Yesterday’s games across the NFL were a reminder that no one team in this league is head and shoulders above the rest of the teams in the league. While some may look at this as a sign of great parity that free agency and other league rules were designed to create, it’s not. There are no great teams this year in the NFL because the 2013-14 season is one that has been decimated by major injuries and a lack of consistent execution.
You could make a Pro Bowl roster out of the players that teams all across the NFL have lost to injury for the rest of this season. Quarterbacks Jake Locker and Sam Bradford, running back Arian Foster, wide receivers Julio Jones and Reggie Wayne, the list goes on and on. It seems that none of the teams in the league this year haven’t played at least one game without a player who is as important to them as 3D kittens are to Miley Cyrus performances.
A lot of the reason why these injuries have hurt so bad is because teams have been unable to secure quality depth at those positions. To be fair, the NFL does have a hard salary cap that teams have to operate within. The simple economics of the situation dictate that teams simply have to hope that certain players stay healthy. However, 12 weeks of this NFL season have shown that there is no team that is in position to be dominant, healthy or not.
Even the 10-1 Seattle Seahawks don’t qualify. Seattle has won 10 of its 11 games by playing outstanding defense with just enough offense. The Seahawks are ranked 12th in the NFL in total offense and 14th in average time of possession, hurt by only converting 40 percent of their third-down opportunities. Seattle’s record entitles them to the top spot among many power rankings, but powerful isn’t necessarily the word to use when describing the Seahawks.
The league’s three 9-2 teams — the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints –all could have the same criticism levied against them. At times, all three of these teams have looked abysmal on one side of the ball or the other.
The issue isn’t talent, as all three of these teams have plenty of it. The issue is consistent execution. Denver’s and New Orleans’ defenses have left a lot to be desired in their two losses. Kansas City’s offense has been minimally productive in most of its games.
The NFL isn’t competitive this year because the league is full of great teams. There is parity in 2013 because no team is great.