What Gives?: Disappointments from the 2007 NFL Season

Amina Abdul-MalikCorrespondent IDecember 8, 2007

http://cachemediasrv.patriots.com/ImgDyn.cfm?s=vrabel_td_33303303.jpg&c=1&w=525&cs=1With the 2007 NFL regular season drawing to a close, it's worth spotlighting three developments that have rocked my world this fall...


1. Where's the Excitement?

Coming into September, I was ready for a season full of nail-biting Sundays—but the first few weeks of the year were anything but enthralling.

The games weren't competitive. Teams played halfheartedly. Players who get paid millions of dollars to play football made careless, gutless mistakes.

As a fan, I was heartbroken. HELLO—the National Football League is supposed to be the best of the best. Instead, I found myself literally falling asleep more than half the time.

Sure, there've been a few encouraging upsets here and there—but as a whole the NFL has been shamefully unentertaining. The Patriots have dominated teams—real-live PROFESSIONAL teams—by an average of 20 points a game.

That's pitiful.

With heart, anything is possible—but these teams and players aren’t showing that to the fans who live and breathe for good NFL action.

Icon Sports Media2. The Decline of the Running Back

It used to be that the running back was the staple of an NFL offense.

Not anymore.

Receivers have become the go-to option for most teams, with the running game an afterthought at best.

Look at Pittsburgh, a classic smashmouth team. Steelers RB Willie Parker has averaged just 3.8 yards per carry this year, while QB Ben Roethlisberger has become the focal point of the offense.

Receivers are becoming more important than running backs in the fantasy world too. Of course there are obvious exceptions—Joseph Addai and Adrian Peterson—but even LaDainian Tomlinson, last years MVP, is playing as an average back this year, and Larry Johnson, Steven Jackson, and Frank Gore have all disappointed.

So please, somebody explain to me...what happened to the elite running back?!


http://assets.espn.go.com/media/nfl/2006/0205/photo/a_leavy_275.jpg3. Blame the Refs

Officials don’t play the games—the players do.

But when officials make game-changing decisions, they sometimes overstep their proper bounds.

Of course, NFL refs are only human—but some of the blown calls this season have been inexcusable. Like the players, officials get paid big-time money to do their jobs the right way—and some of them need to have their "licenses" revoked.

As the playoff chase heats up, refs around the league have to get their acts together. There’s no excuse for incompetence.

As I see it, officials are getting emotionally attached to teams like the Patriots, abandoning their zone of play,and simply ruining the game that we know and love.

Fans, do you hear my pain?!