I’m no conspiracy theorist, but there was something a little fishy this season in the NFL. More than would be remotely believable, teams in the NFL turned the ball over on back-to-back possessions, leading one to believe that teams may be scripting games. The paranoid plot goes something like this:
1) Team A is driving and looking to score.
2) Team A fumbles the ball
3) Team B recovers, but gets a message from the booth that they should let the other team continue with the ball
4) The very next play, team B fumbles and team A recovers
This may sound silly and paranoid, but it can’t be a coincidence that it happened so much this past season. Here are the games that the most crooked team in sports has completed a back-to-back turnover series in 2006:
Given that New England doesn’t turn the ball over that much- it’s strange that it happens so often right after their opponents cough it up. Is it just New England who has caught the turnover contagious disease? No- the NFC wildcard game in Chicago gave us a back-to-back interceptions plays, the Colts/Ravens matchup that weekend has two interception exchanges, and the Super Bowl (featuring the two best teams in the league presumably) showcased two separate cased of the disease: both back-to-back fumbles plays. Of course, weather may have had an impact, but the back-to-back thing still sticks.
I’m not saying that any NFL wants to lose, but I guarantee that the leadership in the NFL likes when games are close and if that means the front office of a team needs to tank a possession to keep in the good graces of the league, then that’s probably what they’re going to do.
For my part, I cheer for blow outs.