Skip to content

Goodell: "We don't have a solution" for teams resting starters

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made clear that he doesn’t like seeing games at the end of the regular season turned into de facto exhibitions played by teams that have already locked up their playoff spots and are resting their top players.

But he also says he doesn’t know what to do about it.

“Honestly, we don’t have a solution for it,” Goodell said today on ESPN Radio. “We’ve had a lot of suggestions. A lot of people have talked about things from making scheduling changes to re-seeding the playoffs. A couple people have suggested the idea of potentially modifying the draft in certain ways. But none of these have been studied in depth.”

Still, Goodell said something needs to be done to keep the end of the regular season relevant.

“The integrity of the game is the most important thing,” Goodell said. “We want to make sure the games all season long have meaning. . . .  We want to make sure the best players are playing to win.”

At the end of this regular season, many of the best players weren’t playing to win. If some of those same players come out looking flat when they play to win this weekend, that may be the best solution to what Goodell views as a significant problem.

Permalink 70 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories
70 Responses to “Goodell: "We don't have a solution" for teams resting starters”
  1. MN Boise Fan says: Jan 15, 2010 11:03 AM

    This is so simple: Last three weeks of the season are all division games. You can’t have byes and homefield locked up if you don’t even have your division wrapped up yet. one year, you will play two at home, one on the road, and the next year is one at home, two on the road.
    Taking it a step further, I think the first 8 weeks should be 3 division games, one more game vs your conference, and all 4 of your games vs the other conference. The last 8 weeks should be 5 conference games, and then finish the season with the afore mentioned 3 division games.

  2. SWILPackfan says: Jan 15, 2010 11:04 AM

    Of course they don’t have a solution. If the Colts don’t care enough to play to win the game with history on the line, who would. But the Colts do this every year, and every year, except for one, they lost. Usually pretty early. Does anyone think they will ever learn?

  3. ricebowl says: Jan 15, 2010 11:04 AM

    load up the back end of the schedule with division games. might not always make a difference, like with the colts this year. but definitely would have affected a team like the bengals. they werent playing well at all at the end of the year like they were in the beginning and middle when they swept the afc north. instead of resting against the jets, they probably would have had to battle steelers and ravens for a spot in the playoffs

  4. Big Stretch says: Jan 15, 2010 11:04 AM

    “The integrity of the game is the most important thing,” Goodell said. “We want to make sure the games all season long have meaning. . . . We want to make sure the best players are playing to win.”
    The games at the end of the season do have meaning for the teams that were good enough to put themselves in a position to rest players. IT MEANS THAT THEY WERE GOOD ENOUGH TO REST PLAYERS.

  5. titan87 says: Jan 15, 2010 11:05 AM

    I got an idea! Why don’t they start charging half price tickets for preseason games, to make up for the product that is on the field. This will at least give some relief to the fans an wouldnt piss me off as much knowing my team basically decided to have another preseason game to rest my starters at the end of the season.

  6. Nevisyakker says: Jan 15, 2010 11:05 AM

    How about a point system that establishes home field advantage and the one through six playoff team positioning used for the playoffs?
    Points for each win.
    Points for divisional wins.
    Points for conference wins.
    Extra points for regular season games won in the months of December & January, and perhaps points taken away for losses in those months.
    Also, remove the “no home field games” rule for wild cards. This too would make the stakes higher at the end of the year as teams jockey for their playoff position.

  7. RK says: Jan 15, 2010 11:05 AM

    They need to schedule the final 3 games of the season to be all division matchups. That will make it significantly less likely that teams will lay down.

  8. Fan_Of_ Four says: Jan 15, 2010 11:05 AM

    It is a problem and even more so in a crappy economy. Who wants dole out hard earned cash to attend a meaningless game played by back ups ?
    The last week of the season was a total bore.

  9. CKL says: Jan 15, 2010 11:06 AM

    Of course you don’t have a solution commish. You know why? BECAUSE THERE ISN’T ONE! NOR SHOULD THERE BE ONE. Ye gods. I HATE what has happened in the NFL under this guy. Whatever this idiot comes up with will be like anything else he has done and look like a platypus…strange, unworkable and nonsensical.
    I would hate for my team (Pats) to rest starters, I think it’s chickenshit…but the fact remains…teams don’t owe anyone anything to play guys. Fans who have a beef should make their displeasure known to the management/ownership by writing letters/emails and withholding their dollars.

