3.3 yards per-carry, and his season high for rushing yards is a pitiful 38. It's time to move on. 

The Jets Rushing Attack Has Been Ineffective

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    Rex Ryan and the New York Jets are known for running the ball down team's throats—that has not been the case in 2011.

    The Jets rank an awful second-to-worst in team rushing so far this season. That is very out of the norm. 

The Jets Run Defense Has Been Dreadful

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    Going on from the previous slide: What are the New York Jets known for besides running the ball? Answer: Stopping the run.

    The New York Jets run defense has been very poor and currently ranks fourth worst in the NFL. 

Mark Sanchez Hasn't Been That Bad for the Jets

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    Believe it or not, Mark Sanchez is on pace for a career year this season—but that's not saying much.

    Sanchez has posted a career-high 80.4 quarterback rating to date with eight touchdowns and five interceptions. 

    All in all, Sanchez has not been the reason for New York's struggles. 

No Peyton Manning

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    I could have never thought about the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts without thinking of Peyton Manning

    2011 has been a complete nightmare for the Colts, as Peyton has yet to play a game and could be out the entire season with a nagging neck injury. 

    The NFL is just not the same without Peyton. 

Elite Quarterback Echelon Is More Open

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    With Peyton Manning likely out for the entire season, the door has been opened for a quarterback to emerge as a possible elite passer.

    Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are definite elites—who else could emerge into the elite category? Matthew Stafford? Eli Manning? Philip Rivers? What do you think? 

Tom Brady Is on Pace to Pass for Close to 6,000 Yards

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    Forget breaking Dan Marino's record of 5,084 passing yards, Tom Brady is on pace to accumulating an incredible 6,000 yards.

    As of right now, TB12 has thrown for 1,874 yards, which puts him on pace for 5,996 yards. So is 6,000 that impossible? I think not. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick Is a Winner

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    The Buffalo Bills are 4-1, and Ryan Fitzpatrick has posted a 96.4 quarterback rating. Do I need to say more?

    The guy is a winner, and so are the Bills.  

Tim Tebow Is Denver's Starting Quarterback

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    I hate to be that guy, but this is the moment that I've been waiting for. 

    Tim Tebow will be the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback moving forward. 

Chris Johnson Has Done Absolutely Nothing

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    I actually feel bad for anyone that's stuck with Chris Johnson on their fantasy football roster—he's been a complete bust.

    Johnson has averaged only 3.0 yards per-carry with one 100 yard rushing game and one TD.

    CJ2K appears to have lost his magic. 

Matt Hasselbeck Is One of the NFL's Better Quarterbacks

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    Did anyone predict that Matt Hasselbeck would emerge as one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL this season? I sure as hell didn't.

    Hasselbeck has looked like Hasselbeck of five years ago with the Tennessee Titans this season.

    Hasselbeck has recorded an impressive 95.9 quarterback rating with nine touchdowns thrown and only four interceptions. 

Sam Bradford's Stats Have Taken a Significant Fall

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    The 2010 reigning offensive rookie of the year has been a complete and utter disappointment for the St. Louis Rams this season.

    Sam Bradford is in the ultimate sophomore slump.

    Bradford has completed a putrid 49.7 percent of his passes while throwing only three touchdowns in four four games this year. 

The San Francisco 49ers Are Back

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    The San Francisco 49ers may actually win the NFC West this season and be a competitive team coming out of the lousy NFC West. 

    The 49ers are an impressive 4-1, with key victories over the Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Chicago's Offensive Line Will Be the Death of Jay Cutler

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    I almost feel bad for Jay Cutler—he may break every bone in his body by the end of the season.

    The Chicago Bears' offensive line is absolutely dreadful, as Cutler has been sacked an incredible 18 times, and has been knocked down God knows how many times. 

The Colts May End Up Going 0-16

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    No surprise here, but without Peyton Manning, the Indianapolis Colts are toast. 

    The Colts have yet to win a game this season, despite losing the last three games by a seven point margin or less. 

    Do you think that Colts will go 0-16? 

Running Backs Are Almost Useless in Today's NFL

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    It's amazing how the value of running backs has gone down the tubes in a matter of just a single season.

    The two best running backs in the NFL today, Darren McFadden and Fred Jackson, are dual-threat running backs—they can not only run, but they're effective in the passing game.

    If you can't excel as a receiver coming out of the backfield, then your value will take a major dip. 

Curtis Painter Isn't All That Bad of a Quarterback

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    As I previously stated, there's a legitimate shot that the Indianapolis Colts go 0-16—but Curtis Painter will do whatever it takes to stop that.

    Granted, Painter isn't Peyton Manning, but he's got long-hair like a grunge rocker from Seattle and isn't all that bad of a quarterback.

