As we anxiously await the biggest day of the NFL season, it’s time to look back at what was a unique and at times, weird, year of football. For most of the season, the off-field storylines dominated the on-field game, and for good reason: Colin Kaepernick filed a grievance against the league alleging collusion, player protests against police brutality expanded, which lead the president to call any player that kneels during the national anthem a “son of a bitch,” the vice president followed suit by walking out of a game, Ezekiel Elliot was suspended and unsuspended and then re-suspended time and time again, and the effects of CTE and head injuries became more known.
But games were played, and things got odd from a football point of view too. The Ringer put together a list of the top 10 plot twists from the 2017 NFL season. The list includes the fact that scoring changed dramatically — the average score dropped to 21.7 points per game, a new eight-year low and a full point off last year’s mark. Of course one of the biggest twists of the season was that everyone got hurt. Everyone. Six running backs hit the injured reserve. Receivers went down, such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall. Tight ends like Zach Miller and Greg Olsen missed significant time. And then, of course, there are the QBS: Carson Wentz, Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Tannehill. Speaking of quarterbacks, another twist this year is that having an elite quarterback seemed a little less important. The NFL’s final four goes against the long-held belief that a great quarterback is a prerequisite to a deep playoff run.