Every game during the NFL season tells a story. GIFs -- pronounced "gifs", "jifs" or "gee-oafs" -- can do the same thing. Let's explain the world of Week 7 through GIFs.
Well, we found it. The one thing Patrick Mahomes isn't good at -- coordinated dance. In fairness to the MVP front-runner, the entire Chiefs offense could benefit from more practice reps in advance of their weekly avalanche of touchdowns, but Mahomes reminds me of my 2-year-old son when he tries to mimic the dancing of his 4-year-old brother. He's got the basic gist of it down, but it's all just a little bit ... off.
That's fine, though, because Mahomes remains incredible at everything else. On Sunday night, NBC -- desperately trying to fill time during the Chiefs' detonation of the Bengals at Arrowhead -- rolled out home video footage of a young Mahomes knocking down a full-court heave during a youth basketball game. Relatedly, you know you've obtained superstar status when the media starts digging up grainy footage of childhood athletic exploits.
In other celebration news, here's some Bucs defenders getting into their giant invisible canoe after a goal-line stop against the Browns. I give this a B+ for originality, but a C+ for execution. Got to have those invisible oars working in unison, guys!
One last dispatch from the celebration beat. We have a new trend in the NFL, and it's players high-fiving their teammates on the way to the end zone during long touchdowns. Here's Patriots special teams ace Cordarrelle Patterson connecting with teammate J.C. Jackson after a 95-yard kickoff return against the Bears. Patterson slows at the 10-yard line so he can connect with Jackson. With the ball carrier's back to the action, this feels like a recipe for eventual disaster. Who will be the first player to get clobbered from behind during a high-five attempt? Can't wait.
Mike Vrabel got a little carried away with himself. That two-point conversion attempt took -- to borrow a term from college hoops announcer Bill Raftery -- mondo onions, but how about we just kick the PAT and go play overtime? We're in an era where NFL coaches are being praised for (and pushed into) taking more risks, and perhaps Vrabel had visions of dozens of analytical thinkpieces being churned out in his honor had Marcus Mariota found his intended receiver to beat the Chargers in London. Didn't work that way, though.
He looks like an infirm elderly man who's wandered off the grounds of his rest home.
That's the NFL's leading receiver, Adam Thielen, spitting up DNA after a crushing solar-plexus hit from Jets safety Jamal Adams on Sunday. Not pleasant, but otherwise it was another fine day for the Vikings star. Thielen became the first player in the Super Bowl era to record 100 yards receiving in each of his team's first seven games. Not bad for an undrafted free agent who didn't even get invited to the combine. (Side note: How many other Adam Thielens fall through the cracks every year? It's kind of a scary/sad thought.) Thielen is currently on pace to finish with 153 catches and nearly 1,900 yards. Kind of weird we're not hearing any Thielen MVP talk, huh? Well, maybe not. The NFL's been handing out MVP awards since 1957 and a wide receiver has never won it. They gave it to a freaking kicker once (Mark Moseley, 1982), but never a wideout. Perhaps Thielen will make more history in a few months.
Justin Tucker is the best kicker in the NFL. You can argue -- quite convincingly, in fact -- that Justin Tucker is the best kicker in the history of the NFL. Which is what made Tucker's PAT miss in the final seconds on Sunday, a miss that sealed a one-point loss to the Saints, so stunning to watch. Before his final kick on Sunday, Tucker was 222-for-222 on extra points in his NFL career. He was 71-for-71 in college at Texas. He was 40-for-40 at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. I guess he was overdue. Let's hope this doesn't lead to one of those super-depressing kicker shame spirals. I think Tucker has the stuff to overcome.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Bucs kicker Chandler Catanzaro beat the Browns in overtime with a 59-yard bomb from midfield. Baker Mayfield is a future star in this league, and his reaction to Catanzaro's heroics will make him a superstar in the meme game for years to come. Seriously, I wish I could buy stock in a GIF right now.
Until next week.