As we look forward to the NFL draft in just over a month and sit patiently for the new season to begin in September, now seems like the perfect time to look back at the last year of football and take in some of the best and worst moments of the 22/23 season.
I expect all of these plays to remain in the history books for years to come (some more than others), but as the trade scene blows up and the college standouts join new teams, it might slip your mind just how awful and amazing this season was...
If there's one thing to take away from the last year of football, it's that Patrick Mahomes is starting to look a lot like the next GOAT of the NFL, and with Brady retiring (again), he's made way for a new name to take over the league.
In a comparison of their first six seasons, Mahomes has one less Super Bowl than Brady, but he also has more league MVPs, more AFC Championship appearances, more All-Pro selections, more wins, less losses, more touchdowns, less interceptions, more passing yards and a higher completion percentage... And if that doesn't sound like the start of a Hall of Fame career, then I don't know what does.
In the 2022/23 season, Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to their second Super Bowl victory in three years and on the road to the title, he averaged a passer rating of 105.2 in a performance worthy of his second MVP award.
He got up to many of his usual tricks, from no lookers to spin-shovel passes, leaving defenders stunned. Seriously, this guy is on a whole other level and 22/23 was undeniably his season.
Justin Jefferson: Catch of the Year
Justin Jefferson had his breakout season this year and with that, made a strong case for best receiver in the league.
Leading the NFL in yards (1809) and catches (128) for the 22/23 season, Jefferson added numerous clips to his highlight reel, including the catch of the year, in which he bailed out the Minnesota Vikings on a 4th & 18.
The most watched highlight of the 2022-2023 season was this catch by Justin Jefferson. pic.twitter.com/7uB2MtOJob— Thomas Sullivan (@Yfz84) March 20, 2023
This wasn't a one off either... Jefferson was making ridiculous plays all year long and he stands above all other wide-outs in the 22/23 season. If he's playing this well with Kirk Cousins as his QB, who knows what he's really capable of.
The Greatest Comeback in NFL History
Not only did we get one hell of a season, with some of the best individual performances we've ever seen. But we also witnessed the single greatest comeback in the history of the league.
In a 33-point deficit with 9 minutes left in the third quarter, Kirk Cousins & Co. mounted the most impressive comeback in NFL history.
There's not much I can say about this one, so here's the entire comeback shrunk down to just 100 seconds.
The Vikings 33 Point Comeback against the Colts in 100 seconds pic.twitter.com/TxGn8jmzeE— Frankie G (@FrankieG1998) December 17, 2022
Patriots vs Raiders Ending
This might just be the worst offensive play of the year...
The Pats are playing the Raiders, the ball is snapped from the Patriots 45 yard line, with 3 seconds on the clock and the score is tied 24-24. There are two obvious options here right? You kneel or run the ball but play it safe, killing the clock and taking the game to overtime. Or you take a deep shot, thinking it either ends in a lucky touchdown or falls incomplete with no time left in the game.
Well, according to Bill Belichick there was a third option... Give Stevenson the ball, and when it all breaks down, play hot potato until Jacoby Meyers decides he wants to give the win to his future team.
Meyers was recently traded to Vegas and it leaves you wondering if this was part of his deal agreement...
Tom Brady at WR
So, Tom Brady has officially retired from the NFL, again... After the most famous career in the history of the sport, Brady went out with a whimper as he led the Bucs to a rather uninspiring season.
Despite the tough times in Tampa this year, he still did the unthinkable and surpassed the all-time passing yards record, but one play will stand out as a clear sign that he may have been getting slightly too old to compete...
It's sad to say, but this is probably the last time we ever see Tom Brady try to catch a pass. On the upside, it will always be funny...
The Butt Punt
We've had the infamous Butt Fumble and now we have the Butt Punt...
In perhaps the worst special teams performance of the year, Miami Dolphins punter Thomas Morstead took the snap and punted the ball directly into the backside of one of his blockers...
The ball ricocheted out of Miami's end zone for a safety and following the punt, Buffalo regained possession at their own 23-yard line. With only 1:25 left on the clock and no timeouts remaining, they were trailing by two points.
Buffalo advanced the ball and made it to Miami's 41-yard line, but Isaiah McKenzie was tackled in bounds with 10 seconds left in the game - allowing the Dolphins to hold on to their lead and win the game, 21-19.
Oh my god. The butt punt!pic.twitter.com/iKaE2TvkKs— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 25, 2022
Dan Orlovsky is finally not alone!
Jimmy G did something this year that we haven't seen since the Orlovsky mishap back in 2008.
The play continues to haunt Orlovsky to this day and I won't be surprised to see the same happen to Garoppolo...