49ers Clubhouse 

NFL Parity - Bad?

October 16, 2002

by James Parrott
Clubhouse Staff Writer

This is a bad time for pro football.

The old cliché about any given Sunday etc., etc. has finally come true.

Case in point: the undefeated Oakland Raiders travel to St. Louis to face the previous seasons losing Super Bowl team, the Rams.

Scoring over 40 points a game and averaging over 460 yards per game in total offense, the Raiders are heavily fancied to beat a team that has fallen from grace so quickly to the point where they are 0-5, and including preseason and the previous Super Bowl have lost ten straight games.

Staring quarterback Kurt Warner and backup Jamie Martin are out injured, and in their place is untested third year player Marc Bulger.

Recipe for a blowout?

It almost was, but alas, the form book is once again proved to be irrelevant.

St. Louis played more like they were expected to six weeks ago, and the Raiders summed up what was wrong with the National Football League in 2002.

Acclaimed as the best team in football after an opening month of offensive master classes, the Raiders had managed to mask a somewhat suspect defense.

Very beatable through the air despite of their secondary which features four former first round draft picks, the Silver and Black were shown up by team with a QB making his first ever NFL start.

With a defense that seemingly could neither tackle, cover or shed blocks the Raiders are the NFL’s best team?

Or maybe the Patriots are?

Or the Eagles?

Or the Broncos?

The NFL has reached a point were the talent level has become so diluted and the salary cap management so bad that no-one has a clue who will win from one week to the next.

Remember when the best teams in the league were the 49ers, Cowboys and Packers?

Due to it’s own rules, the NFL doesn’t have a best team now. We have to watch irrelevant franchises like the Arizona Cardinals and the Cleveland Browns and the Carolina Panthers take wins off the more fancied, more interesting and better pedigreed teams (i.e. regularly on Prime Time TV) with lesser talent that doesn’t stand a chance of winning the Super Bowl.

Forget the Patriots. There is no ‘This Season’s Patriots”.

Just hope that the leagues better teams can actually be good for more than five minutes.

Then we won’t have to hear about how NFL mediocrity is good for the league any longer.

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