When analyzing NFL games, you can spend as much time on game analysis, take into account as much relevant data as possible, and read as many expert opinions on game outlooks as possible, and still end up being way off from the final result of the game. One aspect of the beauty of sports is its unpredictability, due in large part to the luck factor that affects game outcomes. As a result, one must exercise caution, though not too extreme or too little, when trying to predict the outcomes of games. Here are four reasons why the NFL is so unpredictable.
Number Of Players On The Field
Unlike the NBA, where five players make up the starting lineup along with a bench rotation of around four to five players, in any NFL game, more 40 players may end up seeing the field at one point or another. Due to the pure volume of players having a role in each game, this significantly adds to the randomness of trying to predict the outcomes of NFL games. With so many players having the ability to affect the outcome of a game, you can never be too sure which player will end up making the most impact. The more players that get shuffled in and out of a game, the more susceptible the game will be to a wider range of outcomes.
At times, in an act of desperation, the quarterback may toss up a heave for his receivers to try to haul in. Sometimes, the throw may be completely off but miraculously, one of the players, often times not the intended target, ends up with a fair catch. Many catches have been successful, not so much as a result of skill on the part of the quarterback and the receiver, but more so due to the opposing team deflecting the ball into a receiver’s hands or bouncing off a helmet and into unexpected hands. As a result of the possibility of these lucky catches, this may have a significant impact on the outcomes of games.
Fortunate Or Unfortunate Bounces
When a fumble happens in football, a frenzy to recover the ball occurs. Due to the shape of a football, the way the football tends to bounce off a fumble is largely unpredictable. As a result, a fumble may bounce right into the arms of the opposing team, leading to a fumble recovery touchdown run. On the other hand, a fumble may also bounce right back into the arms of the same team, saving a potentially devastating touchdown. Sometimes, the deciding factor of a game comes down to the bounce of the football – if it goes your way, you win; if it does not go your way, you lose.
In the NFL, kickoff returns for touchdowns happen once in a while, though not once in a blue moon. While these touchdown returns require a lot of skill on the part of the players, the luck factor also comes in to play. Sometimes, from a kickoff return or a run, the opposing team’s defense ends up scrambling to recover or the player making the run is seemingly able to avoid every single close tackle and sneak through every single opening, however small. While it takes experience and skill to fend off tackles and anticipate openings, other times, it simply comes down to luck. When a team is able to return a kickoff for an 80-yard touchdown or runs from its own end for a 60-yard touchdown, this may change the entire feel and outcome of a game.