A Roller Coaster of an NFL Season

The National Football League’s 256th season comes to a close in a historically boring game(Photo courtesy of CatchtheBlitz).

Photo courtesy of CatchtheBlitz

The National Football League’s 256th season comes to a close in a historically boring game(Photo courtesy of CatchtheBlitz).

The NFL has just wrapped up its 99th season filled with controversy, new emerging stars, and big plays. The season started the year with record scoring; the league saw the emergence of young offensive stars like Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey. It seemed that all the decent NFL defenses had gone extinct until halfway through the season when the defenses came out of hibernation and the NFL went back to normal. It stayed that way until the referees became notoriously bad. To cap it all off, the NFL ended the season with Super Bowl LIII, the lowest scoring Super Bowl in history.

“You may not win the Super Bowl. Your kids may not go on to be doctors and lawyers and everything may not go perfectly. That doesn’t mean it was a bad plan or the wrong thing. It’s just like a football season. Everything’s not going to go perfect,” said football legend Tony Dungy.

In the first part of the NFL season, it was all about the new rules and the offensive storm they created. We saw breakout stars who broke records and preyed on the defenses of the National Football League. Many people thought the new roughing the passer rule made it difficult for defensive players to do their job. The league saw one of the highest scoring starts to the season ever.

After the high scoring streak settled down, the NFL started to see signs of life on the defensive side of the ball. Scores started to settle down from the record highs they had been at. Rookies Darius Leonard and Leighton Vander Esch broke out and became tackling machines for their teams. Aaron Donald sacked the quarterback twenty times and forced four fumbles becoming only the twelfth player to do so. The balance had returned to the National Football League until the referees started to impact the game more than they should.

“That call puts us in 1st-and-10. We only need three plays. It’s a game-changing call,” said Saints Head Coach Sean Payton about the blown call that potentially cost the game in an interview with Business Insider.

The playoffs began with twelve teams. Throughout each round of the playoffs, the National Football League began to see that the referees had a huge impact of this. The climax of the referee problem came in the Division Championship Games. The Saints had a crucial fourth down. Quarterback Drew Brees snapped the ball and threw to wide receiver Tommy Lee Lewis. Lewis was hit by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman on an obvious pass interference call that would have given the Saints the first down. However, the refs missed the call causing the game to go into overtime. Drew Brees threw an interception and Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein nailed a field goal to win the game. The Rams advanced to the Super Bowl with Robey-Coleman being fined around 26,000 dollars, the cost of winning the game.

“I have had naps that were more interesting than the Super Bowl was this year,” said junior Carson Pairs.

Even though many fans were disappointed by the NFC Championship blown call, fans had high hopes for the Super Bowl. The game was set up to be a battle of old versus young with a 24-year-old quarterback and his 33-year-old coach versus a 41-year-old quarterback and his 66-year-old coach. Many analysts predicted a fifty point game. In fact, almost everyone thought the game was going to be an offensive shoot-out that would come down to the final minutes. The game may have been a shoot-out and come down to the final minutes but not as everyone had hoped. The game became a defensive shootout with the Patriots and Rams trading punts with the clock running down. The only touchdown came on a run by Patriots’ running back Sony Michel. The final score was 13 to 3 giving Tom Brady and the Patriots their sixth title and the league a forgettable Super Bowl.

I thought that the game was really boring because of the lack of scoring. Also, Tom Brady wasn’t playing as well as he usually does. I fell asleep during some of it because nothing was happening but Adam Levine did a good job at half-time,” said sophomore Natalie DeRosa.

The game wasn’t the only disappointing part of the big game this year. While the commercials were still pretty good, the halftime show was a disappointment for fans. Many fans hoped Maroon 5 would perform “Sweet Victory” from Spongebob, but ended up disappointed by a five-second clip and Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode.” The disappointing thing about the halftime show was that it would have attracted people who might have not normally watched football because of the numerous Spongebob fans.

“So I had heard that Maroon 5 was gonna be singing or playing ‘Sweet Victory’ during the Super Bowl. This got me really pumped up and made me want to watch it even more. Here comes the halftime show, and Maroon 5 started singing. Sure, they were good, but I wanted to hear Sweet Victory. Then, I see SpongeBob on my TV. I freaked out. Then, I heard the intro to Sicko Mode. My heart was crushed. I felt used by the NFL and Maroon 5,” said sophomore Isaac Mayernik.

Everyone may have been disappointed at some point during this NFL season and there were numerous ups and downs, but in the words of legendary head coach Bill Belichick, “Nobody died. It’s the NFL.”