In the NFL, ghost tackles and bad celebrations harm teams.

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By Creative Media News

There is a reason why American football is not referred to as “the beautiful game.” It can be poetic, to be sure, but NFL games are frequently won by egregious errors. Successful play-calling in the NFL involves precise execution from every player on the field, and a single error can result in disaster. Sunday exhibited several similar occurrences.

Let’s begin with the Carolina Panthers, who were close to defeating the Atlanta Falcons if their extra-point try had been successful. Patrick Mahomes termed PJ Walker’s 62-yard Hail Mary pass to DJ Moore “the throw of the year” after he connected with DJ Moore. The game was deadlocked with 12 seconds remaining on the clock.

In the nfl, ghost tackles and bad celebrations harm teams.
In the nfl, ghost tackles and bad celebrations harm teams.

Unfortunately, Moore was so (comprehensibly) ecstatic about what he believed to be the game-winning touchdown that he removed his helmet and celebrated. The Panthers immediately assessed a penalty that delayed the extra-point try. Therefore, Eddy Pineiro had to kick a field goal from 48 yards out. He did not succeed.

Pineiro was given another opportunity to score the game-winning goal in overtime since the score remained level after regulation. In overtime, Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota threw an interception that gave them possession and ultimately set up Pineiro’s missed 33-yard field goal attempt.

Younghoe Koo of the Falcons scored the game-winning field goal on Atlanta’s next possession. With their 37-34 victory, the Falcons claimed first place in the NFC South, just ahead of Tom Brady’s 3-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers despite having a 4-4 record themselves. The Panthers have a record of 2-6 and are last in their division.

Pineiro perhaps had the worst Sunday performance of any NFL player; kickers are typically the goat and not the GOAT. However, he was not alone in committing high-profile gaffes. Even though the Chicago Bears were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys 49-29 on Sunday, quarterback Justin Fields had one of his greatest statistical games. He passed for 151 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions while completing 17 of 23 passes.

Ill time celebrations
In the nfl, ghost tackles and bad celebrations harm teams.

In this game, though, that is not what people will remember about Fields. The lasting picture was Fields leaping over Cowboys defender Micah Parsons after Parsons recovered a fumble. Any contact would have ended the play, but Fields’s ill-advised leap allowed Parsons to score a defensive touchdown.

“It was my fault for simply jumping over him,” the second-year quarterback admitted afterward. “I ought to have tagged him. However, I cannot recall the last time I made a tackle.”

Occasionally, games are decided based solely on which team commits the fewest errors. Consider the circumstances between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. Already trailing 10-3, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones threw a horrible interception that gave the Jets an apparent 16-3 lead, 17-3 if the extra point is assumed. (Eddy Pineiro would like to warn you never to take the extra point for granted.)

However, the play and those points were nullified after John Franklin-Myers of the Jets was flagged for roughing the quarterback. As is typical for teams given a second chance, the Patriots capitalized on this momentum change, along with three interceptions from the Jets’ increasingly dubious quarterback Zach Wilson, and ultimately won by only five points. The Patriots were ecstatic with the victory, but as is so frequently the case in sports, it was the opposing team’s errors that determined the outcome.

Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles. It is safe to assume that sports in Philadelphia are now intriguing. While the Phillies face the Houston Astros in the World Series and the Union prepare for the MLS Cup final, the Eagles continue their unbeaten run in the NFL. Hurts deserves some credit, as he performed like a franchise quarterback during his team’s 35-13 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Hurts dismantled the Steelers with long touchdown throws even though he was not known for his deep passing. Hurts threw four touchdowns and no interceptions for a total of 285 yards on Sunday. In a few months, there might be another Philadelphia squad competing for the championship if Hurts continues to perform at this level.

Even when using the entirety of one’s body, it is difficult to block a field goal. After blocking a kick with his face, we should grant Arizona Cardinals lineman Leki Fotu the honor of our video of the week. Here is the slowed-down version if you wish to watch Fotu’s helmet sacrifice itself for the squad in greater detail.

Although the play preserved three points for the Cardinals, it did not alter the outcome of the game. Ultimately, the Minnesota Vikings defeated them 34-26. The Vikings improved their record to 6-1, while the Cardinals slipped to 3-5.

Statistics of the week

Since scoring at least 27 points in the first half for the last time in November 2013, the Detroit Lions have needed 135 games. The fact that it was the longest such hiatus in the NFL is not the most Lions-like aspect of this record. After taking a 27-17 lead over the Miami Dolphins at halftime, Detroit failed to score again and ultimately lost 31-27. The Lions are at 1-5 on the season, and if they aren’t tanking, they should probably start acting as if they are to save face.

The quotation of the week

“The best Cowboys squad I’ve witnessed since the 1990s… I will dispute with anyone about this.” Former Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant promoting the 2022 version of the team on Twitter.

Bryant is aware that his assertion is audacious, given the Cowboys of the 1990s won three championships. Since then, Dallas has primarily underperformed in the postseason. Bryant is also intimately familiar with this, as one of these defeats was the notorious setback to the Green Bay Packers that rested on a reversal of the call on his apparent catch.

Could this team be the one to reverse this trend? At 6-2, the Cowboys are impressive in the regular season at the very least. Dak Prescott, one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the game, demonstrated on Sunday that his thumb injury was not hindering him by completing two touchdown passes. He also rushed for a third touchdown during the team’s 49-29 victory over the overmatched Chicago Bears. What is their primary issue at this time? Having to share a division with the annoying Eagles.

The remainder of the league

— This month, the Carolina Panthers dealt running back Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers, and the purchase has already paid dividends for the 49ers. McCaffery was involved in three touchdowns during the 49ers’ 31-14 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, which is amazing enough on its own.

Given the various ways in which McCaffrey was engaged in each score, his accomplishment is even more remarkable. Now, one of those touchdowns was a rushing score in the fourth quarter, which is the type of performance expected of a star running back. Before that, he had a touchdown reception after catching a Jimmy Garoppolo pass in the third quarter. Again, this is not surprising because many running backs double as receivers on occasion.

The true surprise came in the first quarter when he threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Aiyuk to score the game’s first points for the 49ers. Who was the last athlete to throw a touchdown pass in the same game in which he also caught and rushed for touchdowns? That was the legendary LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005.

After losing 27-17 to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football, the Green Bay Packers are off to their worst eight-game start (3-5) under quarterback Aaron Rodgers. It is also the first time since Brett Favre was their quarterback in 2006 that they have a record of 3-5.

— Have the New York Giants finally exhausted their good fortune? The Giants defied all preseason predictions by going 6-1 through their first seven games, but Sunday’s away game against the Seattle Seahawks proved too difficult. The loss dropped their record to 6-2. The good news for the Giants is that they have a bye week coming up, followed by a home game against the terrible Houston Texans, whose record dropped to 1-5-1 after their defeat to the Tennessee Titans. 7-2 seems fairly possible. Meanwhile, Seattle quarterback Geno Smith continues his amazing late-career revival, as he delivered two touchdown passes in another impressive effort on Sunday.

— Russell Wilson continues to have subpar performances in high-profile games. This time, the quarterback of the Denver Broncos traveled to London to face the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wilson tried what appeared to be a Hail Mary pass with time running down before the end of the second half. Except that there were no available receivers.

Wilson finally saved the day, orchestrating a touchdown drive that contributed to a 21-17 come-from-behind victory. The internet had a good laugh at the outcome, but Wilson ultimately saved the day. The Broncos are at 3-5, while the Jaguars have dropped to 2-6. It wasn’t exactly a titanic clash, but since when does the league send such games to London?

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