This weekend in NFL stupid

They seem to get stupider every week, guys, which is weird because you'd think the smartest players, coaches and officials would be those still working in mid-January. Let's reflect on another NFL weekend in stupidity. 

The stupidest attempt at logic 

Hate to tear Dan Dierdorf apart in his last game as an NFL analyst, but yeeeeesh. 

After New England took a safety on a botched punt in the second quarter, Dierdorf suggested that the Patriots would have been better off covering the ball up at about the 3-yard line because "you'd at least give your defense a fighting chance." Um, to do what? Force a turnover, I guess. Because even a field goal from the Colts (three points) would have been more fruitful than the safety was (two points). 

Now, a safety also means you have to kick it away on the next play, but the odds are still better that you stop them on that next drive than putting together a goal-line stand immediately. What Dierdorf said made absolutely no sense. 

Mathematically, the Patriots were much better off taking the safety. 

The stupidest coach moment

This goes to San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, whose emotions could have cost his team dearly late in the first half against Carolina. Vernon Davis made one hell of a catch for a touchdown, but the officials missed it. No biggie. In the final two minutes, it's a review from upstairs. 

But sure enough, there's Harbaugh in the middle of the field making a scene. 

That drew a personal foul penalty. It didn't hurt them, but it was stupid nonetheless. 

The stupidest split-second decision

OMG Marques Colston. Yeah, this was so bad that it merited an acronym from tween culture. Colston catches a pass with seven or eight seconds to play against the Seahawks. He can step out of bounds, leaving his team a play or two from 37-yard line in a desperate attempt to tie the game.

But instead, he throws the most blatant forward lateral in NFL history, triggering a 10-second run-off to end the game. 


The stupidest coaching decision

All or nothing, Chargers. You can't slow Peyton Manning down, at least not easily, which is why you onside kick down two scores with 5:43 to play. But then after a recovery and a quick score…you kick it away? Naturally, San Diego was never able to get the ball back. And the worst part is that Chargers kicker Nick Novak was 4-for-6 on onside kicks in his career to that point. 

The second-stupidest coaching decision

Sean Payton's Saints, with one timeout and less than four minutes to play, attempting a 48-yard field goal down eight. You're better off going for it on 4th-and-15.

The stupidest use of timeouts

This also goes to Payton and his Saints, who wasted two second-half timeouts in a relatively close playoff game simply because they ran out of time. And then they used a third with less than three minutes to play when Payton challenged a Doug Baldwin catch that was never in doubt based on the replays. 

If they have even one or two of those timeouts after recovering an onside kick late, it changes everything…and Colston probably doesn't make his stupid decision from earlier in this column.

The stupidest special-teams decision

This ball has to get to the 45-yard line in order to be recovered by the Saints, Golden Tate. Don't touch it until it does.

The stupidest tweet

I have to relay a Matt Miller retweet of the bad tweet, since the guilty party has since deleted it.

Of course, he was then put in his place…

The stupidest array of penalties

You can't take eight of 'em, including three personal fouls, and still survive against a team like the 49ers. C'mon, Carolina…

The stupidest roughing the passer penalty

I'm not sure what else Dan Skuta could have done here…

That rule needs more tweaking. Cam Newton was essentially a runner and Skuta had no way of avoiding some incidental helmet-to-helmet contact. You can't penalize teams massive chunks of yardage of brushings like those.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at, a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at, Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Comeback Media, but his day gig has him covering the NFL nationally for Bleacher Report.