Shutdown Corner - NFL

Playoffs begin this weekend, but what did we really learn from this 2010 regular season, as wacky as it was? Read on, and add as many as you'd like ... 

1. Don't ever bet against a guy named Whitehurst in a game that matters against a rookie quarterback in a division that is so pathetic not a single team finished .500.

2. Fantasy football is dumb. In a league with standard points, a guy that was on most waivers to start the season was the top points getter (and quarterback), and a Houston Texans running back not named Steve Slaton(notes) was the top rusher. I play fantasy every year, and every year the season ends and I just want to delete my account on the spot. And then two days later, all I can think about is the next season's fantasy football team. Argh.

3. If you are a mediocre college receiver, and want to have success in the NFL, all you need to do is be on the Colts or the Patriots.

4. The NFL is getting too violent, and I'm the last person in the world that would bring this up. There needs to be a regulation on workout time if they want to really make it safer in the future, or everyone is just going to get stronger and faster and we are eventually going to see our first NFL decapitation in 2013. Like the USGA in golf, the point keeps being missed; it isn't the clubs or the grooves, it's the ball, and it isn't the way these guys hit each other, it's the way they're built.

5. There are two, and only two, formulas for making the playoffs (well, unless you count the third formula which is, being placed in the NFC West). A really good defense that can make up for your mediocre quarterback (Jets, Ravens, Chiefs and maybe even Bears) or a really great quarterback that won't shoot you in the foot (Patriots, Colts, Saints, Packers, Eagles, Falcons and Steelers).

6. Mike Shanahan used to be a really great coach. Hard emphasis on "used to be." 

7. The Detroit Lions aren't nearly as bad as their 6-10 record suggests.

8. The Arizona Cardinals are actually miles worse than their 5-11 record suggests.

9. It's disappointing that the Bucs didn't make the playoffs, but there really isn't anyone to blame except themselves. You can't lose at home to Detroit when they were 3-10 at that point in the season if you expect to be a playoff team. That said, they might be the most exciting team in 2011.

10. I have absolutely no idea if Joe Flacco(notes) is any good, and neither do you.

11. We will someday look back and realize 2010 was the year we lost the craziest quarterback ever (Favre) and craziest receiver ever (Moss) in the same season.

12. If the NFL draft included college coaches as well as players, "Harbaugh" would be announced before "Luck."

13. With such a strange season, the only true way it should end is with the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl.

14. At gunpoint, would you rather have a rookie Andrew Luck starting for you next season, or a hungry Kevin Kolb(notes)? I really think I'd take Kolb.

15. DeSean Jackson(notes) is fast.

16. I live in Arizona, and it was fun to see how terrible quarterbacking can just force fans to completely check out after Week 7.

17. One more things on the Cards -- did you know they gave up 26 or more points nine times this season? That's 56 percent of your season!

18. We talk about curses in sports a lot, so when can we start up the Curse of the 2006 Rose Bowl? Matt Leinart(notes) is the third-string quarterback in Houston. Vince Young(notes) continues his personal downfall. LenDale White(notes) career highlights include "cutting tequila out of his life to lose weight," and missed all of 2010 with an Achilles. The only two people that have made it from the game are Reggie Bush(notes) and Jamaal Charles(notes), who hardly even played.

19. Speaking on Leinart, I bet never in a million years did he think the moment he was kissing that Orange Bowl trophy in 2004 would be the pinnacle of his career. The good news is, the sports bar I frequent in Arizona still has a signed Leinart jersey from the Cardinals hanging on the wall, the only jersey in the entire place. It's right above where you serve soft drinks and water. Somehow, that makes sense. 

20. After Ndamukong Suh(notes) and Wes Welker(notes) both attempted extra points in the same week, going 1-1, I thought about this ... why not have an event during Pro Bowl week when players attempt things out of their position? These guys could try to beat each other in field goals, David Buehler(notes) could finally try to outrun whoever would go up against him, and Matthew Stafford(notes) could try and catch an onside kick. I'd watch this.

21. While everyone would love to have more football, I think messing with the schedule of the NFL is like changing up March Madness. They're great! We love them! Stop trying to screw with what works! Isn't this like trying to teach Nadal how to play on clay?

22. When you're drafting a player, there needs to be some sort of character test. Take him out for 18 holes. Film when he's at a bar with his buddies. Do SOMETHING where you can test what the guy is really made of, because it seems that is really where the huge draft busts come from.

23. Todd Haley and Tom Brady(notes) showed us, the longer the hair, the higher the success rate.

24. When Troy Polamalu(notes) is healthy, he's the best player on the field, no matter who the Steelers are playing.

25. The San Diego Chargers passed the Cowboys as the most disappointing team of 2010. Their division isn't nearly as tough, yet they couldn't get out of it, and lost to the Bengals, Rams, Seahawks and Raiders (twice). 

26. The Jets should be the first team to get "Hard Knocks" for a second season, and just pray it doesn't go like the second season of "Jersey Shore."

27. Eli Manning(notes) and Drew Brees(notes), two of the three last Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, combined to throw 47 interceptions this season. The NFL is weird.

28. If you're looking at the problems with the Vikings, look no further than Mr. Favre himself -- he tossed 12 more interceptions than a year ago, in three fewer games. Well, 13 if you include the infamous text message. 

29. The Patriots are doing exactly what they did in 2007 ... setting us up to basically give the Super Bowl to them before the games are played. Just like the Colts last year, it never seems to work out that way, so be leery when tossing down a ton of cash on the heavy favorite.

30. There is absolutely nothing better than NFL Sundays with friends, and if you don't believe me, come try to argue this during the middle of April.

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