Disappointing Year in the NFL?

This year, the NFL decided to clamp down on concussions and so as a result, they turned professional football into a semi-full-contact game. Defensive linemen barrel through the QB’s protection only to let him slip by out of fear of being penalized for actually hitting the opposing QB. You are no longer allowed to actually tackle opposing players (unless you are playing the Patriots and are tackling Vince Wilfork, in which case you will NEVER be penalized, despite the fact that he’s a defensive tackle and is not supposed to be held.

But I digress…

That’s not my biggest beef with the NFL this year – that dishonor belongs to the NFC west and the complete mediocrity of that division. The division will be won this year by the 7-8 St. Louis Rams. Yes, they are not even at .500 this season. While four teams in other divisions have better records (New Orleans Saints, NY Giants, Green Bay Packers and my Tampa Bay Buccaneers) only two of them will get into the playoffs because the Rams are guaranteed a playoff birth.

Let me ask you a question. If you were in a class of 32 students, divided into eight study groups of four students each, and if the top grade of each study group was guaranteed to graduate, how would you feel if after getting a B+ on an exam, you still failed because the leader of the worst study group passed because the rest of the students in his group got worse grades than his F?

This is the situation the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in this season. Despite the fact that they are 9-6 going into their final regular season game against the Saints, the Bucs will probably be eliminated from the playoffs. In their place will go the Rams.

Is it really a successful year if you are under .500? If it weren’t for the absolute mediocrity of the rest of their division, the Rams would be considered a terrible team. But because the Seahawks, 49ers and Cardinals are absolutely awful, the Rams get rewarded for their terrible play.

I know – I know. Life isn’t fair. But this is just plain wrong.


5 thoughts on “Disappointing Year in the NFL?”

    1. In an age of league parity, the NFC West has, as a whole, managed to be the epitome of one-dimensional and badly coached teams. The 49ers have Frank Gore and a fair to middlin D, but they aren’t a playoff team.

  1. I must disagree with you. #1. I suffered four or five concussions from age 12 through 20. Three were in football. By the end of that time, I could no longer play football or even basketball. Every time I took a little bump to my head I lost consciousness for up to 10 minutes. I could still walk around, but I had no clue what was happening. I still have problems at age 70 with it. Concussions must be stopped. If it takes reducing the level of head violence to do it, just do it. I believe that intentionally striking the opponents helmet with your own should call for banishment from the league for the remainder of the season.
    #2. The divisions that are weak are all but the west. The west teams are very evenly matched. That is why a team with even a losing record can represent the division. In the other divisions, only one or two teams can be considered to be even on par with the western teams. The rest are very subpar.

    1. I have no problem with penalizing players for intentional blows to the head but to fine everyone who hits hard in a football game is just too much. It is a full contact sport and the risk of getting hit never goes away.

      As for the NFC West, you’re entitled to your opinion. None of the teams look evenly remotely impressive. Football is a competitive sport and on the pro level, it is win or go home. Thus, why should teams who don’t win be rewarded above those that do?

  2. On the hits, I agree that blows to the helmet should be penalized. As far as this “devastating hits” rule goes, I think it is ridiculous. Blows to the helmet are objective, like lining up in the neutral zone. Devastating hits is a subjective concept, which makes it arbitrary at worst and debatable at best to penalize.

    And as far as the NFC West – the Pats did not look like a very impressive team when they won it. Yes, they had a stellar defense, but their offense wasn’t all that. Sure, Brady played solid that first year, but they squeezed in and got lucky in the Oakland playoff game. Now they are a dynasty. My 9ers need some help, no doubt, but Sam Bradford is rather beastly for his first year, especially considering what he has to work with. This is what I love about the NFL – you never know who will be in it for a Super Bowl run!

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