Off-the-field problems havent dented the NFLs popularity and, it turns out, fewer competitive games isnt turning too many fans away, either.Barely noticed beneath the domestic violence, player health and other troubles plaguing the league this year has been a significant decline in nail-biter games and an increase in blowouts.So far this season, according to STATS, the number of games decided by one score or less (8 points) are down by 18 per cent from last season and 20 per cent from 2012. Meanwhile, blowouts (20 points or more) are on the rise: There have been 32 per cent more than last year and 12 per cent over the 2012 number. There have been only nine overtime games so far this year, compared to 11 at this point last season and 17 in 2012.And yet TV ratings remain fairly steady. Nielsen says national games over cable and broadcast have averaged 16.7 million viewers so far this year, down from 17.2 million last year. Thats less than a 3 per cent decrease, and not enough of a drop to prevent Sunday Night Football from regularly being the weeks most-watched show.Credit fantasy football and gambling for part of that — theres always something to be rooting for, even if the games themselves arent that good.These two pillars, when combined with massive fan interest from hard core fans and a steady engagement from casual fans, blunts the downside associated with less compelling competition, said David Carter, executive director of the Marshall Sports Business Institute at Southern California.To be sure, the league that prides itself on parity has good races going in every division as December hits, and has produced its fair share of good games as well.Last week, there were three one-point affairs, including San Diegos comeback from 10 points down late for a 34-33 victory over Baltimore. Also, Green Bays 26-21 win over New England in the so-called Game of the Year last week was compelling and came down to the final minutes.The Thanksgiving Day games? All turkeys.One of the best lineups for Thanksgiving in recent memory — Chicago at Detroit, Philly at Dallas and Seattle at San Francisco — had playoff implications for all teams involved. The combined score of the three games: 86-30. None were decided by fewer than 16 points.It was unfortunate, because nobody was saying (anything bad) about those games on Wednesday, said Jay Kornegay, who runs the LVH sportsbook. It looked like a pretty strong lineup.And, to tell by the TV ratings, it was. All three games pulled better ratings than the games in their time slot the year before.Thursday-night games in general have been bad. Unpopular among players who detest the short work week and the ravages it can cause to their bodies, the average score of those games this season has been 33-15. Only three have been decided by a touchdown or less while five have produced margins of 20 or more.The Sunday-night games touted as the weeks marquee matchups have produced a steady stream of blowouts, as well. Since Week 2, only one game has been decided by fewer than 10 points. Sunday Night Football, however, regularly wins its time slot.With America spending upward of $11 billion a year on fantasy football, its no surprise viewership still goes through the roof. The way some fantasy owners see it, a lopsided game is simply a chance for the losing quarterback to rack up some come-from-behind passing yardage and the winning running back grind out some fantasy points, as well.The NFL has emphasized the in-stadium experience, ramping up internet connections so fans can keep track of other games while enjoying the one theyre attending. At the midpoint of the season, attendance was on pace to better last years per-game average of 68,867 (a five-year high), with 20 of the 32 teams reporting increases, according to STATS.And in Vegas — as Al Michaels likes to subtly remind viewers in these runaway Sunday night games hes calling — no game is over, til its over, as in, until it surpasses the number the books set for total points.In keeping with the seasons trend, this weeks lineup features four games with double-digit spreads: New Orleans -10 over Carolina; Detroit -10 over Tampa Bay; Denver -10 over Buffalo and Green Bay -12 1/2 over Atlanta.Kornegay, however, doesnt flinch at an abundance of lopsided matchups. His job is to set a line that will come close to matching the final margin, with the ultimate goal of getting equal action on both sides. If he sets the right spread — and he says Vegas books are having a very good football season so far — then all these games will keep viewers interested to the end, even if the games are blowouts.Yeah, weve seen a few more blowouts and overs due to some of the Thursday night mismatches, along with Sunday nights, Kornegay said. But I dont think theres any reason to panic. Wholesale Air Max Plus Tn Ultra . Third-place Madrid fell behind and settled for a 2-2 draw earlier at Osasuna in a match both sides finished with 10 men, and Barcelona didnt let the chance escape. Barcelona, still without the injured Lionel Messi, again turned to Neymar after his hat trick against Celtic in the Champions League on Wednesday to convert a penalty on the half-hour mark and restore the lead in the 68th after Villarreal levelled. Air Max 97 Clearance Cheap . The 7-foot-1 Hawes, who is in the final year of his contract, is averaging 13 points and 8.5 rebounds, both career highs, and shoots 40 per cent from 3-point range. The 25-year-old Hawes is in his seventh NBA season. http://www.wholesalenikeshoesclearance.com/cheap-paul-george-shoes.html . Beckham finished 2 for 4, adding a double in the first inning. Chicago has won eight of 12 to get back to .500 (27-27). The White Sox are 6-3 against Cleveland this season after losing 17 of 19 to their American League Central rival in 2013. Mike Aviles went 1 for 2 with a walk and drove in Clevelands run. Air Max 97 Factory Outlet . -- Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe was alert and recovering at a Denver hospital Saturday after suffering seizure-like symptoms when the teams bus pulled into the airport Friday afternoon for the flight to Kansas City. Cheap Air Max 95 Wholesale . The Missouri Tigers Defensive End and SEC Defensive player of the year is eligible for the upcoming NFL draft in May.GAP, France - Canadian forward Matt Carter has been provisionally suspended by the French ice hockey federation after testing positive for the banned stimulant ephedrine.The 27-year-old Carter, who plays for French club Rapaces de Gap, tested positive after a league match on Dec. 23. His club said Friday that Carter was usinng an over-the-counter asthma medicine sold in the United States that contained the substance.ddddddddddddThe club insisted that Carter, the second-leading scorer in the league this season with 13 goals, took the medicine without consulting team doctors but will help him give further proof of his good faith. ' ' '