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Look at you. You did it. You’ve made it halfway through the NFL season. I’m so proud of you. However, you still have some work. There is still an overreaction or two we need to get out of your system. Don’t be upset; it’s not an overnight cure. You’ll be fine as long as you keep reading my columns.

No Super Bowl Hangover in Atlanta

I tried to warn you all about this before the season started. Halfway there I have to bring it back up. Not only is the devastation of 28-3 still haunting the Falcons, but the loss of Kyle Shanahan is hurting Matt Ryan. However, sitting at 4-3 and THIRD in the NFC South, you can’t tell me there’s not something wrong. Just look at the last three games for Atlanta, blowing a 17-0 halftime lead to Miami, get dominated at New England, squeak past the Jets. Yikes.

Matt Ryan scratching his head
“I miss Coach Shanahan.” – Matt Ryan. Probably

Sure, the offense is still among the top-5 in the NFL in total yards per game. But they rank 16th in points per game. Not only that, Atlanta has a -5 turnover ratio and are starting to become a little one dimensional again. With a road game at Carolina, Dallas at home, and a trip to Seattle upcoming, things are going to get a lot worse for the defending NFC Champs before it gets better. And that’s no overreaction.

Martavis Bryant Should/Can Be Traded

I always love when players complain about playing time. Especially guys on great teams. Martavis Bryant should appreciate that he’s being paid by arguably the best team in the league. With 18 catches and getting to call Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and Ben Roethlisberger teammates; you don’t have much to complain about. Not to mention, you’re 6-2 and atop the AFC North.

Martavis Bryant holding his hands out as to say "what"
What do you mean I’m not tradable? I just want to catch passes and not win championships!

After making comments on social media about his displeasure, Bryant was moved to the practice squad this week and did not travel to Detroit. He then watched his job get stolen by JuJu Smith-Schuster. The rookie leads the Steelers with four touchdown receptions and is an absolute blast to watch. JuJu rightfully deserves to be targeted more because most teams haven’t figured him out yet. Meanwhile, Bryant is just a “deep threat” who now presents some chemistry issues for whatever team he is on.

He may want a trade, but he doesn’t deserve one. Just 18 catches and one touchdown, plus this headache, isn’t worth any value to anyone else. Besides, what in the world does Pittsburgh need? There is no reason to try and trade him. Leave him on the practice squad or cut him and let him be unemployed. Maybe he’ll learn to appreciate what he has, which could be a Super Bowl ring.

Kiko Alonso’s Hit Deserves Suspension

As soon as I saw this in real time, I knew I would be writing about it today. Yes, Kiko Alonso led with his helmet/shoulder on a quarterback. Yes, that quarterback did slide and “give himself up.” And that hit resulted in a very gruesome injury to that quarterback. However, Joe Flacco is partially to blame for this.

Alonso hitting Flacco while sliding
The hit looks bad on Alonso. But blaming Flacco isn’t such an overreaction.

My biggest issue with any hit on the quarterback is that it’s always the defensive player’s fault. The NFL has consistently been favoring QB’s ever since Tom Brady beat Oakland in the snow, but sometimes you have to hold them accountable. Flacco slid a little too late and put Alonso in a bad spot. He already had the first down and didn’t need to pick up extra yards. Instead, knowing he’d get an extra 15 yards and possible ejection, he baits Alonso with that slide and gets annihilated in the process.

Unfortunate injury and I’m not trying to make light of that, but don’t tell me Alonso needs a suspension because of that hit on Flacco. Quarterbacks need to be able to protect themselves better and smarter. Slide early, run out of bounds, or stay up and take a hit in the midsection. If you want to suspend someone, how about Ndomakong Suh for trying to chokeslam Baltimore’s backup?

Football Is Better Than Baseball

Listen, I love baseball more than I love myself. And I love me some me. So it’s always bothered me that I’ve had to listen to people say football is America’s new past time. Especially with just how great and young so many stars are on the diamond. Well, I can finally tell all you gridiron lovers to “wear it, meat!” (a baseball term for those who don’t know). This year and this postseason have brought baseball back to the top.

Carlos Correa rounding the bases and holding up his pointer finger
Hold up that #1, Carlos Correa. Baseball is back on top!

Don’t believe me? Numbers don’t lie. Game 5 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers had a 36% higher rating than Sunday Night Football between the Steelers and Detroit Lions. It also destroyed multiple big TV shows including the 100th episode of The Walking Dead. Plus, this was the second straight year in which a World Series game outranked football Sunday. It’s the third time in five years baseball has beaten football head-to-head. Come at me, bro.

Not-So-Crazy Overreaction: Fly, Eagles, Fly

A fan holding up a sign that says "Welcome to Carson City, Wentzlvania
It’s clever. It’s disgusting. But it’s clever.

I almost threw up writing that. I loathe Philadelphia, mainly the Eagles, and especially Eagles fans. However, I’m the newest citizen of Carson City, Wentzylvania. They rank fourth in the NFL in points per game, sixth in yards per game, and have the best record in the league at 7-1. Yes, they just trounced winless San Francisco, but they’ve also swept Washington, dominated Arizona (before Carson Palmer broke his arm), and are 3-0 in the division. In fact, their lone loss was on the road against Kansas City in Week 2 in what could now be a Super Bowl preview.

Carson Wentz has full control over that offense and total respect in the locker room. With 19 touchdown passes and just five picks halfway through, he’s been arguably the best quarterback all year. Plus, that defense has a +5 turnover ratio, and they are fast. They get a lackluster Denver team at home this week and then a bye before visiting Dallas. The rest of their schedule isn’t that daunting when you look at it, and I won’t be surprised if they win out. God that makes me sick.

Want to hear more from Christian? Follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his “Press Row” podcast!




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