NFL riding high heading into Super Bowl weekend

Is everyone over those stories about the NFL being in decline? Sure, they had some serious controversies last year with the protests, and the NBA was on fire with the Cavs – Warriors battles. College football also created quite a buzz with their new playoff as well starting in 2014.

But suddenly we’ve seen the ratings do a u-turn. NFL ratings are back up again this year, while the NBA is suddenly dipping as the Lebron James versus the Warriors story starts to get old. Superteams are good for a sport . . . but only for a while. Aren’t you sick of the Warriors stockpiling all stars? Meanwhile, the College Football Playoff has lost a little of its luster with Alabama and Clemson being annual locks to play in the final four.

The NFL’s continued dominance extends to gambling as well. As anyone interested in gambling on sports knows, sports gambling begins and ends with NFL football. Of course college football is up there as well, and the NBA draws lots of interest, but nothing matches up to the NFL. And of course, nothing comes close to the Super Bowl.

Also, don’t let the controversy surrounding last week’s Los Angeles Rams victory over the New Orleans Saints distract you. As you can see from the video above, people keep talking about it, but the bigger story is how the NFL had two overtime games last weekend and blew out the TV ratings. The matchup of Tom Brady versus Kansas City Chiefs starter Patrick Mahomes last week helped make it the second-most watched AFC Championship Game in 42 years!

Of course the NFL needs to clean up the officiating, but that won’t stop most people from watching. The NBA has the same issue – did you see how the Warriors seemingly got every call versus the Rockets and the Cavs? As if they need the help . . .

Stars drive ratings, which then drive revenues. The NBA has always known this, but they have an issue now with all these super teams. Meanwhile, the NFL is flooded with talented and charismatic young quarterbacks ready to take the mantle from Tom Brady.

We can start with Jared Goff who has a chance in the Super Bowl to knock off Brady. Then you have Andrew Luck who is still young and has rejuvenated his career. The you have Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, DeShaun Watson, Carson Wentz and Sam Darnold. So many good, young quarterbacks, and so many potential rivalries.

The NFL’s Los Angeles project has also paid off nicely. Two years after getting two teams back into the country’s second-largest TV market, you have the Chargers making the playoffs and the Rams getting to the Super Bowl. Can things get any better for the NFL?

Of course, it will help if the Super Bowl doesn’t turn on a bad call. The anger from the Saints will linger in the offseason, and the issue of replay will be hotly debated. But this side issue will become a huge problem if we see the same incompetence in the Super Bowl. So while the NFL is riding high again, you can never be too comfortable!

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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