2017, An unforgettable year for the NFL


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2017 was a very exciting year for the NFL. It was one that will never be forgotten.

By: Zachary Kaye, Fall Reporter

The year of 2017 was an unforgettable year in many different ways. There were shakeups in politics, the economy, and definitely sports. The National Football League is no exception to this. There were injuries to a number of superstars, controversy on a political level, and games that will never be forgotten.

The NFL started off 2017 with what some call the greatest Super Bowl ever. It was a matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. The Falcons were dominating the entire game and took a commanding lead of 28-3. Only two minutes were remaining in the third quarter. The only thing that saved the Patriots was the fact that they had arguably the greatest player and coach duo of all time on their sideline. Pair that up with some timely defensive plays and stops, and the game was all of a sudden tied, going into overtime. This was the first Super Bowl to ever go into overtime and it did not disappoint. The patriots would win the coin toss and score on their first drive. This ended the game and brought the Lombardi Trophy to New England with the final score 34-28.

With such an exciting start to 2017, the NFL would now go into the offseason, a seven month down period. The offseason was no slacker though, with big name free agents joining new teams, and the NFL draft happening. One of them such as All-Pro Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffery joined the Philadelphia Eagles along with other players. The Patriots would seem to get even better trading for Pro Bowlers Stephen Gilmore (Corner) and Brandin Cooks (Receiver). Many teams seemed to improve and a lot of teams seemed to strike gold in the draft. The Saints would find two rookies in the lead for Offensive and Defensive rookie of the year. Marshon Lattimore was a corner selected in the first round, and Alvin Kamara a running back taken in the third. This season was already shaking up to be exciting.

The 2017-2018 season finally came back in September and the first game previewed a very exciting season. The Kansas City Chiefs took on the reigning champs and completely dismantled them. Their rookie running back Kareem Hunt, filling in because of injuries, would go on to put up over 200 total yards and three touchdowns. The season continued and while it would be exciting, Sports Illustrated said it best when it described it as, “The Season of Pain.”

The NFL saw countless stars fall to serious injury that would sideline them for the season. One example is the Philadelphia Eagles star Quarterback Carson Wentz. The Eagles housed the best record in the NFL when they found out that the leading MVP candidate had torn his ACL and was out for the year. Many had them as Super Bowl favorites and everyone saw how quickly a season can turn.

The players were also fighting their own war, against the President of the United States. A trend of kneeling for the national anthem started by Colin Kaepernick to “show how this country oppresses black people and people of color,” would continue. It reached an all time high in participation when President Trump said, The NFL should’ve suspended some of these players for one game. Not fire them. Suspend them for one game and then if they did it again, it could be one game then two games then three games and then for the season. You wouldn’t have people disrespecting our country right now.”

Many players saw this as a direct shot at their freedom and began coming together to support each others beliefs, owners included. Some believe these protests combined with the injury filled season led to a nearly ten percent drop in the ratings for the NFL. This put into perspective means that about 1.6 million less people were watching each game this past season.

The regular season was a tough and interesting one to watch. A bunch of previously bad teams were now competing for a playoff spot. Eight teams not in the playoffs last year were now fighting for a super bowl chance. This meant that only four teams retained their playoff spot. The two top seeded teams in the NFC, The Philadelphia Eagles and The Minnesota Vikings, were not even in the playoffs last year. One 2016 playoff team in particular completely fell off, the New York Giants. After winning 11 games last season and making the playoffs they would manage only 3 wins this season. Leading them to the second worst record in the entire league. 

The year of 2017 was an absolutely action packed and exciting year for the NFL. Although the games remained exciting, and millions of people are still in love with this league, the National Football League has some bigger problems they need to discuss.