Wednesday Morning QB (Week 1)

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The NFL has been aiming to grow but North America’s biggest league there isn’t a whole lot of room left to grow.

They had been looking to international games as a potential but the entire time there was something missing from the league.

That was always the biggest untapped football market in North America as the NFL had never been able to keep a team in Los Angeles.

There has always been an appetite for the game in the second largest city in the USA as USC and UCLA regularly draw big crowds.

The NFL has never been able to hold on to a team in the city though as both the Raiders and the Rams were in Los Angeles for decades before leaving.

For both teams, the move away from Los Angeles was all about the lack of a new stadium for either team as both looked to try to get a more modern stadium but neither could.

So the Rams moved to St. Louis and the Raiders moved to Oakland where they could get that new stadium.

It didn’t hurt that neither of the teams could draw a big group at any of their games and the move for both brought a lot of excitement to the cities that were chosen.

The NFL had always wanted to head back but there was always those nerves about whether or not Los Angeles was an NFL town.

It comes with the same concerns for every big city when someone wants to add another attraction or team.

There is just so much more to do that if the team struggled would anyone care or would they just move on to the next thing.

Starting a brand new team in Los Angeles was going to have to compete with two basketball teams, a hockey team that continues to grow into a big attraction not to mention all of the other attractions in the city.

The shopping the sightseeing and the multiple other things that anyone can do in Los Angeles were all going to compete with a new team.

That caused the NFL to be a little hesitant in moving or creating a new team but the want to get there never faded.

After all, it is the second biggest market in the USA behind New York and for the biggest league in the country to not have a presence seemed strange.

For years it seemed like it was only a short time before it happened as every team wanting a new stadium threatened to move to Los Angeles.

That was until 2016 when the NFL approved a plan to move the Rams to Los Angeles and give the Chargers the option of moving along with them.

Both would play in a brand new stadium in Inglewood that would be the Rams if the Chargers decided not to move.

The Rams began their first season back in Los Angeles in 2016 and the response was pretty good as fans came out to the LA Coliseum to see their new team.

Excitement was high for football to return to the city and some believed that things were looking good for the team.

This off-season the Chargers saw the success and couldn‘t make progress on trying to find a new stadium so they chose to leave San Diego and move to Los Angeles.

The Chargers will play in Carson, just outside of Los Angeles, until the new stadium is done but the fact was that an area that had no teams two years ago all of a sudden had two.

It was a concern for many as there was doubt about whether they were going to accept the Rams but putting another team in the mix was going to complicate things.

Especially when neither team was particularly great last season and neither really inspired fans.football-sidebar

That lack of inspiration showed in Week 1 of the new season as the excitement of the Rams in Los Angeles gave way to what everyone feared when they initially were approved to move.

When talking about the move detractors thought that a middling team was never going to survive because they needed to capture the attention of people with plenty else to do.

The Rams came out strong winning their first game big against the Indianapolis Colts and kicking off the game right.

The problem was that they did it in front of a less than half packed stadium with some reports claiming that the stadium was 30% full.

That is scary for the franchise trying to get a foothold in the city and a team that now has to compete against the Chargers for Los Angeles fans.

It is scary for the NFL as they have seemingly done everything right in terms of growing the league and if this attendance issue continues the future of LA football could be in doubt.

The Chargers will begin their home schedule in Week 2 but in the preseason numbers haven’t looked good either.

Of course, nothing is going to be done soon as the league awaits the new stadium which may very well draw fans for the fact that it is state-of-the-art.

Drawing fans will always be a challenge though and empty stadiums don’t make the league look very good, the league had a blackout policy only a few years ago for less than full stadiums.

Although the money is no longer in drawing fans, if Los Angeles can’t draw fans the experiment might be over quickly and might shut the door for good on professional football in LA.

 

Fifth Quarter

Taking Over

The Houston Texans were hoping to give their city something to cheer about in their first week but it didn’t quite work out. They struggled in their opener with local hero, J.J. Watt going down early and Tom Savage looking lost under centre. The issues in their opener led to a very quick change as the Texans have already moved on to the future of the position. They will start rookie Deshaun Watson in Week 2 after he took over for Savage in the first week.

Bad Start

There are a number of teams that are going to be suffering after their first week after some lost their top players. The most notable was David Johnson as the Cardinals were hoping to focus on his running ability to lead the team. They won’t get the chance as he will be out 3-6 months with a wrist injury suffered in Week 1. Meanwhile, Allen Robinson will miss the entire season with a torn ACL and Kansas City leader Eric Berry ruptured his Achilles ended his season.

Dolphins Request

  The Miami Dolphins were supposed to start their season at home this week but Hurricane Irma cancelled those plans. Their opening game was scrapped but that cancellation changed a lot more than just Week 1 as the cancelled game also cancelled their bye week giving them 16 straight weeks of games. That will be tough but the toughest part will be the fact that they will have to go to London within those 16 weeks without a break in between. That is why the team requested that their London game to Miami, although the league refused their request.

week1-standings

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