This season in the NFL, ratings are down. Down so much in fact that the NFL is researching why. I may have an answer to it. The NFL is becoming way too similar to the NBA.
In the NBA, there are usually only three teams per year that have the possibility to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Usually one LeBron James led team, the San Antonio Spurs, and finally one offensive juggernaut. If you are not a fan of those teams, you get to the point where you want your team to “tank” and try and get a top pick in the draft. If you are not bad enough to be one of those top pick teams, you are in a weird purgatory. You are not bad, but you are not very good. Maybe winning one playoff game as the 8 seed, or nearly missing out on the postseason.
The NFL is not the NBA. There is not a 7 game series in the NFL but, this year there are so many teams in that weird purgatory zone and there are pretty much only 4 teams capable of winning the Lombardi Trophy. The Patriots, Seahawks, Cowboys, and possibly Raiders are really the only teams that looked poised to actually win the Super Bowl. Me being a Bengals fan, at 3-6-1 I know they have talent but I WANT them to lose so they can get a higher pick. I know that if somehow they make the playoffs, they will not win anything (per usual). I feel as if most fan bases feel this same way.
19 of the 32 NFL teams have between 6 and 4 wins. No one is good this year. The Cowboys have the scary run attack, the Patriots are the Patriots, and the Seahawks have a tough defense like they have had for a while. Can you see anyone else beating these teams? If you are a Giants, Redskins, Chiefs, or Broncos fan, your hopes are high but, these three teams are so dominant right now. With Tom Brady, the Pats have only lost to the Seahawks. The Cowboys have not lost since week 1. The Seahawks are on a three game win streak and they usually heat up and start winning games around this time.
So if you are a fan, why watch? You know it is most likely going to be Patriots vs. Seahawks in Super Bowl 51. Alex Smith is not going to bring the Chiefs to the promised land. The Raiders will not be able to stop the Patriots offense. There are so few teams that actually have a shot this year that fans are starting to be disinterested. Even since 2003, the AFC has only had four different quarterbacks start in the Super Bowl. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and the outlier Joe Flacco. Teams may just have to try harder to be competitive. I honestly do not know if this the reason for the down ratings but, it may be apparent come Super Bowl time when Tom Brady is going for his 5th ring in his 7th appearance.