  10. pubobby2004 says: Jan 15, 2010 11:09 AM

    there is only one solution, just like everything else. money.
    if there is a monetary incentive to win more games, then players, coaches and owners will go for it.
    perhaps, use some of the absurd money “printed” by the NFL to incentivise breaking league records. of course this would lead to other problems (maybe lesser problems) of running up scores…

  11. That Guy says: Jan 15, 2010 11:10 AM

    You want a solution Goodell… open up the purse strings and hand out hefty player and team bonuses for WINS!!! The NFL makes so much money its sick! If the teams paid the players more $$$ for wins rather than personal stats AND the Owners got $$$ from the League for wins you wouldn’t have any stars sitting on the bench ever!

  12. DirtySanchez says: Jan 15, 2010 11:10 AM

    The last three weeks of the season should be divisional games…. you’d increase the likelihood of teams playing hard to win the division/playoff spot while at the same time divisional rivals who will not make the playoffs have a chance to knock a rival out of the playoffs (or nix their shot at a bye).
    It’s not perfect, but it should be tried any of the other ‘radical’ options are even considered (IE draft picks & the like…)
    Heck, even if it doesn’t work, divisional games would take more of a spotlight… it would become another NFL tradition.

  13. Roboto says: Jan 15, 2010 11:10 AM

    If I was an NFL player, I would never allow my @$$hole of a coach to pull me out of games at the end of the season. No matter what the circumstance were. I get paid to do a job. And, that is to work my butt off on the field and win every game possible and kick @$$ and take names *GROWL* Well, only if I was playing ball as a PITTSBURGH STEELER!
    Mike, more articles on the Pittsburgh Steelers, please. I know you love them. Afterall, the Pittsburgh Steelers are ProFootballTalk.com’s Team!

  14. RWFV says: Jan 15, 2010 11:12 AM

    Easy, get rid of the AFC/NFC concept. Would still have 8 division winners and 4 wild cards. Seed 1 – 12 This would have given Indy and N.O. plenty of reason to not rest their starters.
    Of course this would break a tradition that has been around since the merger.

  15. hizzle1281 says: Jan 15, 2010 11:12 AM

    what do people care if they rest their starters?
    if fans arent happy, dont go to a Colts home game when their 14-0 and have already clinched Home Field

  16. Wellsee says: Jan 15, 2010 11:12 AM

    You know how to make all the games count?
    Shorten the regular season.
    (I know: no chance in hell of that happening)

  17. Tompadre says: Jan 15, 2010 11:12 AM

    Perhaps they could take teams to court. Then appeal every decision against them until they’re in front of the Supreme Court. They could also bend the ear of Congress. Isn’t this pretty much how they handle anything that doesn’t go their way?

  18. Omega says: Jan 15, 2010 11:13 AM

    Pendulum Swing !
    …. play star players
    Star Player Hurt!
    Pendulum Swing!
    … sit star players

  19. leatherneck says: Jan 15, 2010 11:14 AM

    You will always have this situation in any playoff system. This is because once you qualify for the playoffs, and then earn the seeding you want, you don’t need to win until the playoffs begin.
    In college football’s bowl system, it’s different. Every game matters. If you let down late in the season, you might lose that BCS bowl bid.
    So maybe Goodell should become the commissioner of FBS football if he wants a “perfect system” according to him. Otherwise, the NFL is good enough as it is. Sometimes perfection can be the enemy of the good. Goodell should not try to tweak things to solve this problem, because it is not a real problem at this time.
    Goodell should be working on the CBA, revenue sharing, the salary cap, parity, and player safety from head injuries. Those are the real issues facing the NFL. Not whether the Colts played the Jets hard enough.

