Did Yesterday Show the Preseason is Useful?
Yesterday was an ugly day across the NFL, and not just because of the weather. The early slate of games was filled with teams that looked like they were just trying to run their offense for the first time in a whole year. The Bengals, who many say are a Super Bowl contender, couldn’t put up more than three points with a full complement of offensive players. Mike Vrabel is probably ready to scrap his whole offensive roster after they couldn’t find the end zone and Ryan Tannehill three three interceptions. And the Vikings? Don’t get me started on the Vikings.
Fans, players and even coaches have been calling for a reduction in the preseason and got what they wanted. With a 17th game, teams are only required to play 3 preseason games, except the two teams that add on the Hall of Fame Game. Players and coaches have all but agreed there’s no reason to play starters in the preseason and create unnecessary injury risk. The unintended tradeoff of this decision is that (most) everyone comes out looking like complete garbage in week 1.
Preseason sucks, there’s no denying it. I’d rather have a dumpster fire of a preseason and have teams ready to roll during the regular season than what we’re currently getting. It’s pretty awful when you look at stat leaders for a game and you see passing yards as low as 146 (Bryce Young), 154 (DeShaun Watson) and 143 (Dak Prescott). In today’s NFL? That’s a joke.
Players and coaches need to sack up and deal with shaking the rust off before the games actually start to matter. We can’t live in a society where college offenses like Oregon State and Colorado (both with new QBs, one with a whole new roster) look more buttoned up than the professionals do. If we can’t have that then we can’t have any nice things, and I like nice things.