Raheel Ramzanali

NFL first quarter season awards: Raheel Style

Never change, Billy O. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

We’ve now hit the quarter mark of the season so you’ll be flooded with the generic posts about awards like the MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, and so many other categories. So, instead of doing stuff you can find on any old website, I thought I would give out some new awards across the NFL  for the first four games of the year:

Staying on Brand Award

Players work on things in the off-season and get better. They will add new moves or skill sets to showcase in the regular season. Some coaches will implement new plays or philosophies as they enter another season in the NFL. Bill O’Brien? Well, he’s stayed on brand with his coaching blunders entering year five and that’s pretty darn impressive. It seems like every young coach (McVay and Vrabel) in the game has talked about having somebody on staff that helps them with timeouts, challenges, etc., but not Bill. Bill is staying on brand and doesn’t care what you think about it because it’s not his job.

Runner-up: The Steelers horrible defense. We’re about two games away from Pouncey commenting on it.

I’ll Watch Your Game Award

Look, the Browns legit could be 4-0 right now. I know the "what if" game is horrible to play and you can’t assume anything in the NFL, but a decent kicker could have won games for the Browns. I’m not just saying this because of Hard Knocks, but this Browns team is hella fun to watch with Baker at QB. On Sunday I was more upset at the Texans going to overtime because it was eating into the Browns vs Raiders game. Baker has the ‘IT’ factor and I’ll enjoy it as much as I can before he is injured like every mobile QB ever in the history of the NFL.

Runner-up: Oakland Raiders. If you thought Texans football is bad, try the Raiders! It’ll give you a new appreciation for what we watch every Sunday here in Houston.

This Is For You, Roger! Award

We all have that one coworker that sucks up to the boss and does things where it’s only for his advancement and nothing else. That one worker in the NFL? The referee(s) that keep calling the horrible roughing the passer penalties against defensive players. Look, I get it, player, sorry QB, safety is important to the league, but some of these calls are just getting stupid. By the way, on Sunday after TY Hilton caught a pass and had a nice gain, he was tackled by McKinney who landed on him with his full weight. No penalty. I get it that it’s football and plays like that will happen, but the NFL sends the wrong message when defensive players aren’t allowed to do it to QBs, but they are to anybody else. I applaud you NFL Referee for staying true to the calls and making sure Roger Goodell notices how you’re protecting the league.  

Runner-up: Clay Matthews on every sack. His is more out of spite, “THIS IS FOR YOU, ROGER! SCREW YOU!”.

You Make NFL Broadcasts Fun To Watch Award

I know our editor Fred Faour mutes games when he watches them, but this is the anti-Fred Muting Games Award. Monday Night Football is the go-to when we want to hate on a broadcast crew, but Booger McFarland has been awesome so far as the field analyst on MNF. His insight and passion for the sport has been tremendous so far in the season.

Runner-Up: Tony Romo. Yes, he’s still good in his second season.  

Creepy Sports Media Award


Runner-up: Raheel Ramzanali for his weird fascination with Sean McVay.

The Echo Chamber Award

Ties are never fun. In fact, the NFL might have a problem with ties this season, but you know what sucks more than a tie? A FREAKING LOSS. Coaches always say how hard it is to win in the NFL, but they always forget to say how easy it is to lose because of a bad decision. I know the media echo chamber right now is all about how ballsy and manly Frank Reich is for going for it on fourth down in OT from his own side of the field, but please let’s stop it. I know him backing his decision after the game really helped start this whole. “Frank’s right, guys!” discussion, but you have to consider the best case and worst case in every major decision. Reich’s decision was the ultimate fail because with that much time left and an offense that you’d slowed down, you could’ve avoided a loss, but instead you gave the Texans life and they ended you.

Runner-up: Aaron Rodgers week 1 performance. Yeah he played on a bum knee, but he’s still playing on it and maybe it wasn’t that crazy of an injury after all? It was an unreal performance and honestly you expect nothing less from A-Aron, but the folklore like retelling of that game is going to be so bad in a few years because people will forget that he didn’t miss any time with the knee.

Y'all Are Such Haters Award

This goes to all the people that thought Mike Vrabel was going to be a horrible head coach because he was the coordinator of a defense that had major injuries to every position group last year. The Texans were bad last year and the defense took a major stepback after Vrabel became the coordinator and in spite of all of that, teams still wanted to make him as head coach. Vrabel has now beaten two of the final four teams left from last year’s playoffs (including the champs, duh!) and his team has no quit in them. Props to him!

Runner-up: Everyone that was rooting for FitzMagic to fail so you could tell people that you knew this was a fluke the entire time. Yes, he is now back to being a journeyman QB, but the amount of people rooting against him was weird. If anything, we should all be rooting for the underdog to succeed.


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Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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