Though I won't pretend the Friday night games are my favourite part of the episodes, the failure of the previous season made it painfully clear they are essential to the storyline.
For a show to revolve around smalltown, high-school football, merely talking about it will just not do.
Clearly, competent writers have taken back the helm here, allowing for characters and plot to unfold and change, all the while remaining outwardly the same.
What worries me is that I am starting to find the pivotal couple more than a little vexatious. Indeed, whereas the teenagers are all multidimensional and changeable, Coach Taylor and the School Headmaster are turning into what Bridget Jones would have termed a "smug married couple". (I'd call them insufferable goody-two-shoes.)
I hope they pick up in next season.
I still kind of wish I had quit after the excellent first 22 episodes.