NFL Preseason Is Broken, but Fixes Exist If We’re Willing to Let Go of the Past

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Sean Mannion (14) is sacked by Baltimore Ravens linebackers Za'Darius Smith, left, and linebacker Matt Judon in the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)Nick Wass/Associated Press

Wasn’t it great to see the NFL return to an almost full slate of action last night? 

Actually, it was pretty great by preseason Week 1 standards: Baker Mayfield highlights, Saquon Barkley highlights, Lamar Jackson highlights, even some Cam Newton-Kelvin Benjamin warm-up drama. It was about 30 minutes of action packed into about 36 hours of Garrett Gilbert, Nate Sudfeld and Brock Osweiler playing quarterback, which is about 20 more minutes than we typically get in early August.

The thrill of the NFL’s return usually fades just minutes after kickoff, when we all realize, oh yeah, it’s the first preseason game, the real players are barely playing and this is all we have for the rest of the month.

Now, the only thing worse than the NFL’s long preseason is a column complaining about how long the preseason is. But don’t worry: This is not one of those columns. Instead of complaining about the elements of the preseason that are broken, we’re here to offer real solutions for fixing

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