  20. Big Stretch says: Jan 15, 2010 11:14 AM

    Goodell is even more of an ass if he is now gonna try to tell teams that are 13-0 14-0 15-0 that they must play all their starters and they must play to win. is this gonna become another judgment call by the officials like the B.S. tuck rule or perhaps a new rule just as ridiculous as the Rooney rule?
    Stay out of the coach’s meetings jackass if a team puts itself in position to get healthy for the playoffs and a superbowl run then why should they get punished? And also if a team is in a position to tank a game and potentially play a team it sees as a good matchup then so be it. Bottom line win more games then the teams in your division during the season and you won’t have to worry about being affected by the teams who choose to get healthy rather than risk injuries in a game that DOES NOT mean anything to them.

  21. Marty says: Jan 15, 2010 11:15 AM

    Fine the teams in question large amounts of money – give that money to the fans via rebate

  22. PolegoJim says: Jan 15, 2010 11:16 AM

    How about stop asking ‘big brother’ to fix every possible issue large and small.
    Maybe Congress should hold hearings on how to force NFL teams to play their starters every game and never rest them.

  23. tomcous says: Jan 15, 2010 11:16 AM

    Should Golf Pros go for the hole on every shot or do they use strategy and lay-up once in a while?!?
    Should Pro Baseball teams play the same starters each day?
    Teams keep their eyes on the prize …
    Fans can do the same …

  24. Grkboiler says: Jan 15, 2010 11:16 AM

    This is only an issue because of Fantasy Football. People didnt complain about this 20 years ago when Jim Kelly was resting or Phil Simms.
    Only thing I can see to appease fans is to sell week 15 and 16 tickets at a discounted rate.
    You can’t expect fans to be happy about paying full price and all the top talent taking the pine after the first half or quarter.
    Then again, this is the same league that charges game day prices for pre-season games so don’t ever expect that to happen anytime soon.

  25. Samuel L. Bronkowitz says: Jan 15, 2010 11:17 AM

    // Still, Goodell said something needs to be done to keep the end of the regular season relevant. //
    NO HE DOESN’T
    Teams that win big early earn the right to rest their starters if they want. This whole conversation is just another example of over-thinking and over-managing the NFL from Goodell and sites like this.
    I really like PFT a lot but you need to let this one go, it’s just stupid.

  26. goose08 says: Jan 15, 2010 11:17 AM

    I am as big of a Steelers fan there is, but the reality of the situation is that nothing should be done about this. Teams that put themselves in a positon to give their players a break have earned that right and perceived advantage to do so. Teams that cry about it, well tough shit, the only team to blame is your own. I mean really the Steelers lose to the Browns, Raiders and Chiefs and now the league is up in arms about them not making the playoffs because teams lay down in 17? Give me a break.
    The Bengals clearly layed down in 17, and look what happened — Karma’s a bitch. Nobody complains when the bottom feeders play to lose to lock up a better draft pick…if you are going to try to regulate playoff competition in this sense then go to a draft lottery — which would break the competitive advantage and spirit of the draft altogether IMO.

  27. Bob says: Jan 15, 2010 11:18 AM

    And the worst solution to the “significant problem” is to mandate players play in a game with no meaning to the standings. Telling the Saints fans they’ll have to watch their team in the playoffs without Drew Brees is a more significant problem than the Saints tanking a game at the end of the season that doesn’t matter.
    Win your games early, and you earn the right to make decisions that are best for your team.

  28. James says: Jan 15, 2010 11:19 AM

    Why regulate it? These teams won the games they had to win at the beginning of the season so they could have the option to sit players. This is all a knee jerk reaction to Indy sitting their players against the Jets.
    The answer to this problem is simple. Win your games. These potential wildcard teams aren’t sitting outside the playoffs in the AFC because Indy threw a game. Their sitting outside because they couldn’t handle their business at the beginning of the season. Handle your business and win that game against the Browns and the Indy game is irrelevant for Steeler fans.
    The poster child for sitting players is Wes Welker. He tore his ACL and one can argue that losing him is one reason Baltimore won. I’m not saying Baltimore only won for that reason or that they wouldn’t have won had he played. What I’m saying is that losing Wes Welker didn’t help New England.
    When you buy an NFL ticket, you are entering into a contract to see, for the case of this argument, the Colts play the Jets. The contract isn’t to see Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne or some other superstar. When you buy a ticket for later in the season you run that risk that the team you are paying to see may sit their guys, or that someone may have gotten hurt earlier in the season and they are inactive. This is all an over reaction to a right that the Colts and teams like New Orleans earned by winning the games they had to win.

