We at Delta Attack are officially calling Peyton Hillis’ 2011-2012 campaign cursed. With half the season over, Browns RB #40 has just 60 carries for 211 yards and two touchdowns. He has played in four out of the eight games this season and is set to miss today’s game versus the St. Louis Rams.
You may recall Peyton Hillis sat out against the Miami Dolphins with the vile, deadly strep throat virus. Is it a virus? Bacteria? Whatever. Mankind cannot know and scientists only guess for fear their throats would explode were they to come into contact with a sample.
Since then, Hillis has had a number of bad breaks. Contract negotiations were put off after he stated that his agent advised him not to play in the September 25th Dolphins game. The running back then suffered a hamstring injury in the 17-24 loss at Oakland.
Then the worst possible thing that could happen did. Peyton Hillis suffered the worst defeat any man could: marriage.
Teammates questioned his timing of getting married during the season, regardless of the fact that it was an “off” Tuesday, when he could have been rehabilitating to get back into game shape. It wasn’t but a few months ago that it was revealed that he was engaged. Backup QB Seneca Wallace alluded to bad “influences” that Hillis may have in his life.
Locker room leaders reportedly had a talk with Hillis in an attempt to get his focus back. Regardless of the hamstring injury, Hillis went out to practice with the team after the stern talks.
He promptly aggravated his hamstring injury. That was two weeks ago.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer tweeted the following on Twitter three days ago:
“For anyone wondering how bad #Peyton Hillis’ hamstring is, it’s an angry black-and-blue. Still looks pretty bad. (He’s rule out this week).”
Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmer has stated that they have not considered putting Hillis on injured reserve, yet, but with just eight weeks remaining and at least one more game before he can play, it’s safe to say that Peyton Hillis has been stricken by the curse. He would need to average 112.7 yards a game over the last seven games of the season to break 1,000 rushing yards. While possible, Hillis is not on fresh legs and has not looked like the dominant back that dominantly dominated defenses with dominance.
Last week, The Plain Dealer reported that the Cleveland Browns were prepared to let Peyton Hillis’ contract expire. It would likely be a mistake, but if the team feels he’s a cancer, then it may be for the best. ESPN’s Adam Schefter, a more reliable and well-connected source than those of The Plain Dealer, has since verified that “nobody expects” Peyton Hillis to be re-signed.
As a Browns fan, I thought we finally had a missing puzzle piece. Hillis is a young, powerful runner who hasn’t had a good lead blocker this year with the departure of FB Lawrence Vickers. Rookie FB Owen Marecic was a poor investment and is a far cry from Vickers, whose poor hands made him expendable in the West Coast Offense. Plus, the Tennessee Titans are getting way less out of RB Chris Johnson, who they just gave an enormous contract to after holding out prior to the season.
But his personal troubles, perhaps caused by an inflated ego that came with landing the Madden Cover he surely didn’t deserve as much as Aaron Rodgers, Jamaal Charles, or Michael Vick (all players whom he beat out), are not necessarily the Madden Curse at work. There are a number of reasons Peyton Hillis has failed this season. How many can be traced to Madden NFL 12?Tweet
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|Fade to Slack is a founding member of Delta Attack, an American expatriate in South Korea, and a true believer in the legitimacy of mobile gaming.
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Fade to Slack has written 308 posts on Delta Attack.