The new football season is upon us. Well, to be more accurate, as this is being written in mid August, the preseason is upon us and the part of the year that matters is inching closer. What doesn't change year to year, is the fact that the regular season seems to take forever to get here, and while preseason is better than no football, it still amounts to games that don't matter, with teams keeping starters off the field, and every now and again, a player going down with an injury during, let's say it again, a game that doesn't count.
While we can moan and complain about how long the regular season is taking to get here, a little patience will go a long way and get us to early September. With every new season comes a new set of stories, plays, convicts, mishaps and of course because it's now 2017 and most people communicate primarily through captioned pictures, you can always bet on some savage memes every time anything happens.
There are plenty of long-standing NFL memes that will get repeated every year, such as Roger Goodell fining someone for something ludicrous, players getting caught doing stupid things off the field, and of course, any player who gets into a nasty slump of dropping passes, throwing interceptions, or fumbling the ball will get savage meme treatment. While any player can become the subject of a meme thrashing on the web, quarterbacks, often being the face of the team (that'll happen when you're arguably the most important player on the roster), generally take the worst from the internet meme-lords. With that in mind, here are twenty vicious, savage quarterback memes. While we could have just done a Tom Brady, Colin Kaepernick, or Jay Cutler memes list, we have memes featuring numerous field generals from all corners of the league.
20 Smokin' Jay Cutler
After being cut by the Bears, we all thought that we had seen the last of Jay Cutler. His three unremarkable years in Denver followed by eight in Chicago would have been a full career, albeit with some serious ups and downs. Alas, Ryan Tannehill still wasn't ready to return to the field, so Cutler got the one year, $10 million deal.
There are tons of memes about this guy, including some that call him the Packers' greatest quarterback, and others that just mock his decision making and interception prone play. Of course, there is also a wealth of memes online that play on the idea that Jay Cutler just doesn't care. Finally, the one we chose is none other than Smokin' Jay. It's simple, photoshop a cigarette into Jay's mouth in any picture and it works. He is the most apathetic looking athlete on the face of the Earth.
19 Crying Brady and the Deflatriots
This one is fairly well known and reflects the fact that Tom Brady may be the most polarizing NFL player who hasn't committed a violent crime. Seriously though, depending on who you talk to, he's either the greatest of all time, or he's a cheating scumbag who wouldn't have a single ring without Bill Belichick's coaching and some very sketchy practices including instances of cheating.
But whether you like him or not, he has five rings, and they aren't going away. With that said however, "Bradying," the act of sitting as Tom is, while making a face like he is, makes for a great meme, especially when making reference to Brady's most infamous and drawn out cheating scandal.
18 The Resemblance is Uncanny
Back in his rookie year, Derek Carr looked solid but was dealing with a rough overall team in Oakland. His second year was significantly better and his third year was even better. His completion rate, yards per game, and touchdown to pick ratio have all improved steadily throughout his first three years in the league, and with Marshawn Lynch having been added to the roster during this offseason, Raiders fans have plenty of reason to be excited.
While we're impressed by what he does on the field, we can't stop laughing at the ridiculous resemblance he bares to Sid, the antagonist, toy massacring kid in Toy Story. There was a brief and hilarious Twitter exchange between Carr and a couple of teammates earlier this year regarding his cartoon doppelganger.
17 The Red Rifle
It may surprise some people to hear that Andy Dalton, the epitome of the mediocre-but-not-terrible quarterbacks in the NFL, has been to three Pro Bowls. Of course, each of those appearances was the result of a better quarterback being injured or playing in the Super Bowl. The point of this meme is however, that he has been atrocious in his four playoff appearances over the years. Over those four games, his completion percentage is 55.7, his QB rating is 57.8, and over the course of those four games, he has a single touchdown pass and six interceptions. Needless to say, the Bengals, who haven't won a playoff game since 1991, are 0-4 with Dalton in the playoffs.
Years ago, the animated sitcom South Park started the brilliant joke that red-haired "ginger" people have no souls, so with that in mind, Dalton is winless with regard to both his soul count and his playoff win count.
16 So Close Every Year
This meme, which seems to be taking a crack at Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' last three years in which they came very close to a Super Bowl appearance. In 2014, they had a commanding lead over the Seattle Seahawks but blew it and then lost in overtime. The 2015 season brought another heart-breaker, as they launched an amazing comeback against the Cardinals, but once again, lost a close one in OT. In 2016, they beat the Giants in the Wild Card, narrowly beat the Cowboys in the divisional but absolutely blew up against the Falcons in the NFC championship.
Aaron already has his Super Bowl ring, but it is heart breaking to get so close every year and then lose.
15 Such a Catastrophic Disappointment
Hats off to everyone who predicted that Johnny Manziel, or as we like to call him "Johnny Who No Longer Plays Footall," would be a major bust in the NFL. Recent rumors have indicated that he may be looking into a possible career in the CFL. He might be a better fit in that league, in which a smaller, more mobile quarterback can move around more. Of course, he'll have to stop partying all the time, and actually pay attention to a playbook.