  29. winkel33 says: Jan 15, 2010 11:21 AM

    Goodell is really worrying me with this, and it makes me wonder if he is smart enough to be running the NFL – the year when Wes Welker blows out his knee in a meaningless knee, Anquan Boldin injures himself in a meaningless game and misses at least one and maybe more playoff games, is not the the time to be talking about this.
    And let’s be honest – he doesnt care about integrity. he cares about ratings and money.

  30. dpa6 says: Jan 15, 2010 11:21 AM

    Making the last three weeks divisional games not only forces teams to actually, ya know, play. It also makes the last three weeks of the season much more exciting. If every team is playing division rivals the last three weeks of the season, it would be almost as exciting as the playoffs.

  31. Harm City Homer says: Jan 15, 2010 11:21 AM

    If the last 2 weeks are division games most likley there will be more on the line than if not.
    The seeding should not be set by division winner over total record, just make it one of the top tiebreakers after hth.
    That should be enough to make more games matter in the last 2 weeks, but there is also the tanking games issue when a good #1 prospect is out there.
    Instead of just giving the worst team the best player, the bottom 4 teams should just have the first chance to sign a top prospect. Then as the players come off the board the next team on the list is able to get in the draft pool. You actually sign a player to a standard type short term rookie contract with restriced free agency options starting a lot sooner than 4 or 6 years.

  32. The Rural Juror says: Jan 15, 2010 11:22 AM

    The last game or two of each season, for each team, should be a division game.
    Problem solved.

  33. StevenM says: Jan 15, 2010 11:23 AM

    No one has mentioned when there are games between teams that have been long since eliminated from the playoffs. Those games are meaningless too.

  34. imabigdog says: Jan 15, 2010 11:27 AM

    The BIGEST non issue ever.
    Any team that is relaying on another team to make the playoff should not be in the playoffs. If your team misses the playoffs because their 8 wins were not enough to beat a 9 win team that got their 9th win against a team that did not care, maybe YOUR team should have won one more game.
    It’s like some people want OBAMA to run the playoff (“oh don’t worry… If you don’t have enough wins we take some from teams that have too many and give it to you)
    As for the people that buy late season tickets. That is a chance you take, you might get a win and in game or you might get ” de facto exhibition” game.

  35. Big Stretch says: Jan 15, 2010 11:33 AM

    maybe Goodell should just call up the BCS, eliminate all divisons and conferences and just have a ranking system 1-32….and we can let a computer decide who plays in the superbowl…
    You “fans” of teams that are in a position to sit players (Colts) should be a happy as a dog with a bone that your team has secured a chance to play for the superbowl. The pats went undefeated while beating the hell out of teams in 2007 and how did that work out?
    The only good thing about this problem is that hopefully it is taking time away from that jackass Goodell’s efforts to send the superbowl to a different country.
    F–K Goodell.

  36. olcap says: Jan 15, 2010 11:43 AM

    “The integrity of the game is the most important thing,” Goodell said.
    What a laugh! This schmuck is heavily involved in DESTROYING the integrity of the game. Worst person to have ever been handed the reigns of the NFL.

  37. Hauschild says: Jan 15, 2010 11:44 AM

    At least the NFL is smart enough to admit it can’t, and more importantly – shouldn’t do anything.
    People just can leave shit alone – they’re continually F’ing with stuff until they break it. It’s maddening to those of us with scruples.

  38. bornman3 says: Jan 15, 2010 11:44 AM

    It would be so much more fun if the first four games of the season were your out of conference games anyway. They allow you to ramp up the season to the big games, and maybe keep some importance towards the end of the schedule.

  39. Roboto says: Jan 15, 2010 11:45 AM

    Another elistist right-winger has to throw his lame political slant into the mix. Take you nose out of Bush’s @$$ and wise up.

