I agree that Ballards' 1st year should give us optimism for the reasons you stated above.
I don't think this year has gone as well as we all hoped, but I don't think it's gone as bad as you would expect considering what Ballard is working with.
Interesting on this front after Sunday. The Eagles had to duke it out and won a 1 score game over the hapless Giants. But by the scoreboard at least this doesn't appear to have anything to do with Foles as the Eagles still put up 31 points.
I feel for ya Jules. It's your prerogative to not like the call whether it was right or wrong. I knew it was coming back right after I saw the replay. There are just several types of plays like this that I think go against the spirit of the rule imo but there is nothing you can do about it because it comes down to the judgment of officials. I do think all too often they look for ways to overturn things and make too much out of things. Did the ball move....certainly....do I think at any time he did not catch it or control it...nope...but that is how it was interpreted. There is probably no physical way he could succeed in making that play and it standing. There is no way he can dive like that and land on the ball and it not move some..even if it never leaves his hands or becomes dislodged. He should have just came down and then stretched out. Tough luck I guess.
I do agree though it gets sickening to watch the same teams at the top...there are some nice stories this year but they always seem to be in the NFC....so few ever happen in the AFC...and that's just a testament of a great run organization with great players. It will change in time I promise....we just may all be in a nursing home when it does though. I can agree on this...I would have loved to see the Pats face some adversity in the playoffs by having to go on the road...but it didn't shake out that way....they have won the close games when it counts....Houston should have beat them and honestly TB should have too but both teams played like complete garbage that night. The Jets I thought had them as well....but champs find a way to come out on top. I'm sure there were a lot of fans that got sick of us winning so much in the 2000s too....and I'm sure we got a lot of band wagon fans that wanted to see Peyton beat Tom too just to have someone else to root for. Every sport has their evil goliaths. The New York Yankees and their huge payroll. The Lakers and the Celtics had their dynasties...and some are talking about Cleveland and GS since every decent FA seems to sign with them. Usain Bolt.....I mean how is it fair to run against him!! Don't even get me into soccer where the rich always get richer. Point being every sport has it....but it makes it oh the sweeter to knock them off on your way to winning your own title!