Why The NFL Needs Fewer Preseason Games

The beginning of the NFL season is something that grown adults all across the world get excited for. You get out your favorite gear, check the schedule for the 615th time since the schedule release, and make plans to welcome the new NFL season – it’s like Christmas morning! But all the sudden, you realize that the NFL preseason is the gift that nobody wanted. Your beloved teams starters get the same amount of screen time as the Hulk did in Avengers Infinity War, and the disappointment sinks in as you realize you have to wait another four weeks of watching these 4th string players “compete” until Week 1.

With the conversations of an 18-game NFL season kicking up, the most logical choice is to reduce the the preseason; but to how many games? We recently put up a poll on Twitter to gauge the opinions of fans:

The amount of injuries that a team could face during the preseason is enough of a reason to consider removing the preseason all together, however the preseason is too valuable to NFL Head Coaches for developing players and perfecting their rosters. In 2018, teams faced serious set backs like when Hunter Henry, Darrius Guice, Marqise Lee, and Isaiah Wynn all tore their ACL’s prior to the third week of the preseason. Not to mention the amount of stress and anxiety that fantasy football GM’s face as they decide who they’re drafting for their first round pick. So what is the magic number for the right amount of preseason games?

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For NFL teams to accomplish the goal of the preseason and give developing players the necessary repetitions in a game setting and for fans to tune and see the importance of the preseason, the perfect number of preseason games is two. If it were up to me, I would have the 1st strings players play the entirety of the 1st quarter, the 2’s play the 2nd quarter, and so on. As a football fan, and maybe I enjoy this aspect more than others, but I enjoy seeing the 2nd string players get reps. This would allow players get the reps under the lights against their same “tier” of competition. Teams could allow a 2nd/3rd string players get reps against a starter in practice settings when teams host their preseason competition during the week prior to the game.

Time will tell if Roger Goodell and the NFL Players Association can come to an agreement regarding the potential changes. This will be a fine line to tread for how the NFL will try to avoid any lost revenue and how the NFLPA will protect players. This may be more complex than we think given that NFL players current contracts are structured based off a  16-games season, so if I were you, I would expect this to be another big topic of debate, to an already long list of topics, as the current Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire in 2021.