WELCOME BACK TO THE 2ND-EVER CHAOS AWARDS! Too many award shows focus on rewarding the best. The best players. The best teams. The best whatever. There’s enough of that shit to go around. Go somewhere else for it. What I want to do is award the stupid shit. The dumbest moments. The entertaining nonsense that actively defies explanation. Football, the sport, the culture, the people…it’s more than the pursuit of the Lombardi and discussions of the GOAT. It’s mistakes. It’s outlandish coincidences and wild storylines. That’s what Chaos is here for. Let’s remember the dumb shit.

I want to thank everyone who submitted your thoughts and nominations on the previous post. You brought back so many silly memories of this season and gave me some great ideas. Many of your words have swayed my opinion one way or another. Because Chaos is the antithesis of stats and charts and is mostly impression, even some of the stranger isolated nominations still made sense in some way, and that’s beautiful.

So let’s get to it.

Nominees: Joe Flacco, Kadarious Toney, Josh Allen, Tommy DeVito, Josh Dobbs, Brock Purdy
Plenty of good candidates here. Josh Allen is a large vacant-headed golem who on any play could rush for 50 yards, throw for 70 yards, or throw the dumbest pick you’ve seen in your life. Tommy DeVito came out of nowhere midseason to give the Giants some actual enjoyment on a 3-game win streak that culminated in beating the red-hot Packers and the local boy causing a sensation by doing the Italian hand gesture, something that the NFL Honors would give “best celebration”. Josh Dobbs joined the Vikings at a moment’s notice, didn’t know anything about the playbook, and won a game by improvising. Then another. Then he sucked. And we certainly can’t go without mentioning Brock Purdy. Brock was fairly steady all year, but the discourse around him was utter chaos and still shows no signs of slowing. For me, this came down to Kadarious Toney vs Joe Flacco, and I am going with:

Toney certainly had the more chaotic high points. His season opener is one of the worst games a WR has ever had and his all-timer mistake of lining up offsides ruined the best game-winner of the year. He feuded with Giants fans on social media, and then even his own team after they benched him. But Toney didn’t really do that much else all year and was mostly just invisible or bad. Flacco on the other hand? Flacco was old and out of the league, not even on a team. He’d spent several years as a bad mercenary backup QB for several franchises. He signs with the ailing Browns and suddenly he’s the savior of a team he tortured for over a decade. He showed skills he hadn’t even shown before. But if you looked, he was also throwing a lot of picks, and that would come back to bite him in the playoffs when the Texans would end his fairy tale story with violence. Then he beat Damar Hamlin for Comeback Player of the year pretty much entirely because he got everyone’s second-place vote. This was probably our favorite Elite Money Boy’s swan song, and we should appreciate him.

Nominees: Vikings, Browns, Titans, Bills, Eagles, Jets, Broncos, Jaguars
I probably internally debated this award more than any other on the list. I didn’t even include half the nominated teams people mentioned. We didn’t have a clear frontrunner slate this year and because of the QB injuries, many teams got really weird. The Titans won a few absolute nonsense games late in the year to play spoiler. The Jaguars at one point were playing for the 1st seed and then went on to miss the playoffs. The Jets? Despite Zach Wilson, they’d occasionally win games! The Eagles would also go full fraud after promoting Matt Patricia. But this award felt like it was down between the Browns and the Vikings. The Vikings shined brightest, losing many early games to one-score nonsense like a perverse version of 2022. After Kirk died the Josh Dobbs experience was maybe the shortest and brightest stint of chaops energy we had all season. But shortly after that the Vikings simply became bad and mostly unwatchable. The Browns stayed chaotic through the season, using a great defense to cover up Chubb’s injury and cycling through QBs until landing on Joe Flacco of all people, who saved the season and then threw a million interceptions to the Texans to get bounced in the wildcard. But after so much internal debate, I realized the best answer had been sitting in front of me the whole time.

