The NFL Gone Wild

The 2012 NFL season has been bizarre so far, to say the least.  The most recent—and most blatant—example of this came on the final play of Monday Night Football between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers.

(In case you missed it, you can watch the Seahawks’ “touchdown” here.)

Everything that is wrong with the replacement officials was summarized on national television in that single play—a call that not only infuriated Packers fans, but also outraged at least one Seahawks fan.

Replacement officials aside, though, there is a bunch of other crazy stuff going on in the NFL this year.  Here are a few things that we’ve noticed:

  • The Arizona Cardinals are 3-0.  The Cardinals are undefeated?!  The same Cardinals team that is quarterbacked by the unimpressive John Skelton and the even more unimpressive Kevin Kolb?  These guys aren’t just pounding on creampuffs, either.  They’ve beaten the Seahawks, they won at New England, and they just hammered the Philadelphia Eagles.  They’re doing it with the second-worst offense in the league, too, picking up a measly 263 yards per game.
  • The New Orleans Saints are 0-3.  Meanwhile, one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks, Drew Brees, finds himself and his team staring down the barrel of a winless start.  These guys aren’t getting beaten by high-powered teams, either.  They’ve lost to the Washington Redskins (1-2), the Carolina Panthers (1-2), and the Kansas City Chiefs (1-2).  Two of those games were at home.
  • The Philadelphia Eagles have been outscored by 19 points but are 2-1.  Meanwhile, the New England Patriots have outscored their opponents by 18 points but are 1-2.
  • The Baltimore Ravens have an offense but no defense.  The Ravens have long been known for their lights-out defense and stagnant offense.  This year, they’re scoring an average of 32.7 points per game—second-best in the league—and picking up 419 yards per game—fourth-best in the NFL.  The defense, meanwhile, is coughing up 401 yards per game—sixth-worst in the league.
  • The Green Bay Packers have a defense but no offense.  The Packers have long been known for their potent offense and sieve of a defense.  This year, they’re allowing just 18 points per game—No. 7 in the league.  Without that horribly blown call that handed Seattle an unearned touchdown, that average would be 15.7 points per game, which would be fourth-best.  The offense, meanwhile, is only putting up 19 points per game—sixth-worst.
  • The Oakland Raiders aren’t committing penalties.  Despite their long history of playing dirty, they’ve only been flagged 14 times so far this year—fourth fewest in the NFL.
  • Michael Vick has lost 9 turnovers in three games.  Six interceptions and three fumbles. That puts him on pace for 32 interceptions and 16 fumbles for the season.  The NFL record for interceptions in a season is 42, thrown by George Blanda of the 1962 Houston Oilers.  (Interestingly, the ’62 Oilers went 11-3 and advanced to the AFL Championship game.)  In 2001, Kerry Collins of the New York Giants lost an NFL-record 23 fumbles.  In 2002, Daunte Culpepper of the Minnesota Vikings repeated the “feat.”  (The Giants went 7-9 and the Vikings went 6-10, so no ’62 Oilers magic there.)
  • The Cleveland Browns are 0-3.  Oh wait.  That’s normal.

What other wacky things have you noticed this season?