  40. djstat says: Jan 15, 2010 11:45 AM

    Simple. Require the team to refund those in attendance 50% of their ticket. 50% effort =s 50% refund

  41. footballguy76 says: Jan 15, 2010 11:51 AM

    I think the best option would be to pay a flat rate bonus to players and coaches on teams who have already clinched playoff. For example, Jets vs. Colts last week, Colts players and coaches would have received a $15,000 bonus if they had won the game. Whether they decided to sit the starters or not, at least the coaches would be better prepared with a game plan and the backups would play harder all knowing that they would receive some extra pocket change for their efforts. It’s a win-win situation. Everyone including the starters get extra money for “playing to win the game…hello!?”

  42. doowix2010 says: Jan 15, 2010 11:57 AM

    Here’s my solution:
    Shorten the preseason to 2 or 3 games.
    Weeks 1 and 2 are against non-conference opponenets. Weeks 3, 4, 5 are against divisional opponents.
    Week 6 is a bye week for every team. Teams would have until the conclusion of this week before the trade deadline hit, which coupled with changes to the CBA that making trading more viable (as in other pro sports leagues) could lead to more roster moves at this point in the season.
    Weeks 7 through 14 the teams play their other 2 non-conference games and 6 conference non-divisional games, in no particular order.
    Week 15 is also a bye week for all teams.
    Weeks 16, 17, 18 are the remaining divisional games.
    Add an extra wild card team to each conference so that only the top seed gets a first round bye, and allow wildcard teams to have home-field advantage if they have a better record than the team they are playing. Division winners host the games if records are tied.
    This would put a lot more meaning into the final several weeks of the regular season, and the late season bye would give teams a chance to rest starters for the stretch run. Byes could also be spread out over a 2 week span if the NFL is afraid of not having any games on two weekends.

  43. slutnuts says: Jan 15, 2010 11:58 AM

    shortening the season or lengthening the season will not work. it still invites the same “problem”.
    the point system someone mentioned is a joke, because that would make teams in garbage division – i.e. arizona- the number 1 seeds.
    simply, there is nothing you can do. why do fans complain that their team is so good that they get to rest important players. try being a bills fan, the only rest those players get is when they are injured.

  44. straverse says: Jan 15, 2010 12:01 PM

    I can tell you that extending the season to 17 games sure as hell isn’t the answer. Shortening it back to 14 would be much better. I like the first commenter’s solution as well. Last 3 games are division games.

  45. biju says: Jan 15, 2010 12:02 PM

    Easy fix: Rookie salary cap.
    There’s a reason why teams seem to stay at the top or bottom for long periods of time. It’s because teams with high first round picks need to absolutely strike gold with that pick, otherwise they are burdened with a huge contract and no money for supporting players.
    As soon as a rookie cap is introduced the “bad” teams will get good players for cheap, allowing them more money to be used on FAs. The disparity between the good and bad teams shorten leading to fewer teams that have playoff positions locked up by week 14.
    A small and much needed fix will do the trick.

  46. bleed blue says: Jan 15, 2010 12:02 PM

    Solution week 15-17 should be division games only AND change it so division standings should only be based on division games !

  47. what the? says: Jan 15, 2010 12:10 PM

    Why not have the last five games determine the home field advantage?
    Tie breakers could be season record, away wins, div wins, etc . .

  48. Deb says: Jan 15, 2010 12:13 PM

    @imabigdog …
    I doubt it. Big dogs don’t usually have to tell everyone they’re big dogs. But just curious–are you a Longhorns fan? Was wondering because you’re one of those guys who just HAS to bring Obama into every football conversation. Kinda reminds me of the Longhorns crying over Colt last week. Well, here’s the deal: YOU LOST. Now suck it up–like a big dog. You’ll get another shot in 2012. So … can we talk football now?
    As for Goodell’s dilemma …
    My guess is this wasn’t a big issue in a 12- or 14-game season. The Commish might want to think about that before signing off on 18 games.

  49. GiantAmongstMen says: Jan 15, 2010 12:14 PM

    Like many people here, i don’t understand the big deal. in every sport, such as baseball and basketball, teams rest their starters as the season winds down. did anyone criticize the Yankees for resting CC Sabathia towards the end of the season? did the fans feel cheated he didn’t start every fifth day? or would they have if he flamed out in the playoffs?
    playing hard all season and getting your wins early earns you the right to go into the postseason as you see fit. personally, i feel you loose an edge if your best players have been on their butts for 3 weeks, but that’s the coaches call.
    a team has to field a team every sunday. who is on the field is the team’s call.