This picture is a meme within a meme, incorporating the old joke about Manti Te'o and his non-existent girlfriend to mock Manziel for turning the wrong direction to hand off the ball. This former Heisman winner may have a career in the CFL, but at this point it would be surprising if we ever saw him in the NFL again.
14 Bortles Needs Bench
Blake Bortles isn't a terrible quarterback. He's still relatively young, and his overall play has improved over the course of his first year, but regressed to some extent in his third. It doesn't help that for the most part, his team is extremely poor, having lacked a real workhorse running back for a few years, not to mention that defense that leaves a lot to be desired.
One interesting fact about Bortles is that for a few weeks back in late 2016, he had thrown more pick-sixes than he had won games, with 11 interceptions returned for touchdowns and just ten games won as of early December 2016. He evened these numbers up a few weeks later when they mangled the Titans in week 16, but that's still nothing to be proud of...the guy throws a lot of picks.
13 The Forehead!
Back in late December 2015, Al Jazeera America implicated Peyton Manning and his wife in a performance enhancing drug (HGH) report. Several months later, the NFL had completed their own investigation and determined there was no evidence to support this claim whatsoever. Surprising, we know, because Al Jazeera is what we all think of when we imagine a reliable source for sports information and honest journalism. While the scandal did next to nothing to tarnish Peyton's reputation, it did lead to this amazing meme. Honestly though, while some aspects of his face have stayed the same over the years, the size of his forehead looks like it has increased beyond just the receding hairline.
12 Big Ben and Bill
Earlier in the offseason there was some speculation that Big Ben Rothlisberger might be retiring. He decided not to and will play the 2017 season, but it may be his last. He's had a very impressive career. He was selected as the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2004, and his second season ended with the Steelers winning the Super Bowl. Three seasons later they won another one. He led the league in passing yards in 2014, and has had five trips to the Pro Bowl over the course of his career.
Unfortunately, for everything positive we can say about the guy, he'll always be remembered for his two sexual assault allegations in 2009 and 2010. He was never convicted or even formally charged, but allegations like that don't just go away...ask Bill Cosby.
11 Russell and The Fail Mary
Russell Wilson may always be known as the quarterback who threw a pick during one of the poorest play calls in the history of the game. This was of course Malcolm Butler's pick late in Super Bowl XLIX back in early 2015. To be fair to him and everyone involved, it's obvious what they were trying to do. They had Marshawn in the backfield, but tried to go with a high percentage pass rather than doing what everyone would expect; give it to Beast Mode and let him pound it up the middle.
Of course, there was another game in which Wilson tossed a pick on one of the last plays of the game. It was the Fail Mary back in 2012, in which Packers safety M.D. Jennings looked like he had intercepted Wilson's hail Mary pass attempt. Of course, the replacement refs called it a touchdown for Golden Tate, giving the Seahawks a controversial win that ultimately ended the labor dispute between the league and it's referees.
10 Even The Browns Cut Him
Through his rookie year back in 2012, there was so much promise in Robert Griffin III. He was named to the Pro Bowl and received the honor of being named Offensive Rookie of the Year. He put up some impressive numbers and led the Washington Redskins to the playoffs, where they lost to the Seahawks in the Wild Card round. He posted a 102.4 passer rating as a rookie, throwing for 3,200 yards, rushing for over 800, along with a 4:1 touchdown to interception ratio and seven rushing touchdowns. The guy was on fire, but since that knee injury at the end of the 2012 campaign, he hasn't been the same, and as of March of this year, even the Cleveland Browns want nothing to do with this poor guy. He started five games last season and was unable to do much of anything for the Browns.
9 Romo's Hurt Again
Earlier this year, fourteen year Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo decided to call it quits and retired. Like many quarterbacks featured here, there may always be some serious disagreement about his place in the history of the Cowboys organization, and the game in general. He may always be known as a choker for having had a rough time in the playoffs, and others may just call him a wimp because, as this meme points out, he's spent a lot of time injured over the years. Ultimately, he was a great quarterback, with several Pro Bowl selections, a few NFL records and numerous Cowboys franchise records. His injuries that caused him to miss time between 2008 and last year included a broken finger, three times out with a broken collarbone, several back injuries, included a ruptured disc and a fractured vertebra.
8 This is Funny, But Turned Out to Be False
This meme is from the 2016 season, when Sam Bradford had been traded to Minnesota after a decent year with the Philadelphia Eagles. Early on in his career, Bradford didn't have a great completion percentage; it was between 60.7% and 53.5% during his four years with the St. Louis Rams. Nobody expected much from the Vikings last year, but they shocked the league, going 5-0 through their first five games. They would end up 8-8 on the season, missing the playoffs, partially due to Adrian Peterson's lack of playing time.
What shocked the football world however, is something that goes directly against the message of this otherwise funny meme. Sam Bradford had a 71.6% completion rate in 2016, beating Drew Brees' previous record of 71.2% for the best completion percentage for an entire season in the history of the league.
7 Taking Heat Off Brady
As we mentioned before, there are plenty of reasons for people to hate Tom Brady. He's a Patriot, first and foremost, and given that they are the current dynasty of the league, the entire team are a bunch of villains for most of the league. Brady was also the spokesperson for Uggs for Men, a company that most dudes out there mock. He and the team have been caught allegedly cheating multiple times, but gotten away with it every time. Finally, to top it all off, he has a supermodel wife.
