“As far as I’ve seen, I think there’s a lot of bad football. Poor quality football, that’s what I see.” (NFL.com quotes Tom Brady this week)
The reason the Pittsburgh Steelers are currently leading the AFC North by just one game has less to do with their own play than the declining level of play across the NFL. Whatever else you think of Tom Brady, you’ll probably admit he knows a thing or two about the difference between the good and bad sides of football. So when a marquee player like Brady says the league is crumbling, it should get at least some attention.
With nearly a quarter of the 2022 NFL season recorded, the Philadelphia Eagles are the only undefeated NFL team to go 4-0, excluding this week’s game. Currently, 15 teams share his 2-2 record, including the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams, runner-up Bengals, and Brady’s Tampa Bay Bucks. Believe it or not, the Detroit Lions are currently the highest scoring team in the league with 140 total points after four games. But they do share his dismal 1-3 record for the Steelers. 141 points.
17 NFL teams, including Pittsburgh, have given up more points in 2022 than they have ever earned. His recent record of 2 wins and 2 losses is four NFL divisions (AFC North and South, NFC South and West). The defending world his champion Rams surrendered an average of 6 more points per game in 2022 than he has ever scored. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts have a better record than the Steelers at 1-2-1 after Week 4 despite being the league’s lowest-scoring team (57 points in four games) (the Colts are now 2-1). 2-1).
In a nutshell, the bell curve that used to indicate the relative quality of NFL teams has become flatter and flatter over the years. Brady’s recent remarks were in response to a question about his feelings about equality in the league. There is power. If Brady’s rating felt too harsh, he may have missed his 12-9 he snoozed Thursday night fest between the Broncos and the Colts.
But that’s an issue the league will have to grapple with if it so chooses. In terms of struggling transitional teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022, even teams that were considered Super Bowl favorites in recent years are now seeing more teams match their level. Playing isn’t bad news.
So the Steelers find themselves in a position where well-placed tweaks can have a very positive effect. It’s unclear where things will lead if Watt and a few other injured players are back in the lineup. After all, how many NFL pundits are he who predicted the Cincinnati Bengals as a Super Bowl team early last season?
By mandating equality, the NFL clearly intended to give every Cinderella team a chance to participate in the Gala Ball. But unfortunately, at midnight, also known as the offseason, the fine clothing of Super Bowl teams is more often seen these days returning to rags as key players move elsewhere.
In this context, it’s no surprise that NFL owners and head coaches are increasingly looking for short-term returns on their investments. Tom Brady leaves New England to bring Super Bowl trophies to Tampa Bay and Bruce Allins. Matthew Stafford leaves Motor City after a futile career to offer the long-suffering Rams organization what increasingly looks like a shot of glory. Tweak it and it turns into a competitor.
This general trend is unacceptable to many fans old enough to remember Steel Curtain’s glory days, but unfortunately, paying a high price for a less than satisfactory product is not the way to go today. It’s in line with the world’s dominant currents. Tom Brady has simply confirmed this unwelcome but increasingly glaring reality that the NFL likes to sweep under the rug.