With 2018 just arrived, it’s only natural to look back on the year to see the good and bad that took place throughout. Let’s take a look at some of the top-10 NFL wow moments of 2017.
Top-10 NFL Wow Moments of 2017
10. The Patriots win a comeback Super Bowl
The Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. It wasn’t the most conventional win either. If you watched the Super Bowl back in February, I’m pretty sure you thought that game was over. That is unless you’re a Patriots fan.
Not only was that the most historic game of the year; that was the only overtime game of any Super Bowl in the area. But it was also one of the best championship game of my lifetime. For Brady to comeback from a 28-3 deficit and win that game, proved why he is arguably the greatest quarterback of all time.
9. NFL Commissioner against the world
League commissioner, Roger Goodell, signed himself a five-year extension this year. Good news for him, bad news for the league. Since concussions became a big issue in the league, Goodell has taken a lot of heat from his employees and his fans. I can’t imagine a time before the 2011 NFL lockout when fans didn’t boo the commish anytime he stepped up to the podium.
In 2017 alone, Goodell has gone toe to toe with Ezekiel Elliott, who just got finished serving a six-game suspension, and the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, Jerry Jones. Jones threatened to go after Goodell with “everything I have,” said the owner regarding the possibility of the extension. Apparently, someone thinks he’s doing a good enough job. Here’s to five more years!
8. Disappointing seasons
This one is considered a “wow” moment because of the teams that fall into this category. The New York Giants are lost without their former head coach, Tom Coughlin. That was evident by Ben McAdoo’s firing after coaching just 38 games. Apparently, McAdoo was NOT the answer and it left the Giants–the projected NFC East winners, according to NFL Network. Following the Giants in the east, the Cowboys, also had a disappointing season, falling short of the playoffs for the fifth tie under head coach, Jason Garrett. The team had to trudge through a six-game stretch without Elliot which ended up being to their detriment. They couldn’t survive against the Seahawks in a win-and-in situation, so they head to the couch.
Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were supposed to be a major threat in the NFC. Instead, Winston has been the butt of many jokes while the team remained inconsistent for most of the season. Not only did they lose the opportunity to compete in the NFC South, but he has also missed the playoffs for the third-straight year.
7. New England is still getting those calls
The Patriots continue to wear the cheater hat as long as Belichick and Brady are at the helm of this franchise. It is tough to prove whether the five-time champions are cheaters, but it certainly appears that way. There was the touchdown that was overturned in the game against the Steelers week 15. The very next week, it was a touchdown catch by Kelvin Benjamin that was overturned.
Although this franchise has arguably the most rulings overturned, in the league, it is justified somehow and has led them to another trip to the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how a strong a team they will be against an NFC squad, overturned calls or not.
6. From one AFC power to another
Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker, James Harrison, signed with the New England Patriots the day after Christmas. The Steelers are a known adversary of the longtime AFC powerhouse because they are the only franchise that can consistently pose a threat to Brady and the crew. The 39-year-old athlete told reporters that he “did not sign up to sit on the bench,” which is why he pressured Pittsburgh to release him.
Harrison still believes in his body and thinks that team he plays for, should as well. Even if it is the enemy. ESPECIALLY when it’s the enemy.
5. Explosive Performances
There were a ton of players who emerged this year. Christian McCaffrey is proving to be one of the Carolina Panthers’ premiere weapons. He has already surpassed Benjamin’s rookie record for most touchdowns his rookie season and is lending a hand in trying to secure their playoff spot. Case Keenum has come into Minnesota and has helped carry the Vikings to a 12-3 record, second only behind the Eagles. in 14 games he has thrown 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions. That is so good in fact, that they left him in at starter, even after Teddy Bridgewater proved he was ready to go.
Just a year after former Los Angeles Rams head coach, Jeff Fisher, proclaimed that then-rookie quarterback, Jared Goff, wasn’t ready to be a starter, the young gun wins his first division title. Not only that but his teammate, Todd Gurley, is having a season of his own. Those two have helped create a major threat in the NFC division and could be staring down the barrel at a title.
4. Garoppolo emerges
Jimmy Garoppolo sat behind Brady during his first three years in the league. He didn’t play many games in New England (for obvious reasons) but the ones he did play, showed his growth both as a Patriot and as a quarterback.
On Halloween, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Patriots traded Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round draft pick. Jimmy G was quickly thrown into his role as the starter for the struggling team and has already proved to be up for the challenge. After losing his first game as a 49er, he went on to win four straight, including one against the Jags in which he hung 44 points on them.
3. Major injuries
Injuries are like the plague in the NFL and no one is more familiar with this than the players on this list. Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone early in the season leaving a backup to try to do what only he can. It left the Packers vulnerable and the NFC North wide open. After losing to Carolina in week 15, he was placed on injured reserve. Ryan Shazier rocked the football world the night he sustained a back injury. The Steelers ended his season quickly even though the player seemed to be recovering quickly.
2. Power to the people
It’s no secret that the NFL players’ protests have been a topic of conversation throughout 2017. Fans across America have expressed their disdain for these players’ actions. Yet still, they are protesting and it’s nearing the end of another season. Since former 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick decided to sit for the National Anthem, the league has had presumably negative attention.
That action has caused people to pay attention to some of the social issues that would otherwise be ignored. Not only that but it has gotten others involved in the players’ cause and provides a new perspective for others.
1. Cats for sale
Amid sexual and racial allegations, Carolina Panthers owner, Jerry Richardson decides to put his franchise up for sale. For fans, it seems like this comes at the most inopportune moment; the news comes at the brink of the Panthers going to the playoffs. How will the hot-in-December team stay focused on the cloud of the team being sold, looming over them?
Carolina goes into the final week of the regular season, having clinched a playoff berth already, but how deep can they go? From the looks of things, they will have the number-one wild card spot which means they have a tall task in front of them. Can they stay focused and make a Super Bowl run?
2017 has been an eventful year for the NFL. It will be interesting to see how these moments shape next year.