  50. HAUS says: Jan 15, 2010 12:16 PM

    Teams who rest players should have the following season’s schedule made more difficult thus making it more difficult to make the playoffs the following year. Teams who got screwed could have a softer schedule ensuring a greater likelyhood for them to make it to the playoffs the following year. Overall I think it would be better for all fans.

  51. Raider Nation says: Jan 15, 2010 12:27 PM

    Of course there is a solution and a few people here have stated it already!
    DIVISIONAL games the last weeks of the season.
    Problem solved, I am new Commish!

  52. hotchick says: Jan 15, 2010 12:32 PM

    So Indy’s game at the end of the season “didn’t mean anything.” Did Buffalo’s? Seattle sure didn’t pack it int he alst two weeks of the season. We going to rebate those fans too? Think Seattle would have played hard if they were divisional games? Still cant win the division, So they are going to play hard?
    Its also not possible to schedule only divisional games for the alst 3 weeks. Especially if you try to add alternating 2 of them home and two of them away each year. Sometimes, even if the team is the primary tenant the stadium is not available.
    Here is another factor. I hate having tickets for the Christmas weekend games. I always try to sell them off. So I’d hate for those games to be always rivalry games.
    Which is another factor. The networks are going to want the divisional games spread out throughout the season. They are not going to what Dallas/Philly, NE/Jets, Giants/Wash, ATL/NO, Cincy/Cleve, GB/Chic, Den/Oak all on the same weekend. They need the double header, prime time games spread throughtout the season and let the playoff runs be the marketing draw of the last few weeks. Not so much the rivalry match up.

  53. Hauschild says: Jan 15, 2010 12:34 PM

    Goodell is smart enough to realize he shouldn’t tinker with something successful.
    How many things in this country to people continually feel the need to “tinker” or “screw” with and in the long run it messes everything up.
    The NFL rocks, so the best way to keep it that way is to leave this situation alone and leave “overtime” the way it is. All this stuff makes for more water cooler talk, which ultimately makes football more popular. Don’t turn it into a boring MLB and awful NBA.

  54. fukemi says: Jan 15, 2010 12:40 PM

    is it just me or does goodell seem like a gready prick? he wants to make the season longer,and he wants more out of the country games!! WTF!!

  55. Holeinone09 says: Jan 15, 2010 12:49 PM

    A team should be allowed to make decisions in the best interest of the team. Some including me don’t like some of those decisions, especially when looking at the impact on our own team from a jealous standpoint, but in their position we would do the same thing.
    I agree a reasonable solution would be to have the last games of the season be division games. You could put the first set of division games in the first 8 games. But I would go a step further. I would say no “other conference” games in the second half of the season. All games in the second half of the season are in-conference only, including your division at the end.
    So, with divisional and in-conference games being important in the playoff standings, the last half of the season would be loaded with them. As a Steeler fan, in the AFC North, divison games tend to be tough no matter the quality of the teams. Everyone seems to get incentive to play each other. That would be fun to watch those games at the end, with a very high probability of meaning something, including the risk of one trying to knock the other out of a playoff seat.
    Just make the end of the schedule as meaningful as you can. That is a start in the right direction.
    And I don’t see how venue availability would be a problem really. That should be able to be worked out in advance. This is the NFL and a lot of money is at stake for everyone.

  56. skoolya says: Jan 15, 2010 12:56 PM

    The problem as I see it, you’re trying to protect the integrity of the game, yet so many of the influential people in the league have no integrity. bill polian, integrity? They are not in the same universe. And he’s on the competition committee. The only reason is so he can tailor the game to suit his personnel and the way the Colts play. He gets attention because he calls and screams every Monday morning after a game to scream like a spoiled little four year old. And shame on the league office for giving in to his tantrums. This is the man who routinely screams in professional pressboxes throughout the league, yelled for someone to break Doug Flutie’s leg, hit a little old man at the Jets game for having speakers too close to their bench, has noise pumped into the stadium to slant the advantage in his favor. He denies this but at the time he had total say over what was played over the p.a. system at the RCA dome, including what music was played. Why else and who else ever had that kind of authority for a team. He had all that taken away and got his bitch-ass slapped down when he went off like a psycho on Jay Mohr. And he commands his head coach to bench their top players to keep teams he is afraid of out of the playoffs. Does anybody really wonder why there is an integrity problem in the NFL with scumbags like bill polian wielding so much weight. Assholes like Jerry Jones, Danny Snyder, Ray Lewis, Leonard Little, Michael Vick, Pacman Jones, Tank Johnson, Chris Henry rip, Chris Polian, Scott Pioli, Carl, Peterson (retired), Jay Zygmut (retired), Jared Allen, just to name a few. This doesn’t even take into account the ones who are just plain incompetent. Maybe the league should be a bit more discriminating on who they allow to work in the league.

