Photograph: Joshua Bessex/Getty Images
Upsets, underdogs and the unpredictable
Picking results on a Sunday has been impossible at times with the 2021 season giving every fan at one stage or another a left-field result to revel in. Schadenfreude is very much included in your stocking this year. Detroit’s 30-12 upset thrashing of the Arizona Cardinals last week, the league’s worst team at kickoff beating the joint-best, last may be the finest, freakish morsel to be dissected ad infinitum with us forever shouting: ‘But how Jared Goff?’ into the void. But ‘tis the season so treat yourself to the one-win Jaguars beating the Super Bowl-chasing Bills 9-6 in week nine, or seek out Tennessee’s quintuple turnover tire fire from 21 November as they lost 22-13 to the … Texans. You would prefer something a little more exquisite? Stay put in week 11 for the anti-vax bowl featuring Minnesota’s upfront pseudo-scientist Kirk Cousins going toe-to-toe with Joe Rogan’s Igor, Aaron Rodgers, in a deliciously painful shootout for the Packers. The greatest joy is the strangest results may still be waiting for us in the lead up to the expanded playoffs. The bubble still shockingly includes Seattle, Atlanta and Washington in the NFC. Stay indoors this Christmas and stare into the abyss, it looks like Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement tour added an extra date in February.
Related: Depleted Tennessee Titans rally past 49ers on Bullock’s late field goal
A more conventional delight in 2021 has been the Indianapolis Colts’ breakout star running back, Jonathan Taylor. The fantasy football behemoth’s stellar season has led him to be selected to the Pro Bowl in only his second year after receiving the most votes out of anyone. You name the statistic and Taylor has it locked down. Most yards from scrimmage, check, 1,854. Most touchdowns, 19. Most rushes of 10 or more yards, 42. Twenty or more yards, 11. I could go on, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 or more yards in a single jaunt…