How would you describe this past NFL season? Disappointing? Yeah, that’s the word I would use for it. You know it’s a bad year when they don’t even have enough good teams to fill all the playoff spots. After what was one of the best Super Bowl games ever played, it really dawned on me how pathetic the league was as a whole this year. In total, the league has 32 teams. Out of those 32 teams, only three of them were any good. Those three teams being the Patriots, Falcons, and Raiders.
Starting from the bottom, the Browns managed to win only one game. The 49ers didn’t fare much better, managing only a measly two wins. The Browns defeated the Chargers and the 49ers beat the Rams. Both of whom finished with five or less wins and are now in Los Angeles, so congratulations LA, you wanted a team, so there you go. Then you have last year’s 15-1 NFC championship Carolina Panthers who finished with only six wins. Their opponent in that championship were the 13-3 Arizona Cardinals who won a whopping seven games this season. Even the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos only managed to win nine games. Sure, they lost Peyton Manning at quarterback, but you could argue he didn’t win them that Super Bowl last year.
The worst part about this season is that even the 10 plus win teams were terrible. The Dolphins were the biggest fluke I have ever seen. They barely beat the Browns, thanks to a few missed field goals. The Packers looked nothing like the Packers all season, then they sort of turned it on at the end of the year. but they weren’t anything special. They got by on a surging Aaron Rodgers, despite no running game and spotty defense. Even the Seahawks, who have been consistent over the last few years had a bad team. Their running game was subpar, and they had probably the worst offensive line in the game. And not for nothing, but their defense, as good as it was seemed to be slowing down a bit at times.
Then you get the Giants and Steelers at 11 wins each. Two polar opposites. The Steelers had an awful defense but got by on their explosive yet inconsistent offense. Despite having Le’veon Bell, and Antonio Brown, there were games that they got blown out. On the other side of the spectrum you have the Giants who only averaged around 13 points a game, but thanks to what was probably the best defense in the game, that was enough. However, you saw at the end of their season when Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie went down, suddenly there were holes in their defense.
Then, at last, you have the Chiefs at 12 wins and the Cowboys at 13. They both made a strong case for being part of the good teams this year, but when you look closely, you see some holes in their stories. The Chiefs at times looked great. They had a good defense, and despite not having Jamaal Charles, their run game looked very effective. They even found a new emerging weapon in the speedster Tyreke Hill. But no matter how good that all sounds, Alex Smith just can’t seem to lead a team to the promised land. They had a good record, but look at who they played. And they never really blew any of those teams out, most of their games were close.
On the other hand, you have the Cowboys. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of hate for this but I didn't think they were anything special this season either. Take away that offensive line and this is a wildcard team, maybe. Obviously, you don’t hold that line against them, but without that line tell me the Cowboys are a good team. Tell me Dak Prescott is a franchise quarterback because I don’t see it. On top of that, once again, who did they play. According to ESPN, the Cowboys had the 4th easiest schedule in 2016. I’m not saying they were a bad team, they were just the best of the worst.
What scares me is how long will this last? Is the league headed for years of mediocracy?