How Important Are Preseason Games? (Poll)

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Tony Cheering on the Team

How important are preseason games in order to prepare for the regular season? Is it necessary to have four? Is it important to win? Do you believe the preseason win / loss record is indicative of the upcoming season? With less than two weeks of practices, no OTA’s and  no training camp, have you noticed a significant drop off in the level of play?


Oh, by the way, here is last years preseason results. Note that Chicago was 0-4 and made a deep playoff run. Dallas was 3-2 and didn’t come close to a playoff spot. The rebuilding 49′ers were a whopping 4-0. Did you know that Tony Sparano is 9-3 in preseason / exhibition, 10-3 if you count the recent win over the Atlanta Falcons?


I admit it, I have been an advocate of reducing the number of preseason games from four to two in order to increase the regular season games from 16 to 18 for quite sometime now. I was disappointed the new CBA did not expand the regular season.  I am not even sure the option was ever on the table for discussion, nonetheless how it was presented. If the players received compensation for the extra two games, I can’t see how they could turn it down. Apparently, from the discussions I have been in and the forums I have read, I am in the minority. Regardless, with the CBA signed for the next ten years, it becomes a moot point.


Why do I feel that way? For me, watching a preseason NFL game is much like a preseason baseball game.  The veterans you want to see, play sparingly and 90% of the rest will be a forgotten memory in less than a month . Yes, watching preseason games is for only the most savvy football fan. Those that want to see how their teams draft picks are developing. That is not to say the preseason is not important to the game, or it is not enjoyable to watch. It is! After seven months of no NFL football, anything would suffice, but a preseason game will never match a regular season match-up.

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  • phinfandan

    I would have to say that for me, preseason games are not all that exciting. You barely see the starters, the tickets are expensive and in the end they mean nothing towards the regular season stats.

    I imagine that it is a great tool for the coaches to evaluate their prospects. In reality they know what they see in practices and scrimmages but you always have to wonder how they do against other players not on their team. The crowd and lights add a real game environment distraction that you won’t find in practices unless you Henne and the crowd boo’s you which is definitely not right.

    I also see the players side of it, being that they won’t necessarily make more money if they have more regular season games unless contracts are negotiated by games meaning if you make $700,00 a game, that they now have the opportunity to make a few extra pay checks. I don’t necessarily think that they were planning on giving the players more money, but I could be wrong. I really don’t know the details of what they were proposing.

    I vote take one from preseason and add to the regular season. Go Dolphins!

  • fins4ever

    Good post phinfandan. All excellent points.

    I never heard what the details of the expanded schedule were, but I would assume the deal would include extra compensation. As of now, the pay includes all 4 preseason games as well as 16 regular games.

    The best comment I ever heard about preseason was this.

    Preseason: Where the games don’t count, but the injuries do.

  • RandyCarlson


    I like the thought of one less preseason game and adding a regular season game,that eliminates .500 teams either your a winner or a loser.

    (side note)

    Please don’t compare football and basebal,l pro baseball is a unfair game

    I live in San Diego and we can’t seem to find an owner that is willing to lose

    100 million a year to compete for a world series.

  • Lespaul

    The final score is not as important as the final stats, but those stats also need to be weighed out under given circumstances on the field. For instance, did you score a 44 yard bomb on 1st and 10 against the scrubs or 3rd and 10 against the first team D. Its scenarios like that which make the pre-season important. What if you trade a guy that turns out to be the next Devin Hester because you never got a good look at him in a game situation. Winning the pre-season is good for the players morale, but for the coaches it’s about the stats and the film. if your lines are performing poorly in fundamental formations then how will they react with more complex schemes? There is a lot of film study going on during these pre-season games. It either validates your off-season strategies or gets you thinking about your song and dance to the owners rants.

  • fins4ever

    @RandyCarlson@phinfandan Agree Randy. The lack of a salary cap has ruined baseball. The smaller market teams stand very little chance as long as teams like the Red Sox & Yankees buy all the talent.

  • Bahamas

    As always enjoy reading your articles my friend. I dont really think these games are important to us the fans as they dont bring that ‘sexyness’ that regular season games bring. However, these games are important to coaches as they give a true evaluation of players in which they drafted and signed