From Patrick Mahomes to Donald Trump . . .
Something a little bit different today. To celebrate the 100th edition of The Morning Huddle (and because it’s the Friday of the NFL’s pre-Super Bowl dead week), we’re going to have some fun. What follows is a subjective list of the 100 most defining moments of the 2017 season, with the caveat that hopefully we’re in for a few more unforgettable moments a week from Sunday.
Let me know what you think of the list. I’ll acknowledge any worthwhile recommendations.
100. In Week 17, Patrick Mahomes shows flashes of greatness in a win over the Broncos. 99. Todd Bowles finishes 5-11 in 2017, but that still beat expectations—earning him a two-year extension. 98. Chris Long donates his entire 2017 salary to charities. 97. On his way out, Chuck Pagano extols Groundhog Day. 96. Robbie Gould gets revenge on the Bears with five field goals. 95. Marshawn Lynch announces his return by trucking Jurrell Casey in Week 1. 94. After two missed field goals late in games, the Younghoe Koo story in Los Angeles comes to a sad end. 93. Julius Peppers’ first sack came against Mike McMahon. For his 150th, he takes down Carson Wentz. 92. Su’a Cravens' sudden retirement on the eve of the season shocks Washington. 91. The Seahawks are fined $100,000 for mishandling the concussion protocol with Russell Wilson.
90. Tom Savage won the starting job but doesn’t hold off Deshaun Watson for long. 89. The Seahawks’ home field mystique runs thin as they go 4-4 at CenturyLink Field. 88. Myles Garrett gets his first sack on his first play. 87. The Bengals offense starts worse at home than any team since 1939. 86. Brett Hundley saves the Packers’ season—and contributes to the Browns’ 0-16 record—with an overtime win. 85. Case Keenum leads the Vikings, even as Sam Bradford is still considered a week-to-week proposition. 84. The Ravens notch three shutouts, the first team to do so since the ’03 Patriots. 83. Mitchell Trubisky gets his first win with a game-winning drive against Baltimore. 82. A trade saves a Pro Bowl long snapper’s life. 81. Leonard Fournette and Mike Mitchell attempt to create nuclear fusion with a mutually desired hit.
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80. Antonio Brown chucks a Gatorade cooler in frustration. 79. Hampered by a banged-up defense, the Seahawks miss the playoffs for the first time since 2011. 78. Josh Gordon returns to the NFL. 77. Rookie kicker Jake Elliott nails a 61-yard game winner for the Eagles. 76. Jameis Winston implores the Bucs to eat a W. 75. Julio Jones drops a ball in the Panthers’ end zone. 74. The Lions have a win over the Falcons overturned as Golden Tate is ruled just short of the goal line. 73. Marquise Goodwin scores an 83-yard touchdown and blows a kiss to the sky in honor of his newborn son, who died earlier that Sunday. 72. Odell Beckham Jr. celebrates by pretending to pee on the Eagles’ field. 71. The Raiders beat the Chiefs after two overturned touchdowns and two untimed downs.
70. Jalen Ramsey gets under A.J. Green’s skin, leading to a fight. 69. Aaron Rodgers returns from injury, but loses to Carolina. 68. With back-to-back catches, Antonio Brown beats the Packers on Sunday Night Football. 67. Jay Cutler enjoys one last hurrah, beating Tom Brady in Miami. 66. The Jaguars dominate the Ravens, 44-7, in London. 65. Former first-round pick Eli Apple is suspended by the Giants. 64. Steve Sarkisian draws fire for a fourth-and-goal jet sweep on a foggy night in Foxboro. 63. Jay Cutler returns to the NFL, saying a QB doesn’t need to be in great shape. 62. Brock Osweiler, once again a Bronco, helps lead the team past Indianapolis. 61. Luke Kuechly suffers another concussion, this time in primetime.
60. Marcus Peters melts down, throwing a penalty flag into the stands, leaving the game, then returning without socks. 59. Mike Glennon fever fades fast in Chicago. 58. A fourth-quarter Jets comeback against the Patriots is wiped out by a touchdown-to-touchback ruling. 57. The Saints become the first team to go 8-0 after starting 0-2. 56. Sean Payton and Dirk Koetter share a strange, contentious post-game handshake. 55. Joe Thomas’s 10,363-play ironman streak comes to an end. 54. Deshaun Watson shows signs of what’s to come with a 49-yard rushing touchdown in his first start. 53. Carson Palmer and Bruce Arians ride out of Arizona together. 52. The Chiefs stand as the last unbeaten team. 51. Andrew Luck goes from a potential Week 1 starter to injured reserve without taking a snap.
