The Overall Quality of the NFL Today is Being Deflated

Championship Sunday has concluded, and for the second year in a row, we don’t get to talk about the performances on the field after these big games.

Last season, it was Richard Sherman’s tasteless & classless rant, where he used his post-game interview time to scream and yell in front of the cameras like a lunatic.  He went on about how he is the greatest and how everyone on the opposing team was mediocre (in a game filled with questionable officiating rulings).

This year, the NFL made sure that there is really only one thing from Sunday that we should be discussing in the two weeks leading up to the Superbowl: Deflated Footballs.

Yes, DELATED FOOTBALLS are what we should be talking about for 5 days with regard to the NFL.  As Tom Brady put it in an interview, “I think I’ve heard it all at this point“.

Indeed….Just when you think you’ve heard it all from the NFL, they go and release a immediate post-game report that they are investigating the Patriots for deflating 2 lbs of pressure from their footballs. Yes, that’s right. We’re not supposed to talk about the game or talk about the Colts atrocious performance. We’re supposed to talk about the deflated footballs that made Tom Brady play so damn well.

Does this also mean we’re supposed to talk about how INflated footballs might have made Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, & Aaron Rodgers play so poorly. Because, they sure did play VERY poorly.  According the ESPN’s QBR, a rating system that evaluates overall Quarterback play, the three quarterbacks all had single game performances that were rated worse than the season ratings of the bottom 5 quarterbacks in the NFL this season.

Russell Wilson’s NFC Championship QBR: 13.6
Note: The only QB worse single game: Ryan Lindley (6.1)

Andrew Luck’s AFC Championship QBR: 17.7
Note: 3rd worst single game in the 2014 Playoffs, behind Wilson & Lindley

Aaron Rodgers’s NFC Championship QBR: 51
Note: This was lower than Jay Cutler’s 2014 overall regular season QBR

However, something tells me that quarterback play (from everyone other than Tom Brady) is what this investigation will prevent fans (and the media) from discussing.

If you really think the NFL league office would rather us talk about the games, just ask yourself why they put a photo of a bunch of deflated Superbowl game balls on their Instagram account (as a Superbowl promo), less than 24 hours after their announcement of their investigation.

But, back to the football air pressure issue (I can’t help but laugh). So….I’m supposed to believe that Tom Brady, a two-time Superbowl MVP & three-time Superbowl winner, might not have won this game without 1 to 2 pounds of pressure taken out of the football.  Really? Are you kidding?!  This was game that they won 48-7 and the opposing quarterback, Andrew Luck (who’s been anointed the next John Elway) was 12 for 33 for 125 yards and threw more TD’s to the Patriots than he did his own players (zero).  Honestly, the only thing I saw being deflated was the pedestal the media-controlled NFL has put these superhero quarterbacks on.

What is also deflated in today’s NFL is the league’s officiating policies and their total lack of concern for actual fair play BEFORE & DURING THE GAME.  The league apparently wants us to set aside (or completely ignore) their very suspicious and broken officiating policies that the issue highlights.  In the NFL today, the part-time employees in stripes have all the power.  They are in charge of enforcing the rules and they touch every football.  They have the authority to change out a football at any given time if they think it’s not game-ready.  But, yes, somehow we’re supposed to ignore this and just point fingers at the only team that performed at a championship level.

The league’s most critical employees are the officials and there is very little critical thinking from them either.  After all, you can hear meathead referee, Ed Hoculi calling someone “Jungle Boy” on a hot mic.  Yep, these are the guys in charge of governing the game to determine fair play in a multi-billion dollar business.  I repeat, they are supposed to create fair play and make sure a level playing field.  These officials are also hand picked on a game-by-game basis in the playoffs and they touch every single football more than most players on the field.  But, still the NFL decided that “deflated footballs” was worthy of an immediate 3 to 4 day investigation into THE PATRIOTS (not their broken and very suspicious officiating policies).  As fans, we’re all supposed to sit in suspense waiting for the results of this oh so and compelling investigation (which won’t change anything a far as the game next Sunday).  And, we are also supposed to point the entire blame finger at the Patriots (and not the NFL’s entire officiating process as a whole)

But, here we are… Four days removed from the NFC and AFC Championship games, instead of talking about the performances of the NFL’s superhero quarterbacks, we’re still discussing (in greater detail) about the advantage deflated footballs might give a team and if the Patriots actually cheated.

Yes, once again, the real football fans out there, who had hoped to discuss the games they had witnessed, are once left DEFLATED….deflated by the modern, drama-inciting, soap opera that is the National Football League. Is anyone else noticing a trend?If you don’t think this is a growing trend in the NFL, perhaps you need to take a step back and think about how many of the league’s stories have to do with the actual play on the field anymore (not including officials, domestic abuse, sexual assault, fines, press conferences, etc).

A good bulk of the time in today’s NFL, rather than talking about the team’s play on the field, most good or big games end with fans complaining about rulings by the officials, even if they weren’t all critical to determining the outcome of the game (See: the Lions/Cowboys officiating)

Last season spent the proceeding two weeks leading up to the Superbowl discussing Richard Sherman’s character (as if he actually has any).

If two pounds of pressure is all it takes to make a football easier to catch, I am guessing that Green Bay fans wish the Seahawks had deflated their footballs this past weekend.  Perhaps if they had, their hands team could catch an onside kick. However, apparently, Aaron Rodgers prefers his footballs highly INFlated.

How many points are deflated footballs worth these days anyway?  Apparently that number is 38 (as the Colts lost the game 45-7)?  If that’s the case, will someone find Matt Stafford a deflated football.  Perhaps he’ll finally win a playoff game, and we won’t have to hear the Lions fans complain about officials (as if the Lions didn’t get outplayed and didn’t actually deserve to lose that game)

I am guessing Arizona would have gladly taken Tom Brady with INflated footballs over their quarterback with a DEflated ball. Even the ever-so-critical under-inflated football wasn’t helping Ryan Lindley against the Panther on Wildcard weekend as that was as bad as I’ve ever seen a QB play. PERIOD.

My God! WHAT ARE WE EVEN TALKING ABOUT…?!?!?!  Why isn’t everyone playing with the SAME FREAKING FOOTBALL???!!!!  Oh yea, I forgot, this is the NFL today.

Well….on to the Superbowl….I wonder what the topic of conversation will be on Monday, February 2nd?  I know that it likely won’t be about the play on the field. That would just be silly.

For now, it’s the ever so compelling, football air pressure debate.  My god….How did we get here…

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.