A year loaded with stunning surprises, breakout players, penalty overkill, and all the action we have grown to expect from the National Football League, the grand question remains: How will the 2014-15 NFL season be remembered?
What an amazing, action-packed season of NFL football. 2014 brought the emergence of some of the newest big-names in sports, while simultaneously presenting results no one could have guessed.
Just to back that statement with evidence, shall we reflect upon the shocking disappointment of the NFC South division this year? The division was simply awful, at a point in which many fans believed it could surpass the West as the most competitive division in football. On that note, Carolina became the first team in history to repeat NFC South division titles.
Sticking to that same idea of utter surprises in the league, let’s toss out the Denver Broncos playoff collapse, the Colts’ brief postseason reign, the 9-7 Eagles’ playoff absence, the dominance of the AFC North, and the trauma that struck teams like the San Francisco 49ers.
This kind of unpredictability gives the NFL its prominent and well-known name, though this season’s surprises certainly stood out among the long list of past years’.
It goes without question that the legacy of this season lies in the most familiar and successful faces of the league’s greatest stars. The skills of guys named Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Demarco Murray, Jamaal Charles, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, Matt Forte, and JJ Watt go widely-recognized throughout the world of football.
Unfortunately, this year scorched the names of a few men who once may have found themselves at the top of the previous list. Stud running backs Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice both missed most or all of the season due to off-field incidents which plagued their reputations and careers.
Outside of the players themselves, the game on its own experienced a pivotal year of adjustments to the regulations-and frankly the whole framework-of the game in some regards. Having placed an enormous emphasis on defensive penalties, the officials became the center of the attention towards the season as a whole.
Though most of the officiating changes were “points of emphasis” rather than actual rulebook changes, the calls of the referees will be remembered as potentially the foremost piece of the season. Also, the NFL executives will be reevaluating their postseason system since the 7-8-1 Panthers more or less beat the 9-7 Eagles for a precious playoff berth.
As a whole, the season recap will naturally center on the Patriots beating the Seahawks, or rather the Seahawks beating themselves, in the biggest game of all of them. Pete Carroll’s call will certainly be a massive piece of NFL history, as it will go down as the play that cost Seattle the title.
For years, fans will recall the 2014-15 season as one of triumph, surprise, change, and exhilarating football action.