Midseason Sour Rankings: Wrapping up the best of the worst from first half
Nine weeks of the NFL season down, eight to go. So there is no better time than the present to take a look back at the most memorable Sour Rankings moments from the first half of 2014.
3. Goal post 1, Canadian college football receiver 0: Hey, buddy, look out for the goal post.
Hey! The goal post! LOOK OUT!!
2. Still the greatest false start: Not sure anyone will take that honor away from Nebraska's Jake Cotton ...
1. Lou Holtz's riddle: It has been three weeks and there still is no clear answer to what Holtz was trying to say here. (Multiple people believe that he said something about a "head comb," but that doesn't make much sense.)
Honorable mention: The Buccaneers' cheerleaders. This moment earns an Honorable Mention nod in large part because I forgot about it when compiling the Week 8 Sour Rankings. Before an important Minnesota drive, the Tampa Bay cheerleaders took it upon themselves to play the distraction card.
10. Matt Ryan vs. a firework: How is the Falcons' season going, you ask? Well, before one of their two wins, they narrowly avoided blinding their star quarterback with pregame fireworks.
9. Cyrus Gray's TD dance: After three seasons and 98 carries, Gray finally scored his first NFL touchdown during a Week 3 win over Miami. Sincere congratulations to him for that accomplishment. But his post-touchdown celebration could use a little work. (GIF via Kansas City Star)
8. Sheldon Richardson's "defense": Richardson made two first-half Sour Rankings appearances -- one time for helping Marty Mornhinweg skirt the rules to call a timeout (and cost the Jets a game-tying touchdown) and the second time for this:
That's Buffalo running back Anthony Dixon trying to pick up an extra yard after the whistle. Solid work by Richardson to deny him.
7. Peyton plays keep away: Will you remember which team the Broncos were playing when Peyton Manning set the NFL's TD record (San Francisco) or who caught the historic pass (Demaryius Thomas)? Or will you remember, first and foremost, this:
6. Popeye Roethlisberger: The Week 9 entry into our Midseason Sour Rankings comes from Pittsburgh's Sunday night win over Baltimore. En route to another six-TD performance, Ben Roethlisberger took a shot to the jaw and reacted like this:
"I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam."
Somehow, this only made Roethlisberger stronger:
5. The Josh McCown and Matt Schaub interceptions: McCown laid claim to the Worst Interception of 2014 early, turning in this fumble-turned-INT gem against the Carolina Panthers.
Schaub may have matched or surpassed McCown with his own gaffe in Week 8. Bonus points to Schaub because A) His miscue came on a fake field goal; and B) It thus far is the only pass he has attempted in 2014.
Such was Andy Reid's explanation after Ford, a rookie linebacker for the Chiefs, appeared to bail on a possible tackle of San Francisco running back Frank Gore.
Ford tweeted the next day: "Terrible play... Unacceptable.... Watch how i respond ... !"
3. The worst fake punt ever: Desperation made a fool of Sean Payton back in Week 4. With his team facing a 14-point deficit versus Dallas, Payton called for a fake punt that featured Thomas Morstead running a play-action and then rolling to his right. At that point, I guess, Morstead was supposed to pass the ball somewhere. He wound up just taking a sack instead.
And then Chicago's Lamarr Houston suffered the same fate, his injury coming as the Bears trailed by 25 points late in a blowout loss to New England.
Time to table that celebration, fellas.
Brown was hit with a flag for unnecessary roughness. Lanning, to his credit, found some humor in the humiliating highlight: