Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Reimer: Watching NFL RedZone after Patriots games is one sad experience

Alex Reimer
December 03, 2017 - 5:32 pm

The gap between the Patriots and the rest of the conference is never more apparent than when you flip over to NFL RedZone following the latest Pats blowout. You go from witnessing excellence to incompetence within seconds. It’s almost as if the other games are being played in an alternate universe.

The contrast was especially jarring Sunday, which featured perhaps the weakest slate of the season. The schedule was so porous, Jim Nantz and Tony Romo, CBS No. 1 team, were forced to watch the Patriots’ 23-3 drubbing of the Bills. 

But at least they were saved from witnessing the mesmerizing ineptitude that was on display during the fourth quarter of Chiefs-Jets. Josh McCown connected with Jermaine Kearse for 51 yards with 6:57 remaining, leading the Jets to Kansas City’s five-yard line. It took the Jets 10 plays to reach the end zone from there –– backing up to the 10-yard line twice. The Chiefs committed two penalties that kept the drive alive, and an additional penalty on the two-point conversion, which allowed the Jets to score. 

It’s been quite a downward spiral for the Chiefs, who have lost six of their last seven games. The inability of any other team in the AFC West to surpass them is maybe the saddest anecdote of all. 

But it’s not hard to believe after watching the Chiefs’ competition. While the Jets and Chiefs alternated between getting stuffed at the goal line and drawing flags, the Dolphins were putting the finishing touches on their beatdown of the Broncos. The last act came when Denver punt returner Isaiah McKenzie ran backwards into the end zone and fumbled after fielding a kick. 

At 3-9, the Broncos have seemingly given up on the season. It shows how much atrocious quarterback play and clueless coaching can drag down an otherwise talented team. 

On paper, it seemed as if there were going to be some dramatic finishes Sunday. Three games –– Chiefs-Jets, Texans-Titans, Buccaneers-Packers –– were either tied or within one possession in the fourth quarter. But the competitiveness of those contests was largely due to the awfulness of each opponent. The AFC South battle between Houston and Tennessee was a real treat. Predictably, the Titans broke the game open after Tom Savage threw an interception with roughly one minute remaining and the Texans marching towards the red zone. 

That means the AFC South will almost certainly come down to the Titans and Jaguars. In this dire NFL season, the Jaguars are even getting flexed to primetime. Their Week 14 matchup against the Seahawks will replace Cowboys-Giants as Fox’s national game of the week. 

There’s your real reason why ratings are down.

Some Patriots fans say it's been a boring season, with New England ripping off eight largely one-sided wins after starting 2-2. But it could be a lot worse. Any late-afternoon trip over to the Red Zone Channel shows proves it. 

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