With all that said, a small and slightly disrespectful gesture by Colin Kaepernick in 2016 made him the new target for fan hatred in the NFL. We're still in therapy because of this event, but for those who have forgotten, Kaepernick didn't stand for the national anthem in a protest against "racial oppression." Obviously we're joking about our shock, and NFL fans should be more offended by Kaep's atrocious play rather than his lack of vertical positioning during a poorly written song.
6 That's Gotta Sting
Depending on who you talk to, Joe Flacco is either an elite quarterback who isn't getting the respect he deserves, or he's one of the most useless QB's in the league and won a Super Bowl because of a strong defense. Obviously this meme was made by a Flacco hater. For those who don't remember, Trent Dilfer was the Ravens quarterback when they won the Super Bowl back at the end of the 2000 season. Dilfer's play was completely unremarkable but he was a half decent game managing quarterback. In that Super Bowl, the Ravens played alright as a team, and Dilfer wasn't terrible, but the Giants giving up five turnovers was the biggest reason for the Ravens dominant win.
Flacco may not be an elite quarterback, and when the Ravens won the Super Bowl at the end of the 2012-13 season, he had a great defense in that season (and throughout most of his time with the team). In the playoffs in 2013, he put up great numbers, and despite there being some speculation over exactly where Flacco sits among the other quarterbacks in the league, we think he contributes significantly more to the Ravens than Dilfer did. On summation, the meme is funny, but somewhat inaccurate.
5 Pay Attention, Tannehill
In early August Miami Dolphins' QB Ryan Tannehill tore his ACL and was declared unable to play for the 2017 season. His replacement, Jay Cutler, will likely provide plenty of meme-worthy moments over the course of the season. Will the Phins' faithful miss Tannehill this year? That remains to be seen, as they basically replaced him with a guy who throws more picks but arguably has a better arm. Who knows how this mess is going to go.
Back in 2015, there were a couple of weeks in which Tannehill and center Mike Pouncey couldn't seem to get on the same wavelength, and gave up two safeties after botched shotgun snaps. The first of these botched snaps, which came against the Patriots in late October, was particularly funny because of the camera catching the terrified look on Tannehill's face as he watched the ball sail past him and into the endzone.
4 You Had a 25 Point Lead!!
The third overall pick in the 2008 draft, Matty Ice is putting together an impressive career for himself. He has a 93.6 career passer rating, which is tied for 11th all-time. His 64.9% completion rate isn't half bad, and his 2016 saw him lead the league in passer rating, and head to the Super Bowl. While he earned league MVP honors and Offensive Player of the Year, he and the Falcons unfortunately met Tom Brady and the Patriots in the big game, and we were reminded that when you need a flawless performance, Brady and Belichick are your best bet. Nearly all of football fandom wanted to see Brady lose this one, and it looked so promising, but Matt Ryan fumbled, the Falcons' defense fell apart, and Brady got his fifth ring.
3 From 2016
This classic meme came out in 2016 when it was announced that Tom Brady would be suspended for the first part of the season. The picture itself dates back to when Tom Terrific had long hair and someone drew a mustache on him, implying that the Patriots would do just about anything to get Brady on the field, including making up a phony quarterback and making him wear a fake mustache.
As we all remember the Patriots went 3-1 in those first four games, and ended the season with a 14-2 record. Not to bring up painful memories for everyone who cheers for another team, but not only did they do fine without Brady, they won the Super Bowl with him yet again, and the alter ego wasn't even necessary.
2 Never Forget The Butt Fumble
The "Butt Fumble" is one of those terrible plays that we will never be able to stop laughing at. Two years ago the Colts set up an atrocious fake punt and ended up looking like the buffoons of the league. We already mentioned the "Fail Mary," in which refs called a play a touchdown and an interception at the same time. With regard to the Butt Fumble, we have to wonder if Mark Sanchez' career would be viewed in a slightly different light were it not for this infamous play.
It could have been so simple. The play was blown from the start, as Sanchez had been mistaken as to what play the Jets were running. He scrambled to at least get close to the line of scrimmage before dropping and ending the play, but Patriots' defensive tackle Vince Wilfork pushed Brandon Moore into Sanchez, causing him to fumble the ball, which the Patriots picked up and ran back for six points. We hope that 2017 brings us a new ridiculous and terrible play like this, but the Butt Fumble will be hard to beat.
1 That's Why They Call Him The "Gun" Slinger
This scene was mocked by South Park a couple of years ago. The show has had a couple of recent seasons in which political correctness has been in their sights for ridicule. In this case, a character named PC Principal took offense at former Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre's reluctant "hand washing" clap for the newly gender transitioned Caitlyn Jenner at the ESPY awards.
The caption on this meme is a reference to an incident back in 2010. Favre was at the very end of his career, and was playing for the Vikings. He allegedly sexted Jenn Sterger, and sent some pictures of Brett Jr. While the NFL's investigation didn't determine conclusively that Favre had done anything wrong, this event remains a hilarious moment in the Gunslinger's career.