NFL Preseason: 3 Reasons Why It is Important

While it is easy to dismiss the importance of the NFL preseason, it may be more important than you deem it is. The sceptics would say that the preseason games are only for a show, a waste of time and money. However, there is more to this than meet the wanderers’ eyes.

Here’s Why NFL’s Preseason Is So Important

#1 NFL preseason is used to predict division standings, playoffs, and even Super Bowl contenders

The four-week-long preseason attempts at building momentum—for all the football teams, players, and even fans. It creates excitement and drama as well, along with professional play without getting any player injured as much as possible.

For the teams, most notably, they all have the legitimate shots at becoming the next football success story. It is the league-wide optimism that is hard to ignore. There are 31 teams in the NFL, and yet only will emerge triumphantly as the 2019 NFL season champion.

A team’s success could be deeply rooted in the preseason. Team strategists mainly consider these games as the first real test to determine whether their preparations are working or not. If they need to implement new defence and offence, these games are also the likely testing ground.

#2 NFL preseason allows a team to assess talent and performance

Preseason games have no bearing whatsoever records-wise. Nevertheless, each team is looking to complete a 58-player roster. Some of these football players will be booked based on how they played at the preseason games. 

Thus, the preseason is an opportunity to compete at game speeds they probably would encounter in the regular season. It is the experience that young football players yearn for. The majority of these players have not played for the NFL but wished to be included in a team. The third and fourth week of the preseason proved to be the crucial ones.

It may not be significant for the sceptics since no Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., or Le’Veon Bell would be playing. But it means a regular paying job for those who will be chosen. This is also the reason preseason players focus more on playing than winning. They knew that the coaching staff are watching.

#3 NFL preseason offers an opportunity to increase the bottom-line

This may be an afterthought. However, there are thousands of people who rely on the NFL as their source of livelihood. That means NFL as a whole, not just the regular season, playoffs or Super Bowl.

The preseason games are backup plays that fans still pay for as part of the packaged preseason tickets with season tickets. There is an economic domino effect that benefits those stadium workers, sellers, and even nearby establishments. Taking away one to two preseason games would affect their bottom-line negatively.

Indeed, the preseason signals the unofficial commencement of the NFL season. It exists mainly to allow the teams to gear up for the regular season and evaluate the young rosters of players. The preseason is also an opportunity for ironing out any kinks on the game plan before the regular season starts.

 

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4 New Football Rules That Every Player Needs to Follow

The recent injunction that the handball rule will not be reviewed after Gabriel Jesus’s goal was disallowed compelled us to think more about the new regulations. Indeed, it is high time to brush up on the latest football rules. The accidental handball rule—one of the several rule changes in the Premier League (PL).

An unalluring a rule it is, the disallowed goal could’ve given Manchester City its 16th consecutive win. Pep Guardiola, Manchester City’s boss, said they accept the video assistant referee’s (VAR) decision.

Here Are 4 New Rules in Football

Accidental handballs

As discussed above, a player is no longer allowed to score a goal or create a goalscoring play by controlling the ball that accidentally involved the hand or arm. If the goal was made, like in the case of Jesus, it would not be counted.

Deliberate handballs were already disallowed aeons ago. When the ball hits the hand of any player in the attacking team so they can have the advantage to score a goal, the referee would call it. The role of the VAR has more weight since the referee cannot always see what’s going on in the field.

To make it clear, the rule applies to the attacking team, not necessarily to the defenders when they are inside their own box.

Drop balls

A drop ball, or having two players aiming at the ball while standing 30 centimetres apart from one another with the referee at the middle, will no longer be seen this and the next seasons. 

The official play will recommence by giving the ball possession to the opposing team against the team that touched the ball last. The questions are central to whether the players would return to their original positions or not or if they can use the penalty area to restrategize. 

Another somewhat controversial aspect was the restart of the game when it stopped at the penalty regardless of whose possession it was.

Goal kicks

The play starts the moment the player kicks the ball. A goalkeeper kicks the ball into the midfield, and the players would engage in a duel by the halfway line. When the defender receives the ball, he would have opposition players pressing them. Interception at the penalty area occurs. This would require the referee to restart the play.

With the new rule, the goalkeeper can pass the ball to any teammate within the penalty area. In this way, passing commences sooner against the possibility of a high press. This aims to be a quick pass play, but, in reality, this goal kicks rule only slows the entire game.

Free kick walls

If there’s a defensive wall, the attackers cannot go against the defenders directly. They should be at least within a yard of the wall. Since free kicks usually happen within 30 yards, the tendency is to have attacking players trying to penetrate the wall, so they are at the goalkeeper’s line of sight. This allows the goalkeeper to pass it to a teammate easily.

The attacking-defending situation always ends up in a foul. Attackers would prevent the defenders from jumping and block the shot. Offences are not usually easy to spot when they happen.

Again, this requires a more in-depth analysis because forming a defensive wall may no longer be valuable if there are no attacking players around it. Not to mention the one-yard requirement wherein precisely measuring it would be another impediment.

 

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NBA 2019-20 Season: 5 Games That Matter Most

Tipping off on October 22, 2019, a Tuesday, the NBA released on August 12 a complete game schedule for the NBA 2019-20 season. It is still two months away. But it won’t hurt if you start circling certain dates on your calendar, so you can have something to look forward to.

From one look at the game schedule alone, you’d know which games your favourite NBA team would likely win or lose against a stronger rival. Any benevolent fan can easily discern rest days, air travel, recovery and, the most important of all, national TV opportunities allowed for or required from the NBA team he or she roots for.

Then again, no fan would miss their best-loved teams.

Here Are the Most Anticipated Games for This Season

1) Los Angeles Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers on October 22, 10:30 pm ET

Anthony Davis was one of the biggest trades that happened this season, so fans are looking forward to seeing him play along with LeBron James. The most significant free agency move, though, was Kawhi Leonard. The two NBA Finals hopefuls will definitely set this season ablaze, making it the most exciting unveiling to date.

2) New Orleans Pelicans vs Toronto Raptors on October 22, 8 pm ET

Before James and Leonard’s face-off, the feature attraction of the opening night aside from awarding the championship rings to the last season’s champion, Toronto Raptors, is Zion Williamson’s debut. He would be the first overall #1 draft pick who is playing on the opening night since 2008. At the Las Vegas summer league, Williamson played for only 9 minutes.

3) Dallas Mavericks vs New York Knicks on November 14, 8 pm ET

Kristaps Porzingis used to play for the Knicks and is now with the Mavericks. In the 2016-17 season, he was very vocal about the organizational dysfunction within the Knicks team, raising the ire of then-President Phil Jackson. Jackson was later fired. There had been an awkward silence until Porzingis purportedly asked for a trade. In July 2019, he signed a five-year contract extension worth $158 million with the Mavericks. He and Luka Doncic could make up the dynamic duo of this season. This game will solidify the claim “once a Knick, always a Knick” is true or not.

4) Los Angeles Clippers vs Toronto Raptors on December 11, 7 pm ET

This is one game where the fans are caught in the cross-fire thanks to Leonard who played with Raptors for a season and gave it its first NBA championship. Fans could go hostile against Leonard—their hero turned villain, but who knows. Emotions would be high in this game for sure. There is no expecting another Malice in the Palace, but we all want to know how this game would turn out.

5) New Orleans Pelicans vs Memphis Grizzlies on January 20, 5 pm ET

This would be the first game that Williamson would go head-to-head against Ja Morant, the #2 draft pick. According to NBA surveys, the two are early favourites; Williamson voted as the Most Athletic while Morant was the Best Playmaker. This could be one of the league’s newest rivalries to watch out for.

 

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