A Boring NFL Season?
So far the NFL season has been boring. As predicted, the good teams have beaten the bad teams with rare upsets victories. The bad teams are bottoming out, with six teams having two wins or fewer; last season only four teams had two losses at this point and no team has fewer than two wins (as of week 10 in the NFL season). It is like they are trying to lose. Additionally, there haven’t been many games with top teams playing each other, though on Nov. 11 the Seahawks (7-2) 49ers (8-1) will, but that was one of the few outliers. The teams that are at the top of their divisions look like they will run away with them as there are very few close races. The records of the 49ers (9-1), Bills (7-3) and Colts (6-4) have been pleasant surprises and some teams have underachieved more than expected but there hasn't been much unpredictability in what should be an unpredictable game. The teams that everyone thought would be good this year are good and the teams that everyone thought would be bad are bad.
That being said, the season doesn’t look to remain boring. Many of the good teams were granted an easy schedule to start their seasons. The back half of the season has many great games in store. The Patriots only played three teams over .500 in their first nine games; in their final seven games they will play five teams above .500. The 49ers, the surprise of the season, will show us if they are contenders or pretenders as their schedule gets significantly tougher including games against the Ravens (8-2) and Saints (8-2) on the road later this year.
While the top teams may have gotten a break in the early games of the season, many of them will play each other in the remaining weeks. Week 12 gives us the Eagles versus Seahawks as well as the 49ers vs Packers. Thanksgiving gives us a game that would’ve been considered boring before the season, but the Bills and Cowboys have both become top teams and look to make noise in the playoffs.
Moreover, due to the disparity in the league, we should be in for a very good postseason. This season has given us around 8 to 12 top teams with at least half of those teams looking like Super Bowl contenders. This year’s playoffs should give us many close games which should give us a great finish to the season. Last season had a similar hype to the postseason where we were expecting many close, thrilling games, but we were left disappointed as many were one-sided victories. This year we will be able to indicate if the postseason will be good depending on these weeks to cap off the season. If we get close games between the top teams, then we should expect the same come January.
Is this disparity between teams good for the league? The common trend in all leagues is despite the league being tainted by a large imbalance in power, the fans want to see the top two or three teams try to become dynasties instead of a ton of teams have an equal or similar chance of winning a championship. When it comes to sports, equality isn’t appreciated by the fans, they want to see greatness (and terribleness, inevitably). Baseball was the national sport in the 1950s before football became America’s game. During that time, the New York Yankees won six titles in 10 years and 10 titles in 16 years. If you were watching the World Series, you were either rooting for the Yankees (as a fan of the team or for the dynasty) or you were rooting for the opposing team out of hatred.
Fans may consider the 2019-’20 NFL season may be considered great at the end. If the playoffs are great and the finish to the season is memorable than that is probably all we’ll remember. We have to keep in mind that the main reason behind this is the disparity in the league, which may taint this season for those that want to see competitive football every week by every team.
Photo Caption: The National Football League has had an overall unremarkable season so far
Photo Credit: pixhere