The reputation of the NFL has been getting bruised as much as it’s players this season. Mired in controversy over patriotism, injuries and safety, and lower than normal ratings, the NFL needed a pick me up with its core fan base. And it got that this past Sunday.
Through yesterday’s action, we were reminded why we love this game. It gave us everything, two overtime games, a crazy blizzard, last minute touchdowns. It was pure action and excitement. The way it was meant to be.
We saw it in the snow covered field of Buffalo as LeSean Mccoy trudged through the blizzard to score a game winning touchdown in overtime that left the players doing snow angels in celebration. Or in Cleveland where we thought the Browns might get their first win of the season, only to have the Packers take it away with a touchdown in overtime.
How about Cam Newton showing the Panthers are for real with 65 yard run to set up the game winning touchdown vs 10-2 Minnesota. The Eagles and Rams played in what we thought could have been the best game of the year so far, a 43-35 back and forth thriller between the top two QB’s in last years draft. But then Pittsburgh and Baltimore said hold my beer, we got this.
Down by double digits multiple times, the Steelers found themselves in another classic vs their bitter rivals. In a rivalry that has been defined by tough defensive games, this one came down to who could just get one defensive stop. Big Ben became the first player to throw for over 500 yards in three career games, Antonio Brown had over 200 yards receiving, and the Steelers were able to fight their way back to score the game winning field goal and knock off the Ravens 39-38.
Yesterday was just what the doctor ordered for the NFL, it reminded us why we love it in the first place. And now with only three weeks remaining in the regular season and playoff races coming down to the wire, hopefully we can sit back and enjoy again.