  57. baxstar says: Jan 15, 2010 1:03 PM

    I think the plan most people are behind is having the last 3 weeks of the season be divisional games. It makes sense, it would make for tons of rivalry games in December, and it would also add a little interest for those teams who are out of the postseason.
    More importantly, though, I hope everyone remembers this uproar about resting starters before they ever start to even consider an 18 games schedule. Can you imagine teams clinching with 4 or 5 weeks to go? It would allow teams to have even more time to consider resting starters and make for a brutal final month of the season. Just one more reason in my mind that makes extending the season a stupid idea!

  58. stnmmc says: Jan 15, 2010 1:08 PM

    Simple. The last two weeks everybody plays at the same time, make them all 4:00 games. That way nobody can alter their game plan based on how the other games have turned out.
    Oh wait, that would hurt the money from tv, which is WAY more importanat than the integrity of the game.

  59. ch19079 says: Jan 15, 2010 1:13 PM

    The thing they can do is make the teams list players they will not be starting or “resting”, a week before the game starts. That way all the fans will know who to expect out there. Kinda like they do with injury reports. AND offer to buy back tickets from fans the week before those games.
    I usually go to 1 NFL game a year (diffrent stadium each year) and buy the tickets the day they go on sale (months before the game is played). If I buy a colts ticket, I want to see their starters play. If they dont, I want my money back.

  60. iusedtobeteddybayer says: Jan 15, 2010 1:27 PM

    If integrity was soooo f-ing important, why isn’t every single play reviewable?

  61. Brohamma says: Jan 15, 2010 1:33 PM

    Mr. Goodell, there is a saying that I’m sure you are quite familiar with: “be careful what you wish for.”
    In short, do NOT change a thing. The teams who EARNED the chance to rest key players PLAYED for that right. Those teams gave us week-after-week of highlights and put a real smile on every NFL fans face.
    In regards to those who are concerned about their “right” to see the starters play if they bought a ticket… I know you can’t say this in your position, but waaaah!
    Don’t let selfish fans who feel this way try to “fix something that isn’t broken” through pressure. The NFL is where it’s at (on top) due to it’s current format. IT WORKS!
    Sincerely,
    A fan of the NFL

  62. Deb says: Jan 15, 2010 2:09 PM

    @Brohamma …
    Stop being so condescending. We’re all NFL fans here, and what will put a smile on my face is watching my Steelers’ AFC North rivals, the Ravens, knock the snot out of the well-rested Colts.
    You don’t quit. You never quit. Nobody’s crying. We’re just disgusted at watching a team that could have gone into the playoffs undefeated choose instead to take a fall.
    The current format doesn’t work, and pointing out the flaws in a system that has multiple teams taking a powder on the last week of the season doesn’t make fans selfish. The whaaa would come from the owners if those fans decided not to buy tickets for the last two games.
    If I’m not mistaken, you’re a Pats fan. I don’t like the Pats, but at least your coach had enough backbone two years ago to let his team play through. Better to go all in and lose than to belly crawl to a championship.