50. Marshawn Lynch dances on the sideline against the Jets. 49. Amid a spectacular rookie season, Marshon Lattimore gets into a confrontation with Jameis Winston and Mike Evans. 48. Jimmy Haslam fires Sashi Brown. 47. DeAndre Hopkins makes a remarkable touchdown catch on Christmas. 46. Jon Gruden gets a $100 million contract. 45. The Chargers play 16 away games. 44. Kareem Hunt wins the rushing title. 43. James Harrison signs with the Patriots. 42. After it seemed like his Bengals tenure was over, Marvin Lewis agrees to a contract extension. 41. Seth Wickersham writes about growing tension between the Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Robert Kraft.
40. Michael Bennett accuses the Las Vegas Police Department of threatening his life. 39. Adrian Peterson demonstrates vintage form with 134 yards in his Cardinals debut. 38. Vice President Mike Pence leaves a Colts game after players protested during the national anthem. 37. Teddy Bridgewater brings tears to Vikings fans with an emotional return to practice. 36. The Titans beat the Jaguars to end their playoff drought. 35. The Jaguars beat the Seahawks, with Seattle losing its cool late. 34. Deshaun Watson sets a record in October before going down with an ACL injury in practice. 33. Nathan Peterman throws five interceptions in his NFL debut. 32. Despite a playoff victory, the Titans decide they’re done with Mike Mularkey. 31. Someone steals JuJu Smith-Schuster’s bike; Smith-Schuster steals America’s heart.
30. The Bills and Colts play in the middle of a massive snowstorm. 29. Alvin Kamara emerges as the quintessential New Orleans playmaker. 28. Ben Roethlisberger mutters “Maybe I don’t have it anymore” after a five-interception loss to Jacksonville. 27. In a battle of NFC surprises, the Eagles top the Rams but lose Carson Wentz. 26. The Rams dominate the Seahawks in a potential changing of the NFC West guard. 25. Texans owner Robert McNair reportedly says that the NFL can’t allow “inmates running the prison” during a discussion of player protests. 24. Jerry Jones holds up Roger Goodell’s contract extension. 23. AJ McCarron’s trade to Cleveland falls apart at the literal final minute. 22. The Chiefs start the 2017 season with an upset in New England. 21. Dolphins offensive line coach Chris Foerster makes a video of himself snorting cocaine.
20. After going worst-to-first on offense, the Rams host a playoff game in Los Angeles, 39 years after their last home playoff game at Memorial Coliseum.
19. Rob Gronkowski attacks Tre’Davious White after a play, drawing a one-game suspension.
18. The Titans mount the second-largest road comeback in NFL playoff history, coming back from 21-3 down.
17. Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension bounces back and forth in the courts for months before he ultimately serves the 6-game ban.
16. Eli Manning’s 210-game start streak ends when the Giants decide to bench him.
15. Aaron Rodgers suffers a broken collarbone against the Vikings, one of several marquee injuries during the 2017 season.
14. Jimmy Garoppolo energizes the Bay Area with five straight wins to end the season.
13. The Jaguars score 45 points in a playoff upset of the Steelers.
12. Jesse James seemingly scores a game-winning touchdown against the Patriots, but officials decide he did not “survive the ground.”
11. After Andy Dalton and Tyler Boyd help the Bills end the longest playoff drought in major American sports, Bills fans repay them with nearly $400,000 in donations to their two charities.
10. Cam Newton says “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes” during a press conference; he later apologizes.
9. J.J. Watt, who helped raise more than $37 million in Hurricane Harvey relief, earns SI’s Sportsman of the Year honor.
8. Ryan Shazier collapses to the ground without feeling in his legs during Monday Night Football.
7. Tom Brady cuts his hand in practice, days before the AFC championship game.
6. Confidential payouts for workplace misconduct by Jerry Richardson are revealed, leading to his departure as owner.
5. The Browns become the second team to finish 0-16. The city “celebrates” with a parade.
4. Tom Brady leads his 11th playoff fourth quarter/overtime comeback, erasing a 20-10 deficit to the Jaguars with two touchdown passes to Danny Amendola.
3. Philadelphians buy every dog mask they can find as the Eagles win two playoff games as home underdogs to make the Super Bowl.
2. The Minnesota Miracle (briefly) gives Vikings fans hope about the possibility of a home Super Bowl.
1. President Donald Trump refers to a hypothetical kneeling NFL player as a “son of a b----,” sparking a week of league-wide protesting as teams link arms, kneel during the anthem, or don't come onto the field for the pregame tradition.
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