I came home last night looking forward to watching Monday Night Football on ESPN. However, by the time I settled into my couch, the Eagles already were up 24-7, which quickly turned into 31-7 after a brutal Cam Newton pick 6.
That was it for me. I tuned into Jon Stewart’s rather strange interview with a giggling Bruce Springsteen. Let the man talk, Jon.
As a result, I missed Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico actually making a protein smoothie as they attempted to fill during garbage time.
All these primetime blowouts really are beginning to pile up. As I wrote yesterday, NBC’s Sunday Night Football now has had eight straight games with an average victory margin of 23.5 points.
For the most part, the Thursday night games have been terribly one-sided, with an average victory margin of more than 20 points. And the Sunday doubleheader games have featured several games that turned into routs.
It got me to thinking if this is more than just a bad run for the NFL? Is there something else at work beyond coincidence?
At one level, it suggests that the gap between the haves and the have-nots has gotten much wider, as evidenced by Green Bay’s 55-14 shellacking over Chicago Sunday and Philly’s trouncing of Carolina last night. Both Chicago and Carolina have been major disappointments this year, as they are getting lapped by superior teams.
As a result, once attractive-looking match-ups on paper have become what-else-is-on games for viewers.
But what about one-sided games with top teams, such as New England’s whipping of Denver? I’m hardly a football expert, but I wonder if the sophisticated offenses we’re seeing these days produce more blowouts. One team gets on an unstoppable run, like New England, and suddenly Peyton Manning is down 28-7. It certainly seems like these games get out of hand fairly quickly.
Anyway, the NFL and many football experts will say the blowouts are a coincidence. And maybe they are. But let’s see what they say if the bad run continues.