T Nation

The Quality of the NFL?


I ponder yet another year of the NFL and think back to my furthest memories of the game and compare them to now. I would have to say that the quality of play in the NFL Present day ( and football as a whole) has dropped down to an embarrassing level of play. (imagine the training world ruled by star trainers, and 24 hr fitness trainers).

I want to talk skill, heart, dedication, team connection and even the athletes themselves. I feel has taken such a down turn from even the nineties teams.

Core fundamentals are gone! Tackling is barely something that happens anymore. Take the hit on mcghahee it was great ( the knock out punch) put poor form! NO one wraps up anymore. No one can wrap it up anymore. Tackling is the fundamental aspect of the game ( the contact sport that requires collision) kind of like the big king in working out ! squats , deads! if you dont do them it shows.

I think so many of these athletes make it to the nfl on there paper stats but not on there raw skills! or technique. I think alott of that has to do with higher amounts of drug use , roids, gh, etc giving allot of athletes stats that look great, great forties, great bench, verticals super human. But those juiced skills dont create the all around amazing players that are born to control this game.

The players have just become out of factories and thats it. But there core fundamentals never were there to begin with .

Really how many amazing hitters , feared hitters , bullett tacklers are around today?
remember LT, jesus christ it was light lighting stricking in a viper with perfect technique! Pat swilling, derrick thomas RIP. Greg Loyd Steve atwater, Ronnie Lott (how laid christian okoye on his back twice in a game!) reggie white, you could just watch these guys the whole game and not take your eyes off them and watch rage, and destruction materialize in the form of hits! No days barely is like clumpy gang tackling!

I digress where is this going?
what an embarrassment to have yet another year of football where there really is no clear winner! any team could beat Anyteam! if the cards lost to detroit next week, or pittsburgh got smacked by the jets would you really be surprised. this is just a case of last man standing! and a stand that could take place at any of these teams if they got there shit together !

I will give the patriots credit for remaining as a team style of play!

It just pisses me off that there really is no clear best team in the NFL.

look back ten fifteen years! who could beat the cowboys in the nineties? the niners? greenbay? they deserved to win and if the had to play an extra game would win. Now take any team and face another team and you really never know what you get. !!!!!


I take it you're not a fan of Arizona or the 'Burgh.


You also like to sit on your porch and yell at those whippersnappers to get off your lawn?


As someone who doesn't watch football, I think you are completely incorrect. Nowadays, EVERY player is on the highest level. That's why there is no best team. The more money there is, the higher the talent that will be attracted. If you look at the pros in high school, they all dominated. You don't have that at the pro level because they are all that good.

Look at a sport like strongman, still in its infancy. There are a few top guys that are definitely the best. What if every kid in the world wanted to be a pro strongman, and strongman were readily available in every school? Savickas/Pudzian wouldn't be winning every contest. There would be dozens of people winning. Would that mean the overall level of skill has decreased?


So basically, you're complaining because there's parity in the league now? Because dynasties are a thing of the past? Because any team can beat any team on any given Sunday? Because the greatest game in the world(imo) is as unpredictable as ever?

Did you eat paint chips as a kid?


You can't wrap up when a collision like the DB and McGahee hit this weekend. They were going at such a high speed that they were both knocked out at least for a few seconds as soon as they hit. Did you see McGahee's body convulsing as soon as he hit the ground.

Have you seen Haynesworth, Phillips (Giants S), Landry, Brandon Jacobs, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Mario Williams, Zach Thomas, Bob Sanders, Roy Williams, the LBs from Pitt. hit?? All the guys lay the wood!

Ever since free agency was implemented it became a new era. There was some carry over from the dynasty era (ie. Cowgirls on the 90's) but the league is getting closer to parity. You asked who beat the Cowboys in the 90's and the answer is the 49ers! I like the parity of the league and the fact that on any given Sunday a team can win.... unless it is the Lions!


This post is borderline retarded. As one other poster pointed out, people HIT when they can, and tackle when they have to. If the defender who hit Mcgahee would have just tackled him, Mcgahee would have dragged him for another 5 yards and the ravens would have kept thier drive going. Due to the hit, a fumble was recovered by Pitt, and it helped them win the game. The NFL is bigger,stronger, faster than it has been in the past, so some of the dynamics are changing a little, it's still awsome and worth being a fan of. Also having no clear cut best team is bad? How did having the yankees dominate Baseball help it's popularity? If I recall, baseball isdying and football is the highest rated television program every year. And i'm not just talking about the Superbowl.



Jerious Norwood was drafted 79th overall by the Falcons in 2006. He had the fastest 40 time of any RB in the entire draft. 78 players were taken before him. If 'paper stats' were as important as you claim, he would have been one of the first RBs taken off the board.

