NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Come back, Rob Ryan. All is forgiven.
As the Saints and Drew Brees limp down the stretch of what figures to be the worst season of the Sean Payton era, Ryan's credentials "in absentia" might be the only ones connected to this team and this organization that are embellished by the quality of the Saints' play.
Maybe it wasn't all his fault after all.
No. There's more than enough blame to go around here - and everywhere around the NFL after this past weekend - including 345 Park Avenue, NFL headquarters in New York City, where across the Hudson River, the Giants and Panthers in what should have been the marquee game of the weekend were allowed to leave a stain on the NFL shield that can't be scrubbed away, no matter how hard Roger Goodell rubs.
Odell Beckham Jr. feels intimidated by a Panther wielding a baseball bat in his vicinity in warm-ups and allegedly targeting him with homophobic slurs. Apparently wearing a baseball cap on the sideline that isn't licensed by the NFL will get you fined and reprimanded, but it's perfectly ok to pack a lethal weapon.
That allegedly provoked Beckham to engage Josh Norman in a series of confrontations that somehow resulted in neither player's ejection and a mere one-game suspension of Beckham subsequently for turning the NFL into the WWE for an afternoon.
That occurred under the ever-vigilant eye of referee Terry Mcauley, who has the eye of a raptor compared with last night's referee Pete Morelli. Morelli and his crew, who have been involved in a number of controversial - if not botched - calls in their history, including one earlier this year that led to their demotion from a nationally televised game, were back in the big time again on Monday Night Football.
The result could very well be the only time in league history that a team - in the Lions - was allowed to call time-out when they had none left, a faux pas so unprecedented there isn't even a rule to penalize the infraction.
But as we see on a weekly basis, the NFL has a lot of rules, some of which are actually enforced, and even some of those, accurately.