NFL: A League of Overreactions

To me, the best part of the National Football League is the overreactions.  One week ago, the Cowboys were on top of the world.  They finally dispelled the demons from Big Apple who gave them their only two regular season losses a year ago.  That momentum and confidence they gained with a Week 1 win dissipated this week with every cutting C.J. Anderson run, with every Trevor Siemian touchdown pass.  The Broncos dismantled the Cowboys in all aspects of the game as Anderson ran for 118 yards and a touchdown and improving Siemian threw for four touchdowns while the “No-Fly Zone” held a team that moved the ball at will last year to only 17 points and only 278 yards.  Now the Cowboys are back to ground zero.  Dak Prescott was “exposed” (of course he wasn’t actually. It’s hard to play when your receivers can’t get open, and you have no running game), and Ezekiel Elliot was shut down for the first time in his career.  The Cowboys must prove themselves once again next week to get back on track.  The Patriots, who had their first fourth quarter collapse at home in the Brady-Belichick, went into the Superdome and put up 36 points while giving up 13 points through the first 55 minutes.  Brady, who everyone tagged once again as washed up and too old, threw for three touchdowns in the first quarter for the first time in his career, and he proved to everyone that he’s not planning on slowing down anytime soon.

Every year, through the first month of the season, the sky is falling for near half the NFL franchises.  But by the time playoffs role around, half of those teams have come from the depths of despair and roared back into playoff contention.  The Green Bay Packers, the Seattle Seahawks, and the New England Patriots are all teams that take losses early in the year for wins in December and January.  That is the what the league is now.  With less time during OTAs and training camp, team’s need to be improving throughout the season.  Each team is only a shadow of itself Week 1, needing until at least half way through the season to really reach peak performance.  In this way, the NFL is becoming more like College Football.  Teams are improving week to week and late runs define the destiny of top competitors, which brings me back to the point.  The NFL is a league that is always changing: Year-to-year, week-to-week, day-to-day, minute-to-minute.  We, the fans, overreact.  We analyze and debate, and we think we have everything figured out.  But we never really do, and that is why every Sunday for four months we are glued to the screens, watching everything we thought we knew slip away in a second.  We overreact, and that is why football season is so much fun.

 

Featured Image: AP Photo/Joe Mahoney

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