Unexpected Contenders

What exactly is missing from the first round of the NFL playoffs this year?   All of the games were decided by fewer than two touchdowns and there are a few teams that were unexpected contenders.  However the playoffs, so far, seem to be lacking the excitement that has defined the NFL in past seasons.

Significant injuries at key positions could be a part of the reason but again, the scores have been close.

Regular season competition was fairly standard but the top two teams in each division in some instances were as close as two games apart.

So, what is it?

There isn’t really a clear answer.  Could it be that the teams that are last in their division, with the exception of at least one team, were largely expected to be there?  Or could it be that the path to the Super Bowl is simply predictable.

With the way that the NFL is structured everyone can gear up and assume that a matchup between the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys is inevitable. After all the path to the AFC Championship has had to go through New England more times than any fan can count and the Dallas Cowboys are really, really good. The exceptional ownership of the Cowboys wouldn’t be down for long.

But does such predictability make for good football?  And when will the NFL take notice?

Either way the Super Bowl should be spectacular as usual.

Just as it always has been.

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