• Loading stock data...
Sunday, March 3, 2024

Is the NFL Seeing a Changing of the Guard?

  • League loses popular Cowboys, Steelers, and Eagles teams in the Wild Card round.
  • Lions, Texans, and Buccaneers move into the spotlight.
NFL
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has enjoyed a steady run of success in its 2023 season, including banner regular-season TV ratings and attendance, plus a beginning to its postseason that included a U.S. streaming record and Fox’s best wild-card audience since 2015. But the league now moves to its divisional playoff round without several of its most popular franchises. 

Losses by the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Philadelphia Eagles over the league’s Super Wild Card Weekend left the NFL without its Nos. 1, 3, and 4 most popular teams, as measured by social media followings. Three of the four most-watched individual NFL games during the 2023 regular season also involved the Cowboys or Eagles. 

In their place are a series of upstart teams:

  • The Detroit Lions hosted and won their first playoff game in 30 years, beating the Super Bowl LVI champion Los Angeles Rams, and they will now host another postseason game on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • The Houston Texans advanced to the divisional round for just the fifth time in franchise history, thanks in part to rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud.
  • And a post-Tom Brady Buccaneers team is riding a new wave of success with journeyman quarterback Baker Mayfield. 

The NFL is hardly hurting for star power among its remaining playoff teams. In particular, the Kansas City Chiefs and their Taylor Swift-influenced following will face the Buffalo Bills in a divisional-round rematch of their epic overtime playoff game two years ago, with CBS gaining the coveted late-Sunday broadcast slot. The Green Bay Packers also enjoy one of the league’s broadest bases of fan support, ranking fifth among NFL teams in social media followers. But the remaining teams still showcase something of a changing of the guard from some of the most iconic franchises.

“We were underdogs. We’re going to be underdogs next week, too,” Buccaneers coach Todd Bowles said. “We understand that. We embrace it. We like it.”

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Aug 15, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Chain crew members walk on the field prior to the game between the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Football Is Finally Getting With the Times, Technologically Speaking

Helmet communications in college and first-down technology in NFL could be coming.

MASN-Comcast Negotiations: Big Implications for TV and MLB

Orioles-controlled RSN continues to negotiate with dominant local cable carrier.
Max Verstappen. Christian Horner

Formula One Is Back After a Particularly Spicy Offseason

Formula One begins its 2024 season with Saturday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

NFL Combine Is Buzzing With Talk of Nearly $1B in Extra Cap Space

The 2024 NFL salary cap is $255.4M per team, a $30M-per-team jump over last season.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Jenny Cavnar is Breaking Barriers During Oakland’s Strange Season

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

The Caitlin Clark Economy: Much More Than an Army of Traveling Young Girls

The economy surrounding No. 22 goes far beyond her biggest fans.
March 2, 2024

Sheer Madness: What You Need to Know About MLB’s New Uniform Saga

MLB’s reworked uniforms have become a major source of spring training controversy.
Oct 5, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, points to the lettering outside of the museum Tuesday.
February 28, 2024

How Do You Keep Negro Leagues Baseball History Alive? Put It in a Video Game

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum attracting increased donations, visits from ‘MLB The Show.’
February 26, 2024

The Victor Wembanyama Rookie Card Market Hasn’t Matched His Hype

A cooling market and Fanatics autograph deal leaves big-money collectors waiting.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Spotify
Multiple - USA Careers
Nike
Multiple - USA Careers
EA
Multiple - USA Careers
Anthony Kim

Can LIV Golf’s Bid to Bring Back Retired PGA Tour Star Succeed?

Anthony Kim will compete on LIV Golf the rest of the season.
Amanda Vandervort
February 26, 2024

With the NWSL Thriving, Is There More Room at the Top in Women’s Pro Soccer?

The USL Super League has received D-I sanctioning from U.S. Soccer.
February 28, 2024

NFLPA Report Cards: Dolphins Best, Commanders Worst

The NFLPA released its second annual team report cards.
Sponsored

How LivePass is Redefining Ticketing for the Next Generation of Fans

The next wave of ticketing technology.
February 26, 2024

Unsigned MLB Stars Spark Tension Between Teams, Players, and Union

Nineteen teams are currently projected to open the 2024 season with reduced payrolls.
NFL salary cap
February 23, 2024

NFL Salary Cap Sees Historic Spike Ahead of 2024 Season

Each franchise was allotted $255.4M, which is a $30M increase for each team.
February 23, 2024

Despite Nike’s Efforts, MLB Uniform Controversy Isn’t Looking Good

Manufacturer touts product benefits but ignores complaints of see-through fabric.
MLB Arizona
February 22, 2024

MLB Seeks Minimum Wage Exemption in Arizona

The system is for minor league players due to a previously agreed-on labor agreement.