Tuesday, January 31, 2017

And Then There Were Two

The Super Bowl match up has been decided. The Atlanta Falcons will face the New England Patriots in SB LI in Houston Texas. Both teams won decidedly continuing the theme of these NFL playoffs. Except for one game these playoffs have been a disaster. No losing team put up a fight except for the Dallas Cowboys who lost to the Green Bay Packers by 3 points and the Kansas City Chiefs, who lost their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers despite the fact they didn't allow a touchdown. The loss by the Cowboys may have been the biggest upset in these playoffs. Considering that going into the game the Cowboys were favored to come out of the NFC as champs.

The Patriots had an easy run through these playoffs. No real team in the AFC stood up to the Patriots as they cut through their opponents like a warm blade through butter. The Steelers were supposed to be their biggest obstacle, but once LeVeon Bell got hurt it made it easier for Belichick to lock down star wide receiver Antonio Brown and that ended their run at Super Bowl glory. This Falcons' offense is supposedly the biggest obstacle for the Patriots, but that was said about the Steelers. I believe the Falcons have too much on offense and will overwhelm the Patriots to the score of 42-21. The Falcon defense has been playing better as of late and will disrupt the flow of the Pats offense by focusing on the slant receivers which have been what has really been the difference in these games for the Patriots.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Second Round with the Save

As America's favorite sport starts its playoff rounds there has been nothing but disappointment. Blow outs in the first round has made these games almost unwatchable (even though I did sit down and watched the majority of these games). Six of the eight games that have been played in these playoffs have been won by over 13 points and the closer games were close because of garbage time points. The problem I see goes back to the overexertion of players. Thursday night games can't help players be ready when needed. This is watered down football and even so the amount of damage players are going through has to effect these playoff games. The short turn around from Sunday night/afternoon to Thursday night  has to take an immense toll on players and since the NFL is making bank on the Thursday night game those games are not going anywhere.

The games between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys may have saved these playoffs. Both games were tight, full of drama and going for it on 4th downs. Compared to the blowouts of the first round these two games have given validation to just how good the NFL can be. The problem I see is with how much the NFL wants to increase its exposure it's all at the cost of the player. Between midseason trips to Europe and games on short rest the toll on the player is at an all time high. A team has the potential to go from California to London to play a Sunday 1pm game to then travel back to play a game in a random city in America and then play a Thursday game after that with just a bye week (rest week) between those 3 games. That's going to hurt the game, the playoffs, and the player, but as long as the NFL cashes in there's no rest for the weary.