Bills fans, Julio Jones and daily fantasy deterioration: why NFL 2016 isn’t all bad

The most popular league in the US is suffering this season but even the darkest clouds have silver linings

Theres no get around it now. The major storyline of the 2016 season at the midway point is this: the NFL is bad. Even one of the leagues paid PR flacks tacitly acknowledged the negative impression around the product by tweeting out a passive-aggressive narrative hashtag after Week 8 happened to deliver a handful of entertaining games.

Brian McCarthy (@ NFLprguy)

What a day of #NFL games w/ 3 running OT. #narrative

October 31, 2016

So while we all can admit the NFL hasnt been good this season, it also isnt all bad. Even the darkest clouds have silver lining, right?( I dont know if that is actually true, Im not trained in meteorology or motivational cat posters, but it sounds like something you say to a league thats hurting .) Outside of still dominating all challengers in TV ratings and revenues which, lets admit, are pretty noteworthy accomplishments! the NFL in 2016 has a few good things going for it.

1) The future of quarterbacking is a possibility OK

If Tom Brady grows old the working day and the NFL doesnt stop defensive players from making Cam Newton in the head and the Seahawks never bother to get around to providing Russell Wilson with some capable offensive linemen, the league is going to need some new pavilion players at the sports most important stance. Thankfully, its appearing more and more like there is some legitimate young QB talent in Roger Goodells NFL. Cowboys rookie Dak Prescott has helped Dallas get to 6-1 in Tony Romos absence and, if hes not the short-term answer at the position, is most definitely the quarterback of the prospects for Americas Typically Underachieving Team. A winning Cowboys franchise is good even for the millions who root against them: it keeps the flames of detest burning strong.

While Prescott has been eased into the league behind Dallas standout line and skilled players around him in Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, his NFC East rookie counterpart Carson Wentz has surpassed expectations with a patchwork line and subrate ability stance talent. Wentzs production has dipped in recent weeks, but as rookie seasons for quarterbacks go especially for those plucked out of the FCS theres zero reason Eagles fans should not be excited.

Prescott and Wentz are still largely about potential, but Derek Carr of the Raiders is already unquestionably one of the NFLs top 10 quarterbacks at age 25 and in the MVP discussion. His 513 yards and 4 TDs Sunday knocked off the Bucs in overtime and kept Oakland on pace with Denver in the AFC West at 6-2. We could be at the start of an era in which the Raiders and Cowboys are both good simultaneously for the first time since the mid-1 970 s. You can bet that would raise some interest in the NFL. In fact, you will actually be able to bet on that when the Raiders move to Las Vegas.

2) Bills fans

Dillon Hayes (@ Dillon_Hayes)

Dildo launch from @hub_nation nfL4tI 9UVG

October 30, 2016

In a world gone mad, Bills fans are going with it and staking their assert as the most depraved fanbase in the modern NFL. Sundays on-field dildo hurled with accuracy not seen in Buffalo since Jim Kellys heyday was the logical next step for a fanbase that has destroyed every folding table in upstate New York and, at their last home game two weeks ago, earned national attention for using human buttocks as a beer luge. Its very … entertaining? And also somewhat horrifying based on the fact that Colin Kaepernick didnt receive an especially greeting or enlightened response from some of the Bills Mafia when he came to town in Week 6. Its precisely the kind of stuff you expect to occur around a franchise that champions Rex Ryan and Richie Incognito. So where is the positive? Its this: every Bills home game now provides an update on the exact state of American societal deterioration. Thanks for the status checks, Buffalo!

3) No daily fantasy ads

Its hard to remember way back to the autumn of 2015. Millennials were making fortunes on Vine, Donald Trump was a punchline that no one believe would get anywhere near the presidency, and every second on every TV sports network in America was inundated by FanDuel and DraftKings promotions. It was a simpler hour. But if you are able remember that long ago era, youll be borne in mind that instead of complaining about the quality of , everyone was bitching about the unrelenting daily fantasy ads that went during every commercial break. Now, thanks to investigations across the country and mounting cash flow problems, the absence of daily fantasy ads have changed our Sunday and made them a lllllllllot less vexing. Be grateful.

4) Parity

I say parity. You say mediocrity. Most want to call the whole season off. But before we do that, realize that this awful NFL season is likely going to have monster ratings in December when three-quarters of the nations NFL fans have their favorite team still in playoff contention. As it stands now, were halfway through the regular season and of the 32 squads in the NFL, only four have nothing to play for: the Browns, Bears, 49 ers and because theyve essentially won their division already the Patriots. The fortunes of 28 squads still hang in the balance, including even the nasty Jaguars and Colts because just getting to eight wins could take the AFC South. There likely wont be much more separation either. The supposedly Super Bowl-contending Seahawks just lost to the Saints. The Steelers have already lost to the Eagles and Dolphins. As the saying goes: on any given Sunday, a bad squad can beat a slightly-better-than-bad squad.

So while we complaints about all the bad match-ups now and the TV ratings dip, well undoubtedly gobble up that Week 16 Thursday night game between a 6-8 Giants squad and a 6-8 Eagles team with wildcard contention on the line. What are your better alternatives on 22 December? The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl? Talking to your relatives visiting for the holidays? No, it will be Ben McAdoo v Doug Pederson in a battle of witticisms on national TV and well watch it and whatever other mediocriparity the NFL puts on our vacation plates. We might not be served a lot of good football, but well have all the consequential football we could ever want.

5) Receivers

Flags, replays, commercials, Goodell, player protests that dont follow your particular political leanings: there are undoubtedly many legitimate reasons to be down on the current NFL. It is also true that this is the golden age of receivers. Julio Jones, AJ Green, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, Amari Cooper, , Larry Fitzgerald and on it goes, meaning there is very rarely a single NFL game that goes by without at least one amazing catch that makes you want to jump up and scream. Just dont jump up and yell if youre the actual player who has pulled off the amazing catch. Youll get a flag.

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