Monday, August 15, 2011

Approaching NFL Season- More of the Same?

The NFL preseason games are already underway and the regular season itself will begin in a few weeks. This is arguably the most anticipated NFL season in recent memory. For a time it was unclear whether or not the season could be saved in the face of the lockout. When a new agreement was reached, the floodgates opened and free agency began with a bang. The shortened off-season and preseason required teams to make drastic free agent moves, which produced a flurry of media sensation. Obviously, some teams made a bigger splash then others (I'm looking at you Philly). However, in spite all of the last minute drama and built up excitement that's occurred, I can't help but think: isn't all of this hype a little unnecessary?
Now, to be clear-- I am ecstatic that the NFL season is going to happen (even though I'll be halfway around the world and will only see what ESPN decides to throw my way). But the historical record of Super Bowl winners indicates this: your team needs to have a very good quarterback and a very good defense to win it all. Only two teams within the past decade have won the Super Bowl without a Pro Bowl quarterback (Baltimore and Tampa Bay), but they had defenses that could quite literally score points on their own and they reliably allowed minimal offensive progress. Obviously, this is mostly common sense. Anyone who knows football knows this to be true. But I think its extremely important to keep this in mind heading into the regular season-- because it truly does eliminate some of the unpredictability of the game moving forward.
All games are dependent on chance and luck to some degree. Injuries play the biggest role. One injury could easily rob a team for a chance at the title. Sometimes teams gel together in an unpredictable fashion, and sometimes they falter out of the blue. But football, unlike other sports, realistically comes down to one man: the quarterback. If a team doesn't have a championship caliber man directing the offense, they probably can't win it all. That should hold true this year-- no defense out there brings back memories of the 2000 Ravens. So if you told me that Green Bay, Philadelphia, Atlanta or New Orleans was going to play New England, Indianapolis, the Jets or Baltimore for the Super Bowl, you'd probably be right. This is not to say that teams expected to succeed in other sports don't or won't-- but rather that the NFL has two requirements that are consistently there on championship teams. Since there are only a handful of teams that seem to have those requirements as of now, it just seems a little less exciting.
But that doesn't really matter. It's football season. Let's go.
FYI-- Eagles are bringing home the Lombardi trophy.

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