6 Weeks In And Now The Season Begins
The NFL's ratings are down. There's a racist narrative going on that's blaming the anthem protest. Not all of the people who oppose the Anthem protest are racist, some of them just live in the reality of false patriotism. I won't go down the road of what I think false patriotism is, but I will say this much; Most American's only care about supporting Service Members when it's convenient for them. They get to stand for two minutes and hear the national anthem. They get to thank someone for their service. They get to criticize Colin Kaepernick, Brandon Marshall, etc from the comfort of their keyboard. This also has nothing to do with why the NFL's ratings are down. It's just easy narrative.
Football is a violent game. We are starting to learn that people probably shouldn't play it. Concussions are a serious issue. Not too mention the other life altering injuries players run the risk of getting playing the game. In my life I played football for more years than I didn't, and I find myself questioning if I should have. I think it's a great game, and it's valuable for young people but I doubt I'm going to let my kids play. I have doubts about it, and feel guilt when I watch at times. I know I'm not alone, some people stopped watching for the same reasons. Earl Thomas threw a punch this week, connected, wasn't flagged. The game isn't safe. That makes some people tune the game out.
Beyond America finding a conscious for the first time in American history, the NFL is largely just bad. There's a general lack of Great players, and a general lack of story-lines. Here's some of the NFL's top Headlines from the off-season and this season:
Russell Wilson gets married in a London Castle
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick revenge tour...again
Why do the Panthers suck
The Raiders trying to buy a playoff team
Richard Sherman got away with Pass interference to win the Seahawks a game
OBJ's love affair with the kicking net
The Minnesota Vikings defense.
Stop me if any of those made you jump out of your seat with excitement. There are two for me. Brady and Hoodie vs The World. The Vikings defense. That's it. Now let's look at some of the NFL's marquee players:
Russell Wilson-Still not comfortable from the Pocket but he is exciting
Derek Carr-Still making ill advised throws and hasn't beaten a winning team, but hey watch him come from behind against bad defenses
Zeke Eilliot-He's actually as good as advertised
Cam Newton-What's their record?
Calvin Johnson-Oh wait
Patrick Willis-Oh Wait
Marshawn Lynch-Oh Wait
Peyton Manning-Oh Wait
Aaron Rodgers-Playing like ass
The NFL's "stars" aren't exactly stars. Some might think they are, but in 2004 Favre, Manning, Vick, Brady, Warner, McNabb, Culpepper, Big Ben, Eli, Brees (Rivers sitting behind him and now they're two of the best in the game today and ever) Palmer, Hasslebeck were all better than the top 12 QB's in the league today. Daunte Cullpepper threw 39 TD's that year. Big Ben and Eli were rookies. Brees was coming into his own playing with La'Danian Tomlinson. The NFL is a QB driven league, and this group of guys playing today isn't that good. It's leading people to tune out.
One last note on the NFL's decline in quality, and ratings. Mark Cuban said it best; ""Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I'm just telling you, when you've got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That's rule No. 1 of business." The NFL could be adding casual fans with people jumping onto bandwagons, but they're losing the loyal customers they have had for years. Too many commercials making the games too long. Too many missed calls pissing of knowledgeable fans. Too many games being played on Thursdays.
I'm not Shocked
Raiders lost to a winning team. Still can't defend. Derek Carr still not playing at a level that can carry a team against another good football team. The Raiders are still an over rated football team without a win against a team with a winning record.
The Eagles lost back to back games. The beat the Browns, and Bears then had a fluke win over the Steelers. Carson Wentz and the screen game aren't carrying them any more. Vikings, Cowboys, Giants are the next 3. We can slow down the Eagles hype train finally I think. Kinda like I said a few weeks ago.
Aaron Rodgers is struggling. The Packers run a lot of ISO routes. For those who don't know, an ISO route is when you expect your WR to beat Man to Man coverage. Only the Packers only have 1 WR who can do that, Jordy "Always Open" Nelson. Only teams are aware of this and are playing him in a box coverage and the other guys just can't get open. The Packers NEED to get Aaron Rodgers more WR help, or a better coach calling plays. He's without a doubt the games most talented passer, and if they only get 1 Super Bowl out of him it's a waste. Kinda of the way the Saints wasted Drew Brees and Sean Payton by never getting a defense.
The Cowboys are winning. The tire defense out and then pound the ball second half with the leagues best OLine and a top 5 RB.
I am Shocked
Dolphins beat the Steelers. I thought the Dolphins were going 3-13 the way they've been looking. Guess not, they'll go 6-10 instead. Just good enough to keep not being good in the long run.
Buffalo ran the ball down the 49ers throats. That's what happens when you're down to MLB due to early retirement and two more due to injury and you're forced to play 4th quarter preseason guys. Also, the Bills run game has been worlds better since firing Greg Roman.
The Colts had a 100 yard rusher. First time it's happened in Andrew Luck's career. Luck has been fucked over by a drug addict owner, and idiot GM. It's such Bullshit when I hear people say; "Andrew Luck needs to play better." No, Andrew Luck needs to go to a team that isn't run by people who's heads are so far up their asses they don't know what day it is.
The Panthers have no pass rush. I'm completely blown away.
Week 7 to look for
Colin Kaepernick first start at home in over a year. The fans chanted at one point; "We want Kap. We want Kap." Will there be more cheers than boos this week?
Seahawks vs Cardinals. You can run the ball on the Seahawks if you stay committed to it. Their defense is predicated on speed, not being physical. The Cardinals have the best RB in football in David Johnson. But their coach loves to throw the football, a lot. The Cardinals can win the game if they slow down the Seahawks offense and don't abandon the Run. Either way, this might be a game worth watching, but it also might be a shit show.
Patriots vs Steelers. The Patriots might run away with the AFC now that Big Ben is going to miss extended time. More than a win, the Steelers need to show they can stay afloat while Big Ben misses a lot of time.
Jalen Ramsey vs Amari Cooper. Two of the best young players in the NFL. Ramsey has been as good as advertised at CB while Cooper has at WR. Better match up than it will be played up because the game features two QB's from the same draft.
Geno Smith is starting for the Jest. Maybe it makes a difference, maybe...
Thanks for reading.