    He's posted an impressive 100.0 quarterback rating so far this season, while tossing four touchdowns and recording zero interceptions. 

Alex Smith Is Finally Playing Like a First Overall Draft Pick

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    It's about time that Alex Smith finally produced as San Francisco 49er.

    In Jim Harbaugh's offensive system, Smith has been almost flawless. He's thrown seven touchdowns while being intercepted only once, and has posted a 104.1 quarterback rating. 

Megatron Is Unstoppable

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    Is there anyone that can shut-down Calvin Johnson? I really don't think that anyone can cover him.

    Megatron has been an absolute beast so far for the Detroit Lions this season, as he's caught 29 balls for 451 yards and nine touchdowns. 

    Johnson is well on pace to break Randy Moss' single season record of 23 touchdown receptions in a season. 

The Worst Team in the NFL Will Be a Winner in April

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    Who cares if your team posts the worst record in the NFL—they'll be No. 1 in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. 

    If Luck is anything that he's being hyped up to be, he's going to be a once in a decade quarterback. 

    So, the biggest loser this season will be the biggest winner in next year's draft. 

The Detroit Lions Are Legitimate Contenders

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    Detroit is such a great sports city, but has yet to see success from their football team, the Lions.

    So far this season, the Lions have posted an incredible 5-0 record and currently sit in first place in the NFC North, tied with the reigning Super Bowl champs, the Green Bay Packers.

    Could the Lions actually make a run for their first ever Super Bowl this season? What do you think? 

The Green Bay Packers Could Easily Repeat This Season

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    Can anyone stop the Green Bay Packers this season?

    The reigning Super Bowl champions have posted a perfect 5-0 record so far this season and appear to be the clear-cut best team in the NFL.

    What do you think? Will the Green Bay Packers repeat as Super Bowl champs this season?  

AFC South Is Wide Open

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    Ultimately, the AFC South is wide open with the Indianapolis Colts struggling to find a win, as they're likely going to be without Peyton Manning for the entire season.

    With that being said, the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans are legitimate contenders in the south—definitely a changing of the guard. 

The Washington Redskins Have a Winning Record

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    Somehow, someway, the Washington Redskins have a 3-1 record so far this season. Who would have thought?

    The Redskins were a complete mess with Donovan McNabb as their quarterback a year go, but with Rex Grossman this season, the 'Skins look to be playoff contenders. 

The Buffalo Bills Are in First Place in the AFC East

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    This is not a dream: The Buffalo Bills are in first place in the AFC East with an impressive 4-1 record.

    The New England Patriots may have the same record as Buffalo, but the Bills were able to shock Tom Brady and the Patriots earlier this season with a 34-31 come-from-behind victory. 

Matt Ryan Has Underachieved Tremendously

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    What in the world has happened to Matt Ryan? He's almost turned into an interception machine.

    So far this season, Ryan has thrown six interceptions while posting a 79.9 quarterback rating, and in the process is "leading" his Atlanta Falcons to a disappointing 2-3 start. 

Rex Grossman Is Flourishing When Kyle Orton Is Being Benched

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    Not too long ago Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton were members of the Chicago Bears and were arguably the most putrid NFL combination in NFL history.

    Orton went on to have success in Denver while Grossman struggled.

    Now, Orton is being benched in Denver while Grossman is flourishing in Mike Shanahan's offense in Washington.

    Now that is wild. 

Andy Dalton Is Simply Winning Football Games for the Cincinnati Bengals

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    Andy Dalton was thrown into the mix right away, as he was named the Cincinnati Bengals starting quarterback at the start of the regular season—and he has yet to disappoint.

    The Bengals have gone a solid 3-2 this season with Dalton recording an impressive 78.7 quarterback rating with six touchdowns and five interceptions.

    All in all, Dalton is getting the job done and is a winner. 

The New York Jets Are in Third Place in the AFC East

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    Say what you want about the New York Jets—they're a talented and physical football team that is simply struggling to win games right now.

    The Jets currently sit in third place in the AFC East, behind New England and Buffalo. New York is on a three-game losing streak and could have a hard time finding their way to the playoffs this season. 

Michael Vick Has Been a Complete Fraud This Season for the Eagles

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    So much for being a pocket passer. 

    I understand that Philadelphia's offensive line is one of the worst, but Michael Vick is slowly turning back into the quarterback that he was in Atlanta. If you think that he was a good quarterback in Atlanta, then you know nothing about football.

    Vick is a run first, pass second quarterback with the Eagles, and his poor decision making has brought them to an abysmal 1-4 record.

    So far No. 7 has a 85.3 quarterback rating and a 62.1 completion percentage, while throwing eight touchdowns and being picked off seven times. 

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