The NFL is the best sports league of any of the major sports. For the most part, it is pretty easy to predict who will be among the best in the league each year. However, football seems to be the one sport where almost every team has a chance each year. Hence the over-used term and aptly named movie, "...any given Sunday..."
This season has only just begun and already this has become extremely evident. After only one game, arguable the best offensive and defensive players in the entire league have been lost for the season to bad knee injuries, and many others may soon follow. Tom Brady is gone from the Patriots, which should significantly upset the balance of power in the division, much less the whole league. Shawne Merriman is out for the Chargers and their defense will look a lot different without him. Vince Young is out for a few weeks for the Titans, who may actually be a better passing team under Kerry Collins than they were with Young. Brodie Croyle is hurt in KC, and will miss a few weeks. Ben Roethlisberger has a hurting shoulder but he shouldn't miss any time, according to the Steelers. Kyle Boller was placed on IR by the Ravens, and....well,...nevermind.
These injuries may change the entire post season and we haven't even begun to talk about the injuries to the other positions around the league. Even with a so-called healthy Peyton Manning, the Colts have already felt the effect of having him not take a snap in the preseason while he recovered from offseason surgery. Throughout the season, the injury list as well as the amount of players placed on IR will continue to grow, as this is such a violent and physical sport and the athletes keep getting bigger, stronger and faster each year. The team that stays healthy will have the best chance of still playing in the post season. One major injury in a key position can make or break a season.
That is one reason why the NFL is such a great form of entertainment. Whether you are from New England or Arizona, you can go into the season thinking, "what if?" That is also why us Ravens fans can see the results from only one game against an opponent even weaker than what we were supposed to be, and still think that if things continue to develop and improve, then yes, even the Ravens can still be playing meaningful games late into the season and then, who knows, even into January and beyond!
Bring on week 2!