Apparently overreaction season isn’t over.
Week 1 generally produces the most hot-takes, but I think I underestimated how insistent people are on comparing current players to NFL legends, calling for quarterback changes after two weeks and touting first-year starters as guys who are “for real” with two weeks of tape to base judgement off. My hot take for the week: I bet it will be very easy to find ridiculous takes throughout the season, on a week-to-week basis. So with that, let’s get into the news.
There’s no fault in CBS Sports senior writer Will Brinson, or even his employer, for coming up with this headline. In fact, the one to blame is former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason.
"I got a name for you -- the guy's not even on the list," Esiason said about who the Patriots should sign as a potential backup quarterback during the NFL on CBS halftime show. "He's busy doing a lot of commercials. His name is Peyton Manning. Why not?"
Why not? Maybe because the quarterback was bad last year during the regular season. Really bad. If Manning were to return to the NFL, which would completely negate his retiring a Super Bowl champion, opposing defenses would know exactly what to expect. Like Andy Dalton, Manning’s greatest strength is his ability to read defenses at the line of scrimmage and adjust. But when a quarterback doesn’t have the arm strength to throw a pass downfield, defenses will take advantage, and the one advantage a quarterback has is rendered virtually useless. A Manning-led Patriots offense would be completely dependent on LeGarrette Blount, a back who already has his hands full with a heavy workload. Not to mention, the 40-year-old former quarterback would face major injury risk if he were to return to the NFL.
While we’re at it, why don’t the Pats just call Brett Favre? He’s nearly 47, but once upon a time he was good as well. If Boomer keeps churning out the flaming hot takes, he’s going to end up on First Take.
Stefon Diggs is on that Randy Moss path pic.twitter.com/PYaKjbufmZ— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 19, 2016
Wow! Stefon Diggs must be really good with numbers comparable to those of a likely Hall of Famer through his first 15 games! Wait a minute...Where are his touchdown numbers?
Yeah, about that...
Randy Moss scored 17 touchdowns in his first 16 games (game logs from the 1998 season aren’t available, at least to those like myself who don’t have access), while Diggs has tallied five in his first 15. That equates to 1.06 touchdowns per game for Moss and 0.33 per game for Diggs, or in other words, numbers which aren’t close to comparable.
I have to give props to Bleacher Report for noticing similarities in the numbers between the Vikings legend and the player Minnesota fans hope will eventually be half as good as the soon-to-be Hall of Famer. But graphics like these — similar to the ones made by NFL Network, comparing Derrick Henry to Von Miller, and ESPN, comparing Joey Bosa to J.J. Watt — are only made to get clicks. There’s no true merit in graphics like these, and fans were quick to recognize this, grilling Bleacher Report in the comments:
@BleacherReport How dare you take the name Randy Moss in vain.— Quentin C. Covington (@CovingtonQ) September 19, 2016
Can we stop headlines like this? FanSided isn’t the only website to generate clickbaiting headlines like this one, and these articles are just the worst — especially considering the Vikings will not sign an unemployed running back to replace the starter, and everyone knows it.
And just to spoil the article, here’s the list of the five exciting running backs who could apparently fill the humongous void of a potential Peterson absence:
Marion Grice, Brandon Wilds, Pierre Thomas, Ronnie Hillman and Karlos Williams. A list of five practice squad running backs who could be of interest would be exponentially more exciting. Headlines like these are just getting ridiculous.