Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) is sacked by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
We’ve all had one of “those weeks.”
You know the kind I’m talking about. The ones that no matter how hard you try, nothing goes right. Or that anything and everything that could go wrong, does go wrong.
And somehow, miraculously, when the next week rolls around, everything seems to go your way.
This is how the world functions. It’s also how the NFL works.
It’s a week-to-week endeavor. What happened last week or month has no impact on what lies ahead. Regardless of what happens, you get a fresh slate.
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Yet fans and some in the media continue to think that what happens the previous week will happen again. If the defense plays like garbage, whelp, no chance to get better. If a team commits a ton of penalties and can’t get off the field on third down, it’s a serious issue that can’t and won’t get fixed.
Let’s look at the first two weeks of the NFL season.
In Week One, the Dallas Cowboys got curb stomped by the San Francisco 49ers and the Tennessee Titans embarrassed the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chicago Bears lost a close thriller at home to the Buffalo Bills. The Denver Broncos held on for a win over the Indianapolis Colts. The Seattle Seahawks flogged the Green Bay Packers while the San Diego Chargers choked out a loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Fast-forward a week.
Given what happened the first week of the season, most said the Cowboys had no shot against the Titans or the Bears against the 49ers. How’d that work out?
The thought was the Broncos would whip up on the Chiefs while the Seahawks would do the same to the Chargers. The Broncos won, but ,apparently, not convincingly enough, and Seattle was tossed around by San Diego.
Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) carries the ball in the first quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The point is the NFL, despite the hyperbole and nonsense, is a week-to-week league just like all facets of life.
What happened the previous week in the NFL has no bearing on what unfolds this week.
“You can look back – good or bad – doesn’t help with preparation going forward,” Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio told the media on Thursday at Dove Valley.
That’s why the NFL is so maddening – and exciting. We want to know what will happen, and we like to think we know what will happen. Part of that is because the sport is now 24/7/365 and people need to fill airwaves. The other aspect is social media where, similar to “Shawshank Redemption,” everyone is an expert. Didn’t you know that?
People take what happens in a game and put so much weight on it. What they need to do is follow suit with what the players and coaches do and move on – just as you would with your life after a bad week.
Don’t dwell on the good or the bad.
If the team wins, that’s great. If it wins in a sloppy fashion, it will learn from its mistakes and improve the next time the situation presents itself. A convincing win matters not. There is no clause in contracts that says, “Win, but do so convincingly. If not, you’re fired.”
If the team loses, the world isn’t over. Just like the rest of us, it will move on and focus a little harder the next week.
I get that the NFL means a lot to a lot of people – probably more than it should in most cases. That’s the point of being a fan. But to take aspects that aren’t realistic and turn them into expectations is a recipe for disappointment.
Who knows, the Broncos may come out and drop a 50-burger with cheese on Seattle.
Hopefully, what happened in the Super Bowl doesn’t happen again – or worse.
The point is, like the rest of the world, the NFL is a week-to-week league.
You never know what will happen, no matter how hard you try.
Nobody saw the best offense in the history of the NFL finishing so poorly in the Super Bowl, right?
Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno (27) gathers in the bad snap as it leads to a safety in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports