“It was a very active year here for the NFL in 2014,” Cynthia Hogan, the NFL’s top Washington hand, told POLITICO.

Active indeed: Congress held hearings; the White House said the league “needs to get a handle” on the issue of domestic violence; some lawmakers called for Goodell’s ouster and even weighed in recently on “deflategate” – a microscandal that saw the Patriots accused of using deflated balls to gain an edge on the field.

But now, with the season ending, so too is the pressure from Washington. Key members of Congress have lost focus or control of committees, been satisfied by the NFL’s promises to reform or moved on to other issues.

The drive to fix football has been stopped in the red zone, and the NFL’s critics are losing hope.