Such is the state of the NFL right now. The money couldn’t flow any faster around corporate sponsorship, advertising, and profitability among the owners of this elite club. The Super Bowl is still the biggest deal in the televised world, and football ratings and attendance are as record levels.
The only problem is, the product on the field is getting shittier and shittier as this season progresses. As of now there are 11 teams over .500 right now. Week 10! The game tonight won’t change these numbers, so it seems to me we’ve reached a level of parity that is unseen in the history of the NFL. The NFC South is led by a team with a 4-5 record (Indy). The NFC East is led by the 5-5 Giants, who just gave away their game with the Patriots yesterday. Many teams are padding their records by playing shit teams. Something the NFL can control to a certain extent, but really, Green Bay went from undefeated to a team on the slippery slope to shit-town by dropping 3 in a row to Carolina (one of the good NFC teams), Denver (who just benched Peyton Manning after his 5-20, 35 yard, 4 pick performance), and the hapless Lions.
Denver is another team that is suddenly on the skids. Peyton Manning is facing the end of his career as he set the career passing yardage record while slogging through the worst day of his NFL life. They have ridden their defense to a spotless record, only to drop 2 to 4-5 Indy and the 4-5 Chiefs. Atlanta? They have the easiest schedule, but have laid turds against (ahem) the Niners, saints (about to fire Rob Ryan), and the Buccos. Hardly the cream of the NFL. They could very well fall completely out of the playoff race.
Carolina has ridden their 6th easiest schedule to a 9-0 record. Cincy on the other hand has the 2nd toughest schedule, yet they are 8-0 (well 9-0 after they beat Houston). SF (3-6), Seattle (4-5), and AZ (7-2), have had differing levels of success in facing the 3rd, 4th, and 5th toughest schedules respectively. NE is still undefeated and they are bottom-middle with the 11th easiest (or 22nd toughest) schedule.
What does this all mean? Shit, I don’t know. But with the insane amount of injuries, head traumas, and early retirements, there may be a talent void hitting the NFL in the near future. In fact it already appears to be happening. The old guard of QBs (the Mannings, Brady, Rodgers, and Palmer, are heading off into the sunset soon, and the new guard is not looking all that ready to be the icons these guys are. Derek Carr looks like he’s a legit guy, but who else behind him? RW is following Colin Kaepernick’s career path of wilting behind a suspect line, and the Bridgewaters of the league have yet to be proven capable.
Cam Newton IS the outlier in all this. He has proven (this year at least) to be able to overcome a shit line and still make plays. Kaepernick was riding this path until the clusterfuck that this season became. RGIII is riding the bench with another injury.
Funny thing is, Newton was 5-8-1 last year, and folks were writing him off. Now. he’s a bona fide MVP candidate. Which is why I don’t think it would be a good idea to ship Kaepernick off. If anyone out there thinks Gabbert is the answer, the question should be, who is our back up?
They can do whatever they want with CK now. Let him ride the bench. Whatever. My hope is that the entire front office is gutted, a new GM (Scott Pioli?) is hired, and HE assembles a coaching staff built around our quarterback. Not the other way around. Not the cobbling together of a piecemeal staff in random order by the suddenly free-falling GM Trent Baalke, Jed York, and their latest stooge as head coach. Losing Kaepernick at this point would be the ultimate short-term decision with long-term implications.