Link – NFL Botches Ezekiel Elliott Punishment

This is one of the things that is most bothersome about Elliott’s suspension.

“Ezekiel Elliott does not deserve a six game suspension, especially when New York Giants kicker Josh Brown got just one game last year after admitting he abused his wife. The reasoning behind the punishment does not add up and defies logic.”

If the NFL wants to dole out punishment above and beyond what any criminal investigation found, that’s their right. You don’t like it, don’t sign the contract, or get the NFLPA to stand up against Goodell on the issue. As a fan, if you don’t like the way the NFL runs it’s business, you can simply choose to stop following to game.

But, when they do dole out punishment in an inconsistent fashion like this, there’s something about it that reeks. Elliott had zero criminal charges filed because there was some serious doubt about his accusers statements. The NFL gave him six games anyway, for what they deemed to be a likelihood that there was violence, and probably because of some less-than-stellar off field moments since.

Josh Brown admitted to hitting his wife. He got one game.

What’s the difference? Is the NFL trying to flex it’s muscle against a star player to send a message that they didn’t bother to when it was “just a kicker”. Or is it just possible that the optics of a large black man hitting a woman seem just a little more harsh to the NFL than a smallish white man? Is it just possible that the images of Ray Rice in that elevator has scared the league, not because they showed that what happened was way worse than they had thought originally? And, again, the visual of a large black man hitting a woman was unforgettable. The league looks at Elliott and sees a large black man, possibly hitting a woman and wants to make sure that they don’t have to deal with another visual like that, and when they looked at Josh Brown, they saw a comparatively small white man and thought, yeah sure he hit his wife, but how bad could it have been?

The two punishments beg for comparison, and there is no logical reason to suspend Josh Brown for one game when you’re doling out 6 games on the regular to players simply accused of assault with no criminal charges. Unless, you’re living in fear of the “large black man committing violence” optic.

If the NFL is living with that fear, and doling out suspensions based on that, not only is it racist, but it flies in the face of the reality of domestic violence. Domestic violence occurs everywhere. While couples, black couples, Latino couples, straight couples, gay couples. The violence is perpetrated by men and women both, of all shapes and sizes.

If the NFL wants to get serious about domestic violence it needs to get serious about it in all it’s shapes and forms. Violence is violence, no matter if it’s perpetrated by 300-lb black men, or 180-lb white kickers, 70 year old coaches and GMs, or anyone involved in the sport regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, and so on.

Domestic violence is never acceptable, but if the NFL is giving out suspensions based on the size and race of the player involved, that is just as unacceptable. When you compare what the NFL announced for Ezekiel Elloiott versus what it did to Josh Brown, it’s hard to come away with any other conclusion.

Dak Wasn’t Enough

pickleat / Pixabay

pickleat / Pixabay

So Dak Prescott wasn’t horrible. For a first start, he didn’t make any huge mistakes and led the Cowboys to 5 scoring drives.

Unfortunately, 4 of those 5 drives only resulted on field goals and the Cowboys lost 20-19.

Dak wasn’t bad, but the offense also wasn’t enough. Consider:

  1. The Cowboys had 5 scoring drives, the Giants had 3
  2. The Cowboys gained more yards, ran 21 more plays, and led time of possession
  3. The Cowboys committed zero turnovers
  4. The Cowboys still lost.

How? By simply not doing much with all those extra plays. They averaged 5.0 Yards per pass attempt. on 45 attempts, and 3.4 yards per carry on 30 carries. Ezekiel Elliott got 20 carries and the Cowboys lone TD in his debut, but also accounted for 51 yards rushing.

In short, they ran a lot of plays but they didn’t make any. And they lost to a team that didn’t make many either, but at least made more out of their drives and got a couple of touchdowns.

If they don’t start making some plays, it’s going to be another very long year. Last year, they had the same problems. There were a few games where there were glaring errors from the quarterbacks, but mostly, they lost because they didn’t really do anything to put points on the board. Dak Prescott shows some promise, but somebody needs to make plays for this to work.

So Your Team Started 0-2 Is It Time to Panic?

NFLWell yes, in the National Football League, it’s always time to panic!

You’ve all seen the numbers, the low percentage of teams who start the season 0-2 who actually make the playoffs. But, it does happen. So what are the chances your currently 0-2 team could still make the playoffs?

The “aren’t that bad” group:

Seattle, Baltimore, Detroit.

Seattle is a good team, who happens to have opened the season with two tough road games. They’ll be fine, and should manage to get into playoff contention.

Baltimore has one loss where the offense was terrible, and one where the defense was terrible. There’s hope that they’ll get it together once the shock of losing Suggs for the season wears off, but it needs to happen now. There division doesn’t allow for too much of a whole with solid Steeler and Bengal teams.

Detroit isn’t as bad as they seem, but they definitely have problems, and it’s going to be tough for them to dig out of the 0-2 hole. Not impossible, but difficult. They aren’t a hopeless team though.

The “they are that bad, but it might not matter” group:

Philly, NY Giants, Indianapolis*.

Philly and the Giants have been awful, and their fans should be worried that they might be awful all season long, but with their division competition being Washington and Dallas, who has to go with Brandon Weedon starting half the season, this division is still wide open.
The “they are that bad, maybe, but we just can’t seem to admit it” group:
New Oreleans – Forget Manning, is Drew Brees aging right before our eyes? There are still a lot of tools in the shed in New Orleans, but it is not working, and it’s confounding.
The “yeah, they aren’t good” group:
Houston, Chicago
There’s nothing there for either of these teams that would lead me to believe they will be anything but awful. They are 0-2 when even teams like the Raiders and Browns, who we assumed would be awful this season, have a win. Start scouting the NCAA games fans. A QB would go a long way toward helping things, but lacking a fix there, this season is going to be painful. Houston’s defense, frankly, deserves better.

On the other hand, there is the outside possibility that Indy and Houston could wind up switching places in these groups. Someone has to win that division, after all!