  63. edgerules says: Jan 15, 2010 2:38 PM

    Well, I am a huge fan of the NFL, but man, seems to me that integrity doesn’t matter to some. In horse racing, a jockey can get in trouble for NOT TRYING to win. Why play the game then if you are not gonna TRY? You may as well turn the NFL into the WWE. At least we all know that the last few games will be fixed if we know that the team lays down.
    I agree that teams should win their games (Earth to my guys in the Black and Gold). However, it just seems sleazy when teams lay down. The Welker injury could have happened Week 1. It could have happened in pre season. Roethlisberger didn’t get that concussion last year in week 17 because he played in week 17. Ridiculous argument to rest starters because you are scared they will get hurt. The starters could get hurt in the playoffs or Super Bowl also.
    I like some of the ideas to load the end of the season with divisional games. I also would get rid of the bye week for teams who wrap up their divisions.
    I realize that when you buy a ticket, it says, “The Colts,” or “The Steelers” or whatever. Sure, you are not guaranteed the starters will be in the game. However, when you pay all that money, it is natural to think that you will see the starters.
    I think what the NFL should do is put on the ticket or in the advertisements: “Team lineup subject to change.” I also feel that ticket prices for both pre season and for the last 2 regular season games should be 1/2 price. I mean, you are paying the same price for week 17 that you are for week 1. If the team is gonna play the last couple of games like a pre season game, well, I don’t think fans should pay full price.

  64. biglebronski10 says: Jan 15, 2010 3:19 PM

    Seeding lottery: Each team receives one lottery ball for each win of the season. The first team to have a ball chosen is the #1 seed, the second team the #2 seed, and so on.
    Now the Colts (at 14-0) want to beat the Jets (at 7-7) because it is a 2 ball swing (not that kind) in the lottery if they don’t.

  65. peeWEEbrain says: Jan 15, 2010 6:46 PM

    2 possible solutions:
    1)use the entire record to make the playoffs but the last 8 to determine seeding. you’d have to make some scheduling changes and some tie breaker rules would need to be changed to make it work.
    2)for every game of the regular season the members of the winning team gets 100% of their per game contract salary. the losing team gets 80% of their pay day. donate the 20% to charity and at least they get the tax break. :-)

  66. what the? says: Jan 15, 2010 9:56 PM

    has to be fixed – or teams owners can be accused of wagering on the outcome and dictate who plays the games

  67. Brohamma says: Jan 16, 2010 9:28 AM

    @Deb
    In no way, was I meaning to be condescending.
    Look, reread what I wrote again and then read through the majority of the posts above. People are trying to form their own perfect NFL. The point here is to find a middle ground. What we currently have in the NFL is just that.
    If you look at most of the suggestions above they are trying to be constructive… the problem is that they contain many flaws in my perspective; AND THAT is what I mean in regards to “their own perfect NFL.”
    There is a real potential here to inadvertantly do damage to the entire season. Do I believe teams “folding” is good.. certainly not. Do I believe teams that have given us, as fans, week after week of AWESOME football a chance to rest their players a good thing.. I certainly do. We get those weeks of great football because teams are TRYING to earn themselves a “bye” of sorts.
    Don’t take away that incentive; for you may just end up with the final two weeks also occuring in the first couple weeks of the season.

  68. Brohamma says: Jan 16, 2010 9:39 AM

    @edgerules
    So Miami and Houston, who had a shot a getting into the post season with home wins should’ve halved prices for their home games?
    @those with Divisional games last few weeks or end of the season much more valuable.
    So as coach I need to make sure my players are ready. Any minor dings they have.. hmm, let me rest them prior to this upcoming stretch due to it’s importance. Result: Instead of the last two weeks POSSIBLY being played by second stringers the middle weeks of the season DEFINATELY will be played by second stringers.

  69. Deb says: Jan 16, 2010 11:54 AM

    @Brohamma …
    Well, I’ll give it to you that I haven’t yet heard anything workable. That’s why, in my original post, I didn’t offer any suggestion save thinking twice about expanding to an 18-game season. I don’t know what the solution would be. You can’t dictate which players teams field. These ideas about saving division matchups until the last week, etc., aren’t going to work. A better idea would be to have a more competitive league so you don’t wind up with teams like the Colts being in a position to stand down for their final two games. All we can do now is hope karma does its job.

  70. Brohamma says: Jan 17, 2010 4:41 AM

    @Deb
    I agree 100% with you that the NFL cannot dictate which players teams field. A more competitive league… well, I feel that if you look at the NFL in comparison to other major sports the NFL is definately ahead. It seems that quality coaching is what many of the teams lack; along with the increasing frequency of player injury.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!