By: Ben Brady
The ratings are down this season for the NFL across the board. Less viewers have been tuning in for Monday, Thursday and Sunday Night Football. According to an article by CBS Boston, ratings have now declined year-to-year in 27 of 28 of the NFL’s primetime games this year.
It doesn’t help when you have the Chicago Bears getting four primetime games in the first 9 weeks of the season, but looking at the state of the NFL as a whole you realize there is a bigger underlying factor this season…. There is a lot of mediocre teams.
There are 14 teams at or within a game of .500. Add in teams with a worse record and that number jumps to 22 teams. That leaves 10 teams with good records. Looking closely at those 10 teams the Minnesota Vikings are on a 3 game losing streak after starting 5-0. The New York Giants are 5-3 but have not been consistent through the season and the Houston Texans are also 5-3 but have a -30-point differential.
After cutting out those three teams, the number drops to 7 teams who have been playing well through the first 9 weeks of the season. Week in and week out average teams are going at it and viewers just aren’t interested in seeing the 3-5 Los Angeles Rams play the 3-6 New York Jets or the 2-6 Bears play the 3-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
That isn’t to say that there are not any good teams in the NFL because there are great teams in the NFL this season. The New England Patriots look possessed after Tom Brady’s return, the AFC West has three playoff teams and the Dallas Cowboys are 7-1 and being led by two rookies.
But the sludge and muck of 22 mediocre teams covers up those good storylines from outside fans who do not follow the NFL. The NFL does well in the ratings during the playoffs but that does not tell the story of what is happening in the NFL this year.
The NFL season is more than halfway through and the playoffs are only two months away but it seems like a lifetime until then with the amount of mediocrity in the NFL this year.