So what has the 2014 NFL season taught us?
Nothing good, really.
We learned that dysfunctional organizations tend to remain dysfunctional, as evidenced by New York and Chicago and Washington. We learned that a good quarterback isn't enough to win if his offensive line doesn't protect him, notably in places like San Diego, which was bringing in guys from local rec leagues to play center by the end of the season. We learned that there is a reason that most backup quarterbacks are backups, and that's because they're not very good. See also: Sanchez, Mark, along with Drew Stanton and Kyle Orton and Colt McCoy and Michael Vick and so on and so forth. We learned that Tony Romo suddenly looks a lot less chokeriffic if he has an offensive line in front of him and a running back who knows which way the goal line is. We learned that the answer to the "Hoyer versus Manziel" debate was "would you please shut up already", and that RG3's future looks to consist largely of everything except playing football on a consistent basis. We learned the NFC South was terrible, again, and that the NFL's scheduling algorithms can make roughly equivalent teams look a lot better or a lot worse than they are (see also: the AFC North getting to play the NFC South). We learned that the Seahawks are a lot harder to beat when they're healthy, and that the flameout rate for jerkwad head coaches like Harbaugh2 in San Francisco remains roughly a constant.
We also learned that "possible distraction" is code for ostracism and invisible barriers that have yet to fall; it remains hard to believe that teams like Oakland and Atlanta, with 21 total sacks on the year, couldn't find a place for Michael Sam. The reason given, of course, were those potential "distractions", never mind that the media circuses around Manziel and Harbaugh and RG3 and LeGarrette Blount and Jay Cutler and so many others sputtered throughout the season. Funny how all of those guys managed to stick around.
And we learned that outrage has a shelf life. That the shock and horror over how the NFL handled the Ray Rice case and the subsequent revelations of incompetence, willful blindness, and the cynical cash grab that was the NFL's breast cancer "awareness" program, not to mention the rising tsunami of evidence about the horrific brain damage football can inflict and the cover-up of same by the league was pretty much gone by week 3 of the season because, hey, we've got fantasy league championships to win and what the hell is up with Cordarelle Patterson anyway
So really, what has the 2014 season taught us? It looks like not much.