NFL preseason is tricking fans into false narratives


The NFL preseason is exciting because football is back, but it means nothing.

Every August, the National Football League kicks off with the Hall of Fame Game. Well, not this August, because the FieldTurf was a disaster that somehow wasn’t noticed until gameday.

Regardless, the NFL got its preseason slate underway the following Thursday, and the madness has ensued. Fans both die-hard and casual are going great guns over Dak Prescott, the Dallas Cowboys fourth-round quarterback. Prescott has accounted for six touchdowns in two games, shredding the Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins.

Of course, it is the preseason, so nobody should care but everyone does. The second a player compiles prolific stats, ESPN and NFL Network breathlessly go into coverage. Does he belong on your fantasy roster? Will he be the starting quarterback? Should the bust already be chiseled for Canton?

It’s lunacy, and everyone knows it. Still, people indulge like an unsupervised fat kid with a two-tier chocolate cake.

In the grand scheme of things, nobody will remember a single stat from August once September rolls around. Everything becomes moot, because the standings and numbers go into a vacuum. In the meantime, though, pundits and fans alike have to talk about something, so performances will be parsed until the end of civilization.

Everyone conveniently forgets that the teams don’t gameplan for these glorified scrimmages. Folks also get amnesia when it comes to defenses playing vanilla schemes and offenses not wanting to show the full girth of the playbook. It’s like fighting with one hand tied behind your back and the other being bubble-wrapped.

The only thing that matters in the preseason is the injury report. There is always a team or two that gets completely ravaged by injury, losing the chance to compete for a Super Bowl. Last year, it was the Green Bay Packers seeing Jordy Nelson go down with a torn ACL. This year, the Buffalo Bills have sustained one huge blow after the next.

Soon enough, the regular season will start. Finally, something that matters.