NFL Week 8

This is the weekly open NFL thread. Meanwhile, NFL ratings continue to decline, but everyone even remotely associated with the NFL claims it has nothing – NOTHING – to do with the political antics of the players.

After seven weeks, the NFL has a problem. Whether the league wants it acknowledge it publicly or privately or will try to minimize it with damage-control doublespeak (“we don’t have fewer viewers, the same viewers are viewing less“), the NFL has a problem.

Ratings are down, every week in nearly every broadcasting window.

Speaking only for myself, I think my declining interest in the game is primarily due to instant replay. Between all the ticky-tack penalties and how long it takes to review every score and every turnover, I find that these days, I just don’t have much interest in watching if the Vikings aren’t playing.

If I ran the league, I’d keep instant replay and allow it to be used on one challenge per game by each coach. Any call or non-call by the officials would be reviewable. That way, only the most absolutely vital plays would ever be reviewed.

There are also too many games being televised. 12 PM, 3 PM, and Monday Night Football, plus two games on Thanksgiving, are sufficient. And a 14-game season would be to the benefit of the players’ bodies, and likely, to the quality of the play as well. The NFL needs to understand that sometimes, less is more.