2022 NFL The hell going on Awards

Much as I enjoy the MVP and All-Pro type awards, it doesn’t feel very on-brand for this publication. So this will be more like the ESPY’s, but without set categories and awards that you may never see again. Each award will be given for the category in which it fits, which will be determined by what it is, making this whole exercise arbitrary just so I can talk about the things I wanna talk about. Dig? Digg.

Diggs Award for Wild Wide Receiver Contracts – Davante Adams

No better place to start than with my muse. The WR market was out of control last offseason, leading to massive contracts for guys like Christian Kirk and trades leading to even more massive contracts for guys like AJ Brown, Davante Adams, and Tyreek Hill. After Hill got traded and signed his enormous deal just 5 days after Adams did the same, Stefon Diggs took to Twitter to put out a four word tweet that would go on to define the rest of the 2022 season.

Adams gets the award for two reasons. 1) He was the highest paid WR in history, but only for 5 days when Tyreek passed him, and 2) Adams went to Vegas mostly to play with Derek Carr, who ended the season as a healthy scratch and will likely be cut the day after the Super Bowl. The other reason Davante left the Packers was to avoid a rebuild, and the details of his deal makes another trade highly unlikely, so now he’s stuck in a rebuild without his quarterback.

Tyreek’s deal was wild, too, but Davante’s deal developed layers.

Elwantana Award for Greatest Game-Winning Drive – Baker Mayfield

One of my more vivid football memories from when I was a kid was staying up later than I should have to see a Monday Night Football game between Elway and Chiefs Edition Montana. It felt like one would lead the game-winning drive only to watch the other do it right back until time mercifully expired. And yes, I did consider “Montelway,” but I like “Elwantana” way more.

On a Thursday Night Football game in early December, we watched Baker Mayfield enter the game on the Rams 2nd drive, having just come into LA off waivers 48 hours earlier. Barely knowing the offense, with a minute and a half left and no timeouts, he led a 98 yard touchdown drive to win it. The game was meaningless for the Rams, but may have meant everything to Baker and his future in this league.

Wilson-Hackett Award for Most Thorough Franchise Collapse – Denver Broncos

There’s nothing in my nostalgic brain to compare to the absurdity of the Denver Broncos. They brought in Nathaniel Hackett from the Packers because both the Broncos and Hackett were 500% sure Aaron Rodgers would be their QB. That’s not me pretending I’m reporting news; that’s me saying what I think we all know. There’s no way Hackett was brought in to be the head coach for Russell Wilson.

Sidenote: It should be a huge early red flag that they go by Nathaniel and Russell. I bet Nate and Russ could’ve cooked. Back on topic…

But then Rodgers shocked us all and re-upped with Green Bay, leaving the Broncos and their treasure chest of Walton money scrambling for another option. So they took the future they planned to mortgage for maybe 2 years of Rodgers and blew it all on Russell Wilson. This move was met by cheers and Super Bowl speculation, then quickly replaced by boos and attempts to salvage some draft capital before the trade deadline.

Hackett lasted 15 games, the last of which was a 51-14 knockout punch by the Rams on Christmas Day. Denver brass didn’t even wait until Christmas Day Observed had passed to give Nathaniel the 64 yard kick out of town with a career head coaching record of 4 ugly wins and 11 losses.

As for the Broncos, they gave Russ an insane amount of guaranteed money, and no matter what cap tricks you pull, guaranteed money always comes due. Trading him requires another team to take on his massive contract, and cutting him would accelerate his prorated bonus into immediate dead cap. The earliest they can pull that off without it being a complete disaster is after June 1, 2024. Realistically, though, 2025 is the first palatable option.

So now they have to convince a big-name coach to come into a situation with a lost quarterback still owed a huge bag of money who was acquired by trading all their draft picks. Good luck, Walmart people.

Jeff Saturday Award for Bizarre Midseason Coaching Change – Jeff Saturday

Again, nothing in my memory banks prepared me for this. A sad start to the season showed us that maybe Matt Ryan’s tank really was empty and maybe constantly trying to insert a new old vet QB isn’t a great strategy. And somehow all of that is Frank Reich’s fault, so he got the boot and everyone wondered which coordinator would step in for the rest of the season.

Coordinator? Oh, no, Jim Irsay isn’t interested in giving a coordinator who’s paid his dues and worked his tail off a shot to prove himself. He wants ESPN analyst and Peyton Manning’s old center, Jeff Saturday, who has never coached football at a higher level than high school. But he’s a leader!

And now that leader is in the record books as the coach on the wrong side of the greatest comeback in NFL history, with the Vikings 33-point comeback just barely surpassing the previous record of 32 set by the Buffalo Bills and their quarterback, Frank Reich. Gooooosebuuuumps…

He Did What Award for Greatest Catch – Justin Jefferson

Al Michaels has so many great calls on his résumé, but given the age of football I grew up with and my Packers fandom, I’ll never forget the Antonio Freeman HE DID WHAT catch to beat the Vikings in overtime on Monday Night Football. Al’s call + the absurdity of the catch + the ref laughing + overtime game-winner makes this one a favorite of mine.

So when Kirk Cousins heaved up a 4th & 18 prayer in the general direction of Justin Jefferson to stay alive in what turned out to be a magical comeback against the Bills, I literally stood up from my chair and yelled “HE DID WHAT?!” #JJettas is always open.

That’ll do it for the 2022 regular season The hell going on Awards! As always, may your favorite team win or your coach get fired.

3 thoughts on “2022 NFL The hell going on Awards”

  1. What a show TB!

    I remember Irsay flapping his gums as if he was some kind of genius after Saturday won his coaching debut. After which, I don’t think he won again, did he? Irsay has stated he expects his club to win Super Bowls, plural. And here I thought he was practicing sobriety . . .

    As for Hackett, the Jets gave him an interview. I have to believe Saleh was just being nice to the former OC and drinking buddy to Aaron Rodgers. He can’t POSSIBLY be serious about hiring him, right?

    The Dolphins are going to sign Tom Brady. It will be the most Dolphins thing to do.

    1. If Saleh is serious about going back to Zach Wilson, I can’t see why Hackett would be a good choice to bring in. The system wouldn’t be that different from the one that just got the Jets OC fired.

      If Brady comes back, I think it’ll be Vegas. It’s an offense he knows well from a coach he knows well, plus Davante and Jacobs and potentially Walker if he can ever stay healthy. It has to be tempting for him.

      1. I think it was a nicety. I hope for Jets fans that it was a nicety. Because otherwise, this is no bueno. At all.

        Yeah me too. But why would I stop trumpeting the three year old rumor now? Brady to Miami and he brings Gronk and OBJ with him. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin too.

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