The Bills played like they were drunk the entire year. They opened the season against the Jets and would LOSE to a team that lost their entire franchise saving player 5 snaps into the game. The Bills would then play like they were supposed to, obliterating the McDaniels Raiders and the pathetic Commies, derailing the early-season darling Dolphins, and then immediately crashed against the Jaguars. They would then flounder about and almost lose to the woeful Giants in a game they lost in everything but actual score before reaching their absolute lowest by letting the goddamn 2023 New England Patriots hang 29 points on them. They managed a win against the Bucs but would then lose to the Bengals and Broncos and look terrible all over. They’d fire Ken Dorsey, split the next two games to reach 6-6, and everyone wrote them off for dead. But that’s when Josh Allen threw back another tequila shot and rallied like a frat bro who just found out there was a pool in the backyard he could jump into from the balcony. It started with the controversial Chiefs win and never stopped and the team everybody wrote off would throw the Dolphins in front of a bus to win the division and claim the 2 seed. They had their playoff game postponed due to blizzard conditions, Josh Allen ran 60 yards and juked Minkah Fitzpatrick into next year, and then the divisional game would end with 6 minutes of nonsense culminating in Wide Right 2. Good show, Bills. Good show. The Bills are drunk, but they are the fun drunk that almost always results in a great story you laugh about with your mates for years down the road, even when that story ends with the Bills passed out in the gutter needing their stomachs pumped.

Nominees: Toney false gamewinner, Wide Right 2, Saints Defy Dennis, Aaron Rodgers Snap, Jets Fail Mary, Aiyuk Catch Off Helmet Bounce, Zay Flowers Meltdown
It is impossible to deny how much shock the Rodgers snap generated, but then the Jets would win the game. At the very end of the season the Saints decided to send Arthur Smith to hell with a bit of controversy by outright defying HC Dennis Allen. Zay Flowers catching a deep pass, taunting, getting the Ravens into the red zone, then fumbling out the back of the endzone was a single-player masterpiece chaos drive. The Jets Fail Mary Pick 6 before halftime was not an impactful play, but it sure was funny as hell. I was tempted to give this award to the longer nonsense sequence of Chiefs/Bills that started with a botched fake punt, elevated with a fumble out of the endzone, and then ended in Wide Right 2, but I felt it really stretched the definition of moment or short sequence. Lastly, a lot of people mentioned the Aiyuk Catch in the NFCCG that bounced off the defender’s helmet but I think that was colored by recency bias. It certainly was chaotic and helped jumpstart the 49ers comeback though, so it is a worthy addition. For me, the answer to this award will almost always be the wildest play that directly ends a game, and therefore there was little other choice.

The Chiefs had one last chance against the Bills. Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce did what those two do and connected. Then, out of nowhere, Kelce laterals the ball to a wide-open Kadarious Toney, who sprints into the endzone. Ballgame. A lateral touchdown to win a game against a tough conference rival is amazing…and it didn’t count because Toney is a monumental dipshit who lined up offsides. The Chiefs would get penalized, lose the game, and probably lose the 2 seed in the process to the eventual 2 seed Bills. They turned into whiney babies after the call, which was one of the only good and fair calls made by the terrible officials all year. It led to the Chiefs having to go into Buffalo for the divisional round, setting up another chaotic masterpiece of a game. This play was an absolute rollercoaster and will go down in history as one of the greatest plays that never happened.

Nominees: Raiders/Chargers, Dolphins/Broncos, Chiefs/Bills Divisional, Colts/Titans, Cowboys/Packers wildcard
I can’t pick it, but I want to start this off by remembering the second Colt/Titans game. In case you forgot, this is the game where Will Levis threw a pick and then caused the defender to fumble that pick, which Levis recovered. That was simply the Hors D’oeuvre to the chaos that would erupt in the second half. The Colts blocked two straight punts, ran one back for a TD, injured the punter, and threw a pick 2 on a 2pt conversion attempt. The Titans would make a comeback but send the game to overtime because the hurt punter forced Tannehill to handle the field goal-holding duty. The Colts win in overtime on a walk-off TD. If the game had a more interesting first half, this would have been my pick. But we must also mention the absolute shellshock that was the Jordan Love Packers upsetting the Cowboys in the wildcard in what was probably the funniest loss of the season. The Chiefs/Bills divisional game also ended with a monumental series of chaos. But we also had two mega-beatdowns the likes of which we rarely see. The larger win was the historic takedown of Denver by the Miami Dolphins, but the game ultimately didn’t amount to much in the long run besides being very funny. To me, the winner is:

As someone noted in their nominations, this destruction of the Chargers by the Raiders has a bit of extra context to consider. Just 4 days earlier, against the miserable Vikings, the Raiders put up a fat goose egg in a game that would end 3-0. Then, on a short week, facing another loser of a team also missing their starting QB, against a coach known for defense, the Raiders would take out their frustration. The slaughter was absolute. The Chargers could not stop turning the ball over. The Raiders were trying out trick plays just for fun to score in the second half. The embarrassment was so total that it probably ended Brandon Staley’s employment and he may never be a HC again. The Raiders would go on to hire interim coach Antonio Pierce largely off the back of this game and the Chiefs game, and the Chargers would land Jim Harbaugh, and the ripples of this game might be felt in both franchises for years to come.

