Are you not entertained?
I think that was the line from Gladiator, after Russell Crow whipped someone’s ass in the Coliseum.
Last night’s Chiefs/Rams game resulted in 1,001 yards of offense, 56 first downs, 144 plays, 95 passing attempts, and 11 offensive touchdowns. Kansas City turned the ball over five times and committed 13 penalties for 135 yards but still scored 51 points.
It was probably the highest-level offensive football game I’ve ever watched. Both coaches were just rolling last night. Some of the play calls and quarterback throws and receiver routes took us to the pigskin pinnacle. Maybe we did reach the top. It’s innovative and fascinating stuff.
I’m not surprised, though. Are you? This is the way the NFL has been trending for some time now. It’s less about defense and running the football. It’s about a high-powered passing offense predicated on high-level quarterback play and boosted by rule changes that make it harder and harder to be an effective defender in 2018. Long gone are the days of grind-it-out slugfests and 12-9 field goal kicking contests.
Most people will say that’s a good thing, and I don’t think I disagree, at least not on the surface. Offensive football is entertaining. Point-scoring is entertaining. That interfaces extremely well with the modern world of fantasy football and legalized sports betting, which ultimately puts more eyeballs on the product and grows the NFL beyond the typical football fan.
But I don’t think I agree, either. I’m somewhere in the middle, probably because I watch horrendous Big 12 football every week, with comically bad defensive teams allowing 600+ yards and 40+ points per game. I watch defensive coordinators drop eight into coverage and rush three undersized JUCO transfers who gas themselves out trying to beat five linemen to reach a five-star quarterback. Guys like Taylor Cornelius and Kyler Murray just cruise down the field as if there isn’t even a defense in front of them. It’s utterly predictable and unbalanced.