Most players come out of small schools that get little to no media coverage. Sure, ohio state and USC always have a sizable group going into the NFL every year, but big factories have given way to freaky talent coming from small schools.

Flacco, Antonio Gates, Romo, DeMarcus Ware, and Roddy White all went to small schools are are studs in the NFL

That is the definition of competition. The NFL is like that now because all of the players are so good. Personally, I'm glad the league is like this again. I'm tired of watching the patriots run the table year after year after year.


The thing I don't like anymore is the constant "Chicken Dancing" after a play. Every damn TD, it's lame. You get PAID to play...just play.....I care not what lame ass turkey dance you made up. Just do your job and get back in the huddle.

It's even worse when a team is down 30 points, yet somehow they (losing Player) get a sack and thinks he looks cool with his little self indulgent crap.

Otherwise I LOVE the game.....just not the antics anymore.


Wow, people complain about college football because there's no playoff and people complain about the NFL because there IS a playoff.


You have a very appropriate screen name.




seriously if you think that the players today are at a "HIGHER LEVEL" your crazy and probably never played or coached football.

Talk to any coach or even analyst on the quality of tackling today vs in the nineties and prior they will tell you that there is a decline in fundamentals.

The increase in free agency has ruined the game. thats why anyone can beat anyone. anytime because the teams are all over the place.

and ps I know more about the cardinals than most I played my ball IN ARIZONA, and KNOW THAT TEAM VERY WELL!!!! DO YOU KNOW WHO CHUCK CECIL IS????

I preferred High quality TEAM BALL.


You dont watch, probably never played< probably wouldn't even understand how the game works in its fundamentals , like a bally's trainer teaching a powerclean.

COWBOYS NOW VS< AIKMANS ????? they would destroy this team and tackle much better.
PITTSBURGH, the 95 team could protect the passer!

THe superbowl winner generally was the best and not the last team standing .

I will give my hats off to the pats.

actually im a fan of baltimore, mostly for there Defense.

but thats just it Football is best explored and played when a team meshes together thats why the pats still went 11-5 this year and play with old vets and hazve no stand outs. its the fundementals. its the squat, bench , clean of football. I didn't theink most on here would understand.


Hey dude, since you seem to like yesteryear so much, I need you to do me a favor. Go cop a Delorean, hit 88MPH, and get the fuck out of here.


Blah blah blah; same thing everybody says about every single sport. "It's going down the tubes, the old days were better, blah blah blah."

Put Peyton Manning in the 80s and he would've picked apart every single defense and thrown for about 7,000 yards.

90s Eagles defense? Puh-leeze, the zone blitzing schemes have gotten so much better that if you took a good defense from today, offensive coordinators from the early 90s would have no idea how to defend it.

Reggie White was great no doubt, but you can't use the guy who was (probably) the best ever at his position to prove your point. Reggie White destroyed EVERY offensive line he played against. And seriously? Andre Waters? You're going to use Andre Waters as your example of how football used to be better?

Did you ever actually watch that Eagles team play? You really think he could stick Moss on a go-route? Andre Waters is a perfect example of a guy that would let up big plays because he went for big hits- not a fundamental player! He can't hold a candle to Ed Reed or Polamalu.

That doesn't diminish the achievement of what guys did back then, but you can't compare past to current because every sport is ALWAYS getting better.


Fuck that!!!!
Ray lewis hits harder after somebody danced the last time they scored a touch down. Regardless of how hyped a team is for a game, they always get more hyped up after taunting makes for a great game to watch, although maybe more painful when someone goes overboard and tries to break their leg.

Your name is right misconception because that was entirely what you said.

When you have more people running legit electronically timed 4.3's it's hard to wrap up, unless you have a wing span like Javon kearse. You have somebody coming at you in a split second you do whatever you can to take them down. Which is why you see people grabbing ankles hair whatever they can. The game is faster now. In the 90's you had a few exceptionally fast players like Dion Sanders, now there would be alot more players close to his speed except they would be 255 not 195. Plus you have all the crazy rules now, let me see you try sacking donovan mcnabb squarely between the chest before he gets the ball off.


LOL! That was great!


Why post when you have nothing to actually say?


There is truth in the lack of form tackling, however, it doesnt seem to be due to a lack of talent in the league.

teams are paying big bucks for players (a result of free agency) and are not willing to risk a serious injury in practice.

so they don't do "full" contact as much anymore. there isnt as much emphasis on tackling hard in practice. the ability to tackle well is a perishable skill, and with less time spent on real tackling in practice in the interest of a healthy team, players are somewhat "rusty".

ESPN did a special on this a couple months ago.