Nominees: Dan Campbell, Arthur Smith, Sean Payton
Arthur Smith built his resume on the run game. He drafted the best RB prospect since Barkley. This should have worked! Instead, he spent the year using him improperly if he even used him at all. Smith seemed like a guy who thought he was the smartest guy in the room playing 5d chess while everyone screamed at him to do the very obvious smartest thing. Sean Payton also deserves mention for publicly calling out Nate Hackett, losing to Nate Hackett, managing to pull the team into a winning streak, and trying to blackmail Russell Wilson. Payton, you are a huge asshole, and I missed you.

But let’s be real. Dan Campbell is like if every barbell plate in Planet Fitness voltron’d itself into human form and turned into your best bro. Dan seemed to take genuine offense to conservative coaching and charged directly into the enemy every time. It usually worked! It always got people mad! It took the Lions to heights they haven’t seen in 30 years and it may have also killed the season. I loved every minute of it.

Nominees: Aaron Rodgers Stuff, Taylor Swift, Wink/Daboll feud, Chandler Jones loses his mind, Bears coaches mystery resignation
Props to the commenter who reminded me of Chandler Jones posting some very uncomfortable stuff early in the season and getting arrested twice. That story was unfortunate and got lost in the noise. Also of note was the still very confusing Brian Daboll and Wink Martindale feud. The Giants were a mess and suddenly the DC walks out on the team, throwing a fit about a feud we still really don’t have much detail about. The Wink drama dangled over the team for the last third of the year. The Bears, at their lowest point, also had their coordinator just…up and leave and nobody’s sure why. But lets be real, this award had only 2 real competitors. Upon a lot of reflection, I’ve chosen:

The Taylor Swift phenomenon was undeniably insane. It dominated the media cycle. It led to outlandish conspiracy theories. It was probably the story of the season, for better and worse. But it was mostly just the media latching onto what seems like a normal high-profile celebrity relationship. Taylor and Kelce didn’t really do anything, it was all just reactions to them. It was also unsurprising once the news first came out. Rodgers on the other hand, he shouldn’t have even been a story once he went down, but he kept making himself one. We can go back to before the season even started with the darkness retreat and the manipulation of the Jets front office moves. He gets hurt, and instead of rehabbing quietly, he keeps going on McAfee’s show and hyping up his miraculous return. He tried to start a feud with Kelce over the Vax by calling him Mr Pfizer. He still got mad about Dr. Fauci in 2023. He obviously never had much chance of actually playing again but he couldn’t stop stoking that flame, and it clearly impacted how the Jets approached FO moves as they tried to prepare for it. But his most absurd bullshit of all was insinuating that Jimmy Kimmel was a pedophile for no other reason than he’s a troll and Jimmy has made fun of him before. Rodgers should have barely been a story after his injury. Instead, we talked about him more often than we talked about practically every other QB. I deliberately avoided hitting most of this during the season because Rodgers loves attention, so consider this my “I saw what you were doing, and it was stupid” moment.

Nominees: Firing Mike Vrabel, Promoting Matt Patricia, Firing Matt Canada, Signing Flacco, Jets not trying to find a replacement QB
As one commenter mentioned, this award was invented solely to reward the absolute insanity that was Hiring Jeff Saturday last year, and I doubt we will ever truly top that. But we still had some odd choices this season. The Steelers, for the first time ever, fired a coach mid-season by shoving Matt Canada out the open plug door of a new Boeing 737 Max. The Browns, desperate for any life, signed Joe Flacco off his couch, and it paid off! On the opposite front, the Jets lost Rodgers IMMEDIATELY and…never did anything about it? They simply threw Zach Wilson back out there and shrugged. No plan whatsoever. Mike Vrabel was probably the most surprising firing of the coaches and not somebody anyone seems to think was the problem. A few people mentioned David Tepper throwing a drink, but that wasn’t a football decision, just a tantrum. But they all pale in comparison to:

I think most people had problems thinking of nominees for this award, except for the people who remembered that the Eagles went full panic mode while still in control and promoted Matt Patricia to run the defense. Sean Desai wasn’t doing a great job but the team was still in a good place at the time, and the Eagles very quietly removed Desai for reasons that still aren’t clear and promoted the alleged rapist and confirmed bad coach Matt Patricia to…right the ship I guess? The Eagles would spend the rest of the season as one of the worst teams in the league and would rightfully get spanked out of the playoffs by a weak Tampa Bay team.

