End Around: Cheers to Cam, enduring Fitzmagic


Welcome to the Around The NFL End Around, a weekly look back at the world of the National Football League. Dan Hanzus serves as your guide.

It was a good week for ...

1. Cam Newton: Every week has been a good week for Cam in 2015, but a 14th-straight win in which you throw for five touchdowns and run for 100 yards is Madden on Beginner-type stuff. The MVP race is over.

2. Steven Jackson: A week ago, Jackson was an out-of-work 32-year-old running back who appeared in just two playoff games in 11 years, both as a rookie in 2004. Now he's on the flippin' Patriots. This would be considered a positive development for Mr. Jackson.

3. Antonio Brown: Nobody seems to really pay attention, but Brown is on one of the best rolls in the history of the wide receiver position. How many other players would have 10 catches and see it as an "Eh" day?

It was a bad week for ...

1. Odell Beckham: Bruh.

2. Matt Hasselbeck: When you're acknowledging to the media, "I got nothing left," it's time to take a seat and lean on Jesus. Clipboard Jesus, that is.

3. Rex Ryan: His first year in Buffalo is an official bust, and many of his players appear to be in the middle of a controlled mutiny. At this rate, Rex and Rob could be running a B&B in Vermont by 2017.

Have you bought in on Cam yet?

I loved this reaction from Newton after the Giants scored late in the fourth quarter to complete a 28-point comeback to tie the game at 35. Chaos all around him, Cam in total control. Unsurprisingly, he proceeded to march his team down the field before Graham Gano booted the game-winning field goal.

A week ago, I thought the Panthers would get picked off before the season ended. Not anymore.

Fitzmagic in every way

I assume there are people who don't like Ryan Fitzpatrick. After all, there are folks who steal FedEx packages off people's doorsteps during the holidays and leave dogs in hot cars during trips to the liquor store. Everybody knows the world is filled with stupid people.

But how could you not love Fitzpatrick, a journeyman quarterback who has found a home with the perpetual underdog Jets after 10 seasons and six teams? I'm especially big on the crazy look Fitzpatrick gets in his eyes from time to time. This is especially excellent when a 300-pound center sneaks up behind Fitzpatrick, whose crazy eyes are compounded by a bloody gash on the center of his face. I'm surprised Tracy Wolfson didn't run for her life. That's good sideline reporting.

Tom Brady Face Talk

Listen, I'm not here to throw out any accusations. But let's be honest: There's a decent chance this isn't the same person. I know everyone looks different than they did 15 years ago. But there's something else cooking here. Forget his hair, jawline and complexion. Look in Tom Brady's eyes. Bill Belichick and the Patriots have scooted through league loopholes for years, who's to say that a cybernetic organism didn't replace the original Tom Brady in 2007?

Again, I'm not throwing out any accusations. I just think it's time to start a conversation. And while we have said conversation, I think it makes a lot of sense to bench Tom Brady 2.0 against my Jets this weekend.

Do you still like that?

We learned this week that Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins filed a trademark for "You like that" just two days after he uttered the phrase following a comeback win over the Buccaneers on Oct. 25. A capitalist in Washington!

What the what?

No team needs to end their season faster than the Ravens, whom the Football Gods struck down with furious vengeance in 2015. Perhaps in an act of defiance against the gods, the Ravens wore mustard yellow pants during their loss to the Chiefs on Sunday. When I first saw the uniforms, I honestly thought an equipment manager had mistaken Week 15 for a road game and accidentally shipped all the correct pants to Kansas City.

The Ravens shouldn't wear these pants again. They are bad pants.

In other What the What? Ravens news ...


We've written in this space before about the obvious logic holes connected to the NFL tradition of sticking rookies with a major dinner bill. The Ravens deleted a tweet and story off their official site playing off this Instagram post from rookie defensive tackle Carl Davis, who spent nearly half a game check (he earns $25,558 per week) to feed giant people.

Tweet Of The Week

Is Peterson doing the Dr. Evil pinky thing? That's a random call-back while dressed as a man-elf, but we're cool with it.

Quote of the Week

"I dropped the ball on sportsmanship on Sunday."

-- Odell Beckham, who apparently now only speaks in the language of 1980s PSAs funded by the Reagan administration

So long San Diego?

This is a bummer. We don't know for sure if the Chargers really did play their final game in San Diego on Sunday, but none of this feels right. The Chargers have always been in a good football town saddled with a bad stadium. From a common sense standpoint, you just replace the stadium and move on. But this is about business, which means a more enticing financial opportunity might end a team's half-century long bond with a city.

I don't know who will end up moving to Los Angeles next year or the year after. But if it was my choice, it wouldn't be the Chargers.

Merry Christmas, everybody. Until next time ...