Tomorrow the 100th season of NFL Football begins.
The “NFL” brand came later, but the league that evolved into the NFL first started crunching on the gridiron in 1920 when teams like the Decatur Staleys (now called the “Chicago Bears”), the Chicago Cardinals (later found in St Louis and Arizona), and the Green Bay Acme Packers (now without acme) first officially met. Math-wise that makes this the 100th NFL season.
Officially the 100th season began on Thursday when the Decatur Staleys fell to the Acme Packers 10-3. Football always starts on Thursday now, but I can still say “tomorrow the 100th season of NFL Football begins” because tomorrow is Sunday and Sunday was created by the almighty for the pigskin.
Take it up with God, would ya?
But back to my original intent (ye wandering-minded heathens), which is a celebration of the greatest game on earth and a quick prediction of what is to come.
First off, my Rams. They are not going back to the Super Bowl this year. They will be fun to watch. They have a brilliant young head coach and a plethora of talented offensive guys. They have the best player in all of football and he’s on a defense surrounded by fast and smart fellas. They have perhaps the best special teams coach in the game. We’re gonna be GOOD. But we’re not going back to the Super Bowl.
Well, for starters, only two teams ever get to the Super Bowl every year. That means only one rep from each 16-team conference. Right off the bat my team has a 6.25% chance to get back. Put in all the variables you want but the loser of the Super Bowl generally doesn’t get back to the next one and, in fact, often has a terrible follow-up season. Call it the “Super Bowl Curse.” And we lost the last Super Bowl. I remember.
Regardless, the odds are against us, no matter what.
But I have a few more reasons why, if you’re interested. No? Okay, I’ll tell ya then:
Defenses have figured out the McVay offense
The Patriots used the “Detroit Strategy” to hold the Rams to 3 points in the Super Bowl. Matt Patricia of the Lions first used it during the regular season (some kind of three-tier zone to take away Goff’s quick reads) and it worked pretty well. Belichick of the Pats used it to perfection in the big game. McVay will have to do some new things, which is never automatic.
New beef up front
The Rams have had the best offensive line in football, or pretty close, for the last two years. Jared Goff, our newly-extremely-rich QB, has had plenty of time to throw. Two pieces (that’s 40%) of that line left in the offseason to be replaced by 2nd-year guys with almost zero experience. Goff gonna get hit more. He’s so happy he got paid when he did.
Football is a violent sport, and injuries come in waves. It’s a part of the game. The Rams have been inconceivably healthy the last two years and that’s a matter of luck. Not Andrew Luck, that luck ran out. But “fortune of the gods” kind of luck has kept the Rams from having to dig too deep into their reserves, who are never as talented as the stars. The very law of averages states that the injury bug will come, and the Rams will have to pay.
So the chances of getting back to the Super Bowl are infinitesimal. Microscopic. However, if the Rams were to stay healthy again, if the youngsters on the offensive line prove worthy, if Sean McVay is the genius he is billed to be, and if the Super Bowl Curse is a 99-year blight that has run its course, then the Rams will go undefeated and blow out whomever they face in Super Bowl LIV by the biggest margin in 100 years.
But, realistically, the big game on February 2, 2020, will instead see the return of the Philadelphia Eagles from the NFC and they will face the Kansas City Chiefs from the AFC. Eagles/Chiefs, that’s my pick. Chiefs beat the Eagles, and Patrick Mahomes carries the Lombardi Trophy and gets the #GOAT moniker earlier than any player ever. Or Tom Brady gets his 7th ring. Yeah, that’s the safer pick. Tom Brady gets his 7th ring. Maybe over the Kenosha Maroons, since he hasn’t beaten them yet.
I was going to talk a bit about some of the other teams and possibilities, and give you an over/under for Antonio Brown’s complete mental breakdown with the Raiders, but I talked about the Rams too much (again) and didn’t have time for anything else.
But thanks for reading this far down, anyway, both of you. Please come again. I don’t talk about football that much on TBT but when I do I hope my passion comes through. It’s football season again. It’s 100 years of the NFL.
Go. Bet. Get tickets. Get The Ticket. Load up. Invite friends. Think of me. 🍻
Football is back. 😊