The product has been pretty bad, but not every game in Week 10 is a dumpster fire…
So the commissioner has fed us the pile of crap with his take on why NFL ratings are down. The first thing Roger Goodell said was that the ratings weren’t down. Which is a bold-faced lie. The next thing is that we didn’t know how to properly quantify it. Also kind of a bold faced lie, but fine Roger, whatever you say.
I’m a firm believer that there have been two main reasons why NFL ratings have been down across the board this year.
A. The election. People were glued to the major news networks during the crazy election cycle. Now with Donald Trump elected, I don’t really think that will change. There’s a constant thirst for information with Trump, and everything else going on with the political climate in this country. Most people think that now the election has come and gone, the ratings will go up. I think they might go up a little bit, but I’m not sure it will be the cure-all everyone thinks.
2. This is the big one and why I honestly believe that ratings are down: THE GAMES SUCK. The onfield quality has been garbage. There have rarely been more than a couple of games each week where football fans (and not the ones rooting for their team) want to carve out the time and watch the game. The primetime lineup has been really shitty too – why the Chicago Bears had four of their first eight games in primetime is mind boggling – so now let’s see if things change.
I took the time to evaluate all 12 games this Sunday, and ranked them 1-12 for easiest and hardest to watch. I’m diving into the Top 3 and Bottom 3 to not bore you with 12 game breakdowns. Since I’m a cynical guy, let’s start with the three worst.
Game No. 12: Los Angeles Rams at New York Jets
What a stinker. What a dud. What a God-awful football game. When I was looking at each game, I was looking for a handful of things. Exciting players, rivalries, playoff implications, etc. Want to know what this game has? Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Case Keenum. Gross, puke, blah. My God.
The Jets have been a dumpster fire all year. The Rams and the perennially .500 Jeff Fisher are right on track to do the same. There isn’t an ounce in my body that wants to watch any of this game. What a hot piece of garbage this one will be. No thank you.
Game No. 11: Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Oddly enough, this one actually has some playoff meaning, but that’s only because the AFC South is the worst division in football. Another titillating QB battle between Brock Osweiler (Robert Pattinson, aka Twilight guy) and Blake Bortles leads the way in this divisional battle. Sure these teams are kind of rivals? I guess so. But if a game between two shitty franchises in a horrendous happens and nobody watches, does it even matter?
The wide receivers in this game are exciting, but it’s not enough to move the needle on this Sunday disaster.
Game No. 10: Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Speaking of teams with no shot in hell of making the playoffs, welcome in the Bears and Buccaneers! A non-divisional game on the Sunday slight has the possibility of being intriguing (more on that later), but this one just has no juice. Smokin’ Jay Cutler against Jameis Winston is an alright quarterback matchup, but the bad football played in this one should be pretty spectacular.
Both teams toss the pigskin around, and often get picked in the process. I think this will be a turnover fest, and another instance of bad football being bad football.
The not so awful you want to break your TV slate
9. Dolphins at Chargers
8. Chiefs at Panthers
7. 49ers at Cardinals
6. Vikings at Redskins
5. Packers at Titans
4. Broncos at Saints
Game No. 3: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
Alrighty, now we’re getting somewhere. Two pretty darn good football teams, exciting offenses, and playmakers on defense. This is what we’re looking for! Matty Ice against Carson Wentz is a fantastic matchup under center, and both teams like to air it out. These are two teams that are right in the thick of the NFC playoff picture, and who look like actual contenders.
This game should be back and forth, and makes me want to tune in just as an average fan. It’s games like this where the league can draw in the football fan, and get them watching from opening kickoff to final whistle.
Game No. 2: Dallas Cowboys at Pittsburgh Steelers
Dak and the ‘Boys at Big Ben and the Steelers. If not for the Super Bowl rematch, this game would take the cake. It’s filled with stars – Dak, Zeke & Dez vs. Ben, Brown & Bell – and has two teams that look like Super Bowl contenders. It’ll be on a grass field, in the elements, and feature two of the more prominent teams in NFL history.
As long as neither offense stalls, this game should be entertaining from start to finish. Sure these teams don’t play each other very often, but the classic matchup shines a light on the national stage about the olden days of the league. This should be awesome.
Game No. 1: Seattle Seahawks at New England Patriots
Get off your “Tim’s a Patriots fan and a homer” high horse here. This is the game of the weekend, bar none. It’s a rematch of one of the best Super Bowl meetings of all time. It features two of the top coaches in the league, two of the best quarterbacks in the league, and two of the best (statistically) defenses in the league. In what could be a possible SB preview, it’s everything you could want.
Best of all, this game will be on Sunday Night football. It’s in front of a national audience, and not competing against anything else in the league. This is one of the best regular season matchups of the year, and it’ll be worth watching for everyone.
That’s it for Tim. Enjoy the Sunday slate. What do you think are the best and worst games of the weekend? Let me know & follow Tim on Twitter, @culvey13.