The topic of Tanking has been widely discussed in recent weeks, and not just because this is a fallow period for the NFL news-hounds. In the past talks of deliberately losing in the NFL was dismissed out of hand by Football Men. The honor of the shield, players wouldn’t risk their careers, their pride, the good name of their city. However it is true that players are unlikely to dial down on their effort on the field – especially when a meaningless game for the club could be the key to a new contract for the player – and this most certainly affects NFL Football Picks in a big way.
When Did It All Begin?
Although the Jets have brought the issue of tanking into focus, this started with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 2014. The Buccs were playing the New Orleans in the last game of the season, a meaningless contest in terms of league positions.
However, the game had huge implications for the Buccs and the Titans in relation to the 2015 draft. The Buccs were 20-7 up at half-time, at which point they decided to pull pretty much every one of their starters. While the players on the field certainly appeared to be trying hard, it seems clear that management were less concerned with closing out the game. Final score 20-23 Saints, and Jameis Winston – consensus first round overall pick – is heading to Tampa for 2015. Was it worth it for Tampa Bay? You bet it was.
This off-season the Cleveland Browns have been getting slaps on the back for their clever back-room operations which resulted in a widely praised draft and a hoard of future picks. Were they tanking? Former NFL exec Bill Polian certainly thought so, and a 1-15 record allowed them to continue their team-building program. Now we have the New York Jets, who have cut half a teams worth of veterans. Sam Darnold is getting some of the best buzz for a QB in years, hence the ‘Suck/Scam/Sham for Sam’ headlines and twitter memes in relation to the Jets plan for 2017. There was also huge discussions on NFL Football Picks forums at the time about the incident.
Does It Matter When Teams Tank and How Does It Affect NFL Football Picks?
For the Jets and the Browns, it’s a fair bet that most of their fans will swallow one bad season for the promise of a franchise quarterback or a complete upgrade of the roster. For the NFL, it is a problem. If tanking becomes widespread, suddenly teams are going to have an increased chance of making the play-offs purely due to their schedule. This year the Dolphins will be hoping to grab a wild-card from the AFC East, while the NFC South could easily send two teams to the play-offs as they are scheduled to be the inter-conference opposition. What if another team has a bad start to the season, and decides to engage in a race to the bottom versus the Jets. It most certainly affects the picks. When creating the NFL Football Picks, we consider numerous factors such as team & player history, weather and so forth. So you bet the factors such as the importance of the game, or the situations with upcoming contracts etc.
This is an issue which the NFL will need to address before it gets out of hand. Otherwise there is a danger that the NFL becomes the National Farce League.