The Face-Off: Will the rising number of defensive penalties hurt the NFL?

Because the National Football League has been tightening the rope on defensive penalties, formidable defenses like the Seattle Seahawks' (the most penalized defense in the league last season) are moving the game in the direction that its owners and fans want it to go. If defense starts to once again dominate the NFL like it did in the 1980s, television ratings would go down dramatically. The NFL is a living room spectacle—first-class entertainment right in the comfort of your own home.

We watch the games for quarterback duels such as Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady or Eli Manning vs. Tony Romo. The offensive shootouts are the best part of football—nail-biting situations like Manning getting the ball with one minute, 30 seconds to go with no timeouts left and the score 34-30. That’s the kind of game that glues us to the couch. No one wants to see the Cleveland Browns beat the Buffalo Bills 6-3.

Football has become a game of offense. These defensive penalties will allow offenses to move the ball more easily and to score more, thus creating a better product on the field. What would you rather watch, Bills fans? Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus each have two sacks and five tackles or EJ Manuel and CJ Spiller dominate their opponents? New York Giants fans: Jon Beason make 15 tackles or Eli Manning throw for 350 yards? New York Jets fans: Muhammad Wilkerson with five tackles for a loss or Geno Smith moving the ball down the field at will?

The way I see it, these penalties are a good thing. At the end of the day, more offense means more entertainment.