The term "elite" gets tossed around, in my mind, far too frequently, yet no one has ever taken the time to define just what "elite" means. My abstract definition is something that draws from the wealth distribution. That is, the elite would be the equivalent of the top one or two percent.
This season, the Falcons and the Texans have been the class of the field, but even those teams have clear and obvious flaws. Calling those teams "elite" doesn't seem quite accurate to me.
Perhaps our obsession with elite teams can be traced through the past decade, which was dominated by elite teams. The Colts and the Patriots won games week in and week out as if it was a simple routine. The Steelers consistently emerged as a contender late in the season. Then there was teams like the Saints that put together a great roster for a short and spectacular run. Those teams raise the question, would the Falcons or the Texans compete with the elite teams from the past decade.
My simple answer is no. Don't get me wrong. The Falcons are a very good team, and the Texans are a very good team, but I wouldn't go so far as to put them on the same level as the Colts or the Patriots from the past ten years.
This is more of an appeal than a claim. I'm asking, no, begging everyone to take a step back from the obsession with the "elite." We call quarterbacks elite, we call coaches elite, and we call teams elite. Let's take a step back. The elite are the very best of the best. If there are six or seven "elite" quarterbacks in the NFL, there needs to be a class of "super-elite" to separate Joe Flacco from Peyton Manning. So I ask again, let's take a step back, okay?
The Falcons and the Texans are the best teams in the league right now. They're very sound units that can beat any other team in the NFL, but they haven't proven themselves as elite just yet. The jury is still out on that point, and I'm okay with that. You should be too.