Without the games to distract from the issues, fans had more time to ponder the NFL's discipline policies, its commissioner and its overall credibility during an uncomfortable offseason.
Yes, the draft, the scouting combine and training camp were all designed to keep the league in the headlines long after the footballs stopped flying last February. But since the Patriots beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, those headlines have also been filled with news about scandals ranging from trivial ("Deflategate") to life-or-death (concussions and domestic abuse).
For those who only checked back in when their fantasy draft took place last week, here's a quick rundown of...
The Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams line up for during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 25, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Rams defeated the Carindals 31–17.