Nominees: Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Joe Burrow, Dre Greenlaw, DeShaun Waston
Thanks to the folks who suggested this award. Great idea. Every year there are a few injures that completely change the direction of a season in an instant. Joe Burrow’s calf hampered the Bengals chances early, Kirk Cousins going down halfway caused the flash of Josh Dobbs, and likewise Watson’s injury with the Browns brought Joe Flacco into the fold and changed everything for the Browns in a positive way. Special note must also be given to Dre Greenlaw, who tragically tore his achilles by simply running onto the field in the superbowl, an injury that very well may have doomed the 49ers. But I think we all know what has to be the winner here.

Aaron Rodgers’s Achilles lasted 4 game snaps before snapping itself and changing the trajectory of the entire season. All the hype was gone. The Jets season was instantly thrust into turmoil. Rodgers would go on to become an off-season media drama bomb. I don’t know how good the Jets would have been with Rodgers healthy this season, but you cannot deny the cosmic shift in vibe that occurred the instant he went down.

Nominees: Patriots, Panthers, Commies, Falcons, Chargers

The Chargers spent the first half of the season underperforming, got blown up by the Raiders, and then became total dreck. The Falcons couldn’t win convincingly all year. The Commies just wasted everyone’s time and Sam Howell was awful. The Patriots though? A lot of folks nominated them, but I think there was a perverse fascination in the Patriots fall. The constant benching of Mac Jones for Mac Jones 2. Losing 6-0 to the Chargers. Bill’s final game being his first loss to the Jets in ages. But it was captivating to see, in its own way, to watch a former titan reach the absolute lowest point. It was surreal. That was not the case for what I still feel is the clear winner.

The Panthers were not only an unwatchable football product, they were almost existentially depressing. Everyone on the team looked dead inside. Everyone on the sidelines looked vacant behind the eyes. Frank Reich looked like a McDonalds employee facing the 30th Karen of the day, knowing he still has 6 hours left on his shift. Bryce Young looked like a shell of his Bama self and may already be unsalvagable. David Tepper threw drinks at fans. A couple weeks into the season and you could already tell this team was going to be at the bottom of the heap, and they wouldn’t even get a top draft pick for their suffering. The future isn’t even bright now that they are through it and the suffering may be just beginning. The most feel-bad team of the year.


I wanted to also introduce a new idea, a sort of remembrance of Chaos of the past. To start us off I would like to have a class of 3 every year. One player, one game, and one moment. Here is what I’ve chosen.
Player: Barry Sanders. No player in history has done a better job in telling the laws of physics to eat shit than Barry Sanders. Barry was a human joystick, but he also could gt tackled for losses all the time due to the team he was on, and he never won anything meaningful in the playoffs. He would also just straight up walk out on the game out of nowhere, so close to the all-time rushing record. Barry Sanders was the epitome of Chaos and a class act and I can think of no player more fitting to be our first inductee.
Game: Cardinals/Seahawks 6-6 tie. In the past 3 decades of my life I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed harder at a game than when the Seahawks also missed the game-winning field goal in overtime. The game was an absolute slog that got funnier and funnier as it closed in on a result as everyone watching it collectively began to lose their collective sanity, and Pete Carroll’s reaction to the miss remains etched in my brain forever. Utter nihilistic classic and one of my favorite games of all time.
Moment: The Miracle In the Meadowlands. The OG. There are very few games that can claim they ended on such monumental stupidity. All the Giants had to do was take a knee and run out the clock and the game was won. Instead, Bob Gibson, the OC of the Giants, refused to take the fall down-call (The kneel-down did not exist yet) and forced the Giants to pointlessly run a play none of the players wanted to run. The Giants would fumble the handoff and Herman “You play to win the game” Edwards recovered it for the game-winner. Bob Gibson, who the players hated, was fired the next day and never coached in football ever again, at any level. This moment is the reason we have the victory formation in football now.

Next year I’ll gonna come up with a list of potential nominees we can vote on for the next class of Chaos.


Thanks for this wonderful season of nonsense, thank you again for your nominations, and I’ll see you fuckers next week when we can start the offseason in earnest!