On Sunday night the Denver Broncos defense proved to be the gold watch at what may turn out to be Peyton Manning’s retirement party. Denver’s 24-10 victory over the favored Carolina Panthers capped off a very interesting year of football. Let’s take a look back.
As training camps opened in July the talk of the league was all about the Patriots, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and their deflated balls. While that subject never really left us the boys from New York joined the side show.
Giants star Jason Pierre-Paul decided to be very patriotic at the Independence Day celebration at his Broward County, Florida home. His attempt at lighting off fireworks would do extensive damage to his right hand as well as a big dent in Big Blue’s hopes for the upcoming season.
Not to be outdone. fireworks of another kind erupted at Jets Camp when IK Enempkali sucker punched projected starting quarterback Geno Smith in a skirmish between them. The result was a broken jaw for Geno and what would prove to be a golden opportunity for backup Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Jets woes in training camp would turn out to be one of the surprises of the NFL season. A team projected to struggle and finish either third or last in the AFC East would narrowly miss the playoffs and compile a 10-6 record. They would finish in second place in the division.
Speaking of playoffs we almost had an oddity in not one, but two divisions this year. Both the NFC East and the AFC South were flirting with sending a division winner to the post season with a losing record.
We spent most of October and November wondering if we would have two undefeated teams as both the Patriots and Panthers steamrolled over the rest of the league. Both would eventually falter, Carolina finishing at 15-1, New England would wind up falling to the second seed in the AFC Playoffs behind Denver.
The biggest disappointment of the NFL season has to be the Miami Dolphins. After making the biggest splash of the offseason by landing all pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and a variety of high priced targets for Ryan Tannehill expectations were high. This was going to be the team to compete with the Patriots for the AFC East title. The team never really got going. Head Coach Joe Philbin was let go after a 1-3 start and replaced by Dan Campbell. Although Campbell’s team looked revived the first two weeks under his leadership by defeating the Titans and Texans the upswing would be short lived. Miami would finish dead last in the division with a 6-10 mark.
The two rookies that were under the microscope this year did not disappoint. Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston got off to a rough start, but seem to grow as the season went on. Marcus Mariota looks like he could be the face of the future in Tennessee.
As the Broncos celebrated their victory at Super Bowl 50, a final story would emerge following the game. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton would show bad judgement in walking out of the post game press conference. You need to stay professional Cam!
Here at HQK Football Talk we had a blast posting, commenting and discussing each week’s events in both the NFL and College Football. We believe our page has been a success and we look forward to continuing our discussions throughout the offseason. Free agency and the NFL draft await us!
Given the success of our football page, we have decided to change seasons along with the sports calendar. In the coming weeks we will be launching a new page. I introduce to you….HQK BASEBALL TALK!!!! Anything and everything baseball is open for discussion!