Moving the extra point to the 1-yard line could be the answer

We’ve stated time and again that making the extra point only slightly harder isn’t the solution to fixing the game’s most boring play. If anything, dropping the success rate from 99 percent to, say, 90 percent would only make fluky misses more common, which in turn would result in more tough-luck losses. Plus, kicking from […]

Andrew Hawkins

5 underrated offensive difference makers

Of the many ambiguous terms we toss around, “underrated” is among the industry leaders. What exactly constitutes an underrating? And who is doing the rating? We are. We all are. An underrated player is someone who makes an unexpectedly awesome play, and then you say “hey, who’s that guy?”. Or he can also make you […]


Upon Further Review: The Super Bowl halftime show wasn’t always a big deal

“Upon further review” is a recurring segment in which This Given Sunday analyzes quirks and fascinating tidbits from the NFL’s history books. The Super Bowl halftime show has become such a staple that the NFL is now asking potential A-list performers to essentially bid for the right to star in it. But that wasn’t always […]


Time To Push The NFL Preseason Out The Moon Door

Summer TV is the worst. It’s either crap you’ve already seen or mid-season replacement shows that weren’t good enough to get a full slate of episodes during pilot season. And nobody cares, because that three-month parade of filth is presented entirely by design. And the NFL has followed suit, presenting a slate of horrid, borderline-unwatchable […]

manziel walk

Brian Hoyer may be a starting quarterback, but only by default

The Cleveland Browns had a choice between a quarterback who isn’t ready, and a quarterback who isn’t that good. They went with the second guy, but there’s a good chance we’ll see the first guy in, oh, about a month. That was the decision made by head coach Mike Pettine and his staff this morning […]


Reason No. 435 why Johnny Manziel just doesn’t get it

I have just one question: How can Johnny Manziel think this is OK? How can Manziel, knowing he was on national television for the first time in his NFL career, essentially interviewing for one of the most prized jobs in America, and knowing, too, that he’s already on thin ice for saying and doing silly […]


Why Darnell Dockett’s injury is crushing for the Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals’ chances of following up the success of a 10-win season and becoming a contender in the juggernaut NFC West lied with their pass rush. The same pass rush that finished sixth in the league last year with 47 sacks, and made life generally terrible for opposing quarterbacks. Now it’s also the same […]


Why Mike Pettine should wait to name a starting quarterback

Johnny Manziel did a stupid thing last night. He didn’t stay focused, he didn’t stay within that zone all the quarterbacks speak of, and he didn’t find a balance between being his aggressive, excitable self, and a sense of calm. The result: scattered, sprayed passes, some that sailed far out of reach, and an offense […]


Why offense will explode league-wide with the new rules emphasis

When the Seahawks’ dominant defense used a highly physical style of play to grapple and claw their way to a championship — pushing rules to their limit, but still staying (mostly) within them — it was easy to see a course correction coming. But hey, NFL, maybe we can find some middle ground with this […]


The 49ers need to be very worried about Blaine Gabbert

When the backup quarterback enters a meaningful NFL game to do anything other than kneel down or assume garbage time duties, something has gone horribly wrong. At that point of dire hopelessness, there’s a minimum accepted standard: competence. Blaine Gabbert hasn’t shown he’s capable of even that in San Francisco. He didn’t demonstrate competence in […]


The Chiefs are looking way too thin at wide receiver

In the first year of the Andy Reid era in Kansas City, the offensively re-designed Chiefs surprised no one by focusing their passing game on short, high percentage throws. The result was winning (albeit against several opponents starting backup quarterbacks), and doing it while taking few risks. Reid honed in on Jamaal Charles, and in […]

Jim Harbaugh

How the NFC West became a juggernaut division

Not long ago, the NFC West was a raging, toxic dumpster fire. Or at least it wasn’t long ago in human years. By the standard calendar that tracks the passage of time, four years is a short period. It’s long enough, I suppose, as that’s equal to the length of a presidential term, or the […]


Current Seattle Seahawks feel a lot like the ’92 Cowboys

Naturally, because the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl last season, and because the Seahawks had never won a championship prior to that, many of us are asking whether this young Seattle team has a chance to become a dynasty in the years to come. While dynasties seem to no longer exist in this parity-plagued […]