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The Weirdest Things that Happened in the NFL in 2014

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

Thanks to the New York Jets, the first item in the 2015 NFL Calendar of the Year is in the Athlon Sports notebook.

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As far as strange and bizarre happenings, IK Enemkpali’s sucker punch of starting quarterback Geno Smith — knocking the QB out for 6-19 weeks with a broken jaw — over a matter of $600 qualifies for the calendar of the weird.

On that note, let’s look back at all the strange developments from the 2014 season:

Aug. 30: The Vikings waive linebacker Mike Zimmer, depriving him of the opportunity to play for unrelated head coach Mike Zimmer.

Sept. 7: The Rams open the season with three undrafted quarterbacks on their active roster.

Sept. 7: Vontaze Burfict, attempting a sack, must leave with a concussion after spearing Joe Flacco in the cup.

Sept. 14: Every quarterback who throws an interception sees his team lose the game.

Sept. 14: Jacksonville’s first snap in Washington territory comes with 8:45 left in the contest.

Sept. 21: There are 25 points scored in the Patriots victory over the Raiders — 10 by Stephen Gostkowski, nine by Sebastian Janikowski and six by Rob Gronkowski.

Sept. 21: The Cardinals have only nine guys on the field when they block a 49ers field goal.

Sept. 21: Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch tears his ACL celebrating a sack, then claims afterwards, “I’d do it again, brother.”

Sept. 28: The Packers top the Bears, 38–17, as for just the second time in NFL history, neither team punts.

Oct. 6: Percy Harvin has three touchdowns against Washington called back, including two on successive plays, because of penalties.

Oct. 12: For a few minutes of real time, all four games currently underway are tied during the second quarter.

Oct. 12: The Bucs run a dozen consecutive plays that fail to gain a yard against the Ravens.

Oct. 19: Both Drew Brees and Brian Hoyer throw 10 consecutive passes without completing one — their teams’ longest droughts in 12 and 20 years, respectively.

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Oct. 26: The Cardinals and Eagles combine for 104 passing attempts, yet no quarterbacks are sacked.

Oct. 26: For the second time in three seasons, the Patriots score three touchdowns in less than a minute.

Oct. 26: Jets quarterback Geno Smith completes more passes to the Bills (three) than to his own team (two).

Nov. 2: Carson Palmer wins for a fifth straight time when he is intercepted in his first drive.

Nov. 8: Justin Bieber attends the Steelers’ weekly Bible study.

Nov. 9: After winning their previous two games with scores at 0:00 and 1:48, Detroit does it again at 0:29.

Nov. 9: Anquan Boldin drops as many passes (four) in the first half as he did in all of 2013.

Nov. 9: After recording only one takeaway in their first nine games, the Jets come up with four in an upset of Pittsburgh.

Nov. 9: Jay Cutler falls to 1–10 with 22 interceptions against his team’s archrival, the Packers.

Nov. 13: The Bills have not scored a TD on their last 21 “drives.”

Nov. 16: The Chiefs dump the Seahawks, 24–20, despite completing only two passes (for nine yards apiece) to wide receivers.

Nov. 16: Mark Sanchez tops 300 yards and throws for multiple TDs in his first start for the Eagles — something he never did in 62 starts as a Jet.

Nov. 16:J.J. Watt is flagged for roughing the punter twice in the first half.

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Nov. 17: Ben Roethlisberger moves to 18–0 when opposing a rookie quarterback.

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Nov. 18: After his Wikipedia entry lists him as deceased, Emmanuel Sanders tweets a photo of himself surrounded by comely females, which he captions, “I must be in heaven.”

Nov. 20: When the Raiders upset the Chiefs, teams with QB Matt Schaub on their roster end their 24-game losing streak.

Nov. 27: Although there never before had been two games ending in a 19–3 score in any NFL season, the Seahawks prevail 19–3 for the second straight week.

Nov. 30: Washington ends its drought of nine entire games and 38 futile attempts by converting a play of 3rd-and-10 or longer into a first down.

Nov. 30: Home teams outscore the visitors 72–16 in the early-kickoff portion of the slate.

Nov. 30: The Steelers tie an NFL record for first downs in a loss by recording 36.

Dec. 3: Peter King calculates that Colin Kaepernick uses 87 words to respond to the 32 questions asked of him at San Francisco’s weekly presser.

Dec. 3: Thirteen years after being released by the Cowboys, Ryan Leaf is released from prison.

Dec. 4: Arian Foster conducts his entire post-practice interview speaking with a British accent.

Dec. 4: For just the second time ever, a quarterback (Tony Romo) completes 80 percent of his passes and a teammate (DeMarco Murray) rushes for more than 175 yards.

Dec. 7: The Panthers, who had scored a total of 30 first-quarter points in their first 12 games, hang 17 on the Saints in the first nine minutes.

Dec. 7: After never having allowed a single player to record more than 3.0 sacks in a game against them in their history, the Dolphins do so for a third time in 2014.

Dec. 7: St. Louis’ captains for the pregame toss in Washington are the six players who were taken with the draft picks dealt for Robert Griffin III.

Dec. 7: The Seahawks limit a third straight foe to its season low in points and yards.

Dec. 14: Seven different Packers receivers drop one pass apiece in a loss to Buffalo.

Dec. 15: Of Jay Cutler’s five “completions” that travel more than 10 yards, three are caught by the Saints.

Dec. 15: Jets owner Woody Johnson, who employs John Idzik as his GM, accidentally “favorites” a tweet from a fan that says: “@woodyjohnson4 You really need to #FireIdzik at this point. The roster is garbagio.”

Dec. 18: The Titans reach the end zone on an opening drive for the first time in 18 games but lose to the Jaguars anyway.

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Dec. 21: The Bucs, Bills and Colts combine for 30 rushing yards on 37 carries in their losses.

Dec. 28: On the 229th pass of his career, Ryan Lindley throws his first touchdown.

Dec. 28: Antonio Brown takes a punt to the house for the third time in his career — all against Cincinnati.

Dec. 28: Kansas City is the third team (and first in 54 years) to go through a season with no TD catches by a wide receiver.

Dec. 28: Russell Wilson fumbles for the 12th and 13th (and final) times of 2014 — all of them recovered by his own team.

Dec. 28: Seattle ends its regular season with a 29th victory by 10 or more points since suffering its last loss by that margin.

Jan. 3: Ryan Lindley averages 1.3 yards on his 32 dropbacks in Arizona’s wild card loss to Carolina, failing to gain yardage on 21 of them.

Jan. 4: Matthew Stafford falls to 0–18 in his career (playoffs included) in road games against teams that finished the season over .500.

Jan. 4: Andy Dalton starts and finishes his fourth playoff game without ever having thrown a pass with the lead.

Jan. 18: Russell Wilson targets Jermaine Kearse six times in the NFC Championship Game, the first four of which are intercepted, the fifth falling incomplete and the last resulting in a TD to win the game in OT.

Jan. 18: For the eighth consecutive time (including the last four in which the winning team trailed in the fourth quarter), the NFC title contest is decided by seven or fewer points.

Jan. 29: The LOWEST price of a Super Bowl ticket on the NFL ticket exchange website, three days before the game, is $10,375.

Jan. 30: New Buffalo coach Rex Ryan, whose arm is tattooed with his wife wearing a Jets jersey, has her shirt re-inked from green to blue.

Feb. 1: Russell Wilson’s late interception to hand New England the Super Bowl title is the first thrown by a quarterback from the opponent’s 1-yard line all season.

This story and more is available in the 2015 Athlon Sports Pro Football Preview Magazine, available online and on newsstands everywhere.