NFL Season Begins, First Game Lacks Excitement
CHICAGO, Illinois – After months and months of no NFL, everyone was excited to watch the Green Bay Packers travel to take on the Chicago Bears to start off the 100th NFL season. The only problem was that the game was a complete dud with the Packers winning 10-3.
One of the biggest cheers came when Bears kicker, Eddy Pineiro hit his first attempt, which was a pedestrian conversion from 38 yards.
There is no way to put it but the game was boring and featured bad football from both the Packers and the Bears. This is the second-straight NFL game that was bad, going back to last year’s 13-3 Super Bowl, which saw the New England Patriots top the allegedly high-powered Los Angeles Rams offense.
Yet, despite the bad game, people watched because people crave the NFL.
Why Was It So Bad?
There is one glaring and obvious reason as to why this game was so sloppy. There isn’t “real” preseason football for teams to get sharp and in the routine of playing “actual” football. Teams are pulling back their stars from playing in the preseason more and more. Bears quarterback, Mitch Trubisky played in one game and played three snaps in the preseason.
“I know you guys are going to try and draw comparisons like that, but really, the snaps in the preseason have nothing to do with the way we executed, or the sloppiness tonight,” Trubisky said on Thursday night. “We weren’t doing that in practice. We were smooth in practice… It just seemed a little scattered tonight with all of our personnels, and trying to find a rhythm and trying to find our identity on offense. You can maybe contribute it [to the lack of preseason action], but I think it’s kind of a stretch.”
KSL Sports’ Scott Mitchell, a former NFL quarterback for a dozen years, points to the lack of preseason action by such a young quarterback in Trubisky because more reps to get ready for the year go a long way.
“It is really obvious to me. I watched this game. These teams looked like they were still in the preseason. I am baffled. Mitchell Trubisky handed the ball off three times in the preseason, that is it,” Mitchell said on KSL’s UnRivaled.
“This is a young quarterback who is going into his third year of the NFL and he needs reps. When you are a young guy you need those reps. I am baffled that coaches are sitting everyone and the players hardly play in the preseason and they don’t practice hard as it is. I don’t understand how you can expect to go out and play at a high level,” continued Mitchell.
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With the NFL having such a short regular season, a sloppy game due to lack of preparation in actual games during the preseason can really mess up a team’s season. Sixteen games are all there is and if a team starts off 0-1, like the Bears, because their key players just watched the preseason games, it could cost a team a playoff spot. The first game in the regular season is more like a preseason game with players still trying to get used to each other in action that really counts.
The preseason needs to change in order to make the first week of the NFL season better. These clubs do not need 90-plus guys in training camp for a month. Coaches and general managers know about 90% of what the roster looks like. Plus, training camp is no longer the time to get in shape but rather know the playbook and hit people in practice and get used to that feeling.
“Every game matters and you can’t take a game off. This game has implications for the playoffs down the road and for the division. I don’t get it. My feeling about this is to abolish the preseason and have 18 regular-season games and have just two preseason games,” Mitchell said.
“I can guarantee that teams say, ‘here is our 53-man roster today and we don’t even need preseason.’ There are maybe one or two guys [at the end of the roster]. I think the NFL needs to get rid of the preseason, add two more games to the regular season and get the starters ready for the season and have them play the first game or part of a game. Just have fewer preseason games,” continued Mitchell.
Fans Were Not Happy
The highlight of the game might have been a booming punt by JK Scott that went 63 yards. Fans had fun with the punt. Overall, no one cared for the game but by evidence of Twitter reaction and TV ratings, a whole lot of people watched.
We can only hope that Sunday’s full slate of NFL action will be better than the Packers vs. Bears.