As students go back to school, players go back to the field. The long offseason will finally come to a close as the widely anticipated regular season begins. From the drama of the infamous Deflategate, to Tim Tebow’s explosive preseason, to the homecoming of Darrelle Revis, and the trade of superstars the NFL season is jam packed with storylines just waiting to unfold. Here is my preview for the upcoming season. If there are any questions, comments, or just want to share your ideas feel free to comment below. Let’s get back to football.
Tom Brady’s Suspenison Nullified
Nothing good came out of this scandal. Yes, you could argue that Brady’s suspension was nullified and that’s a good thing. But really it hurt Brady’s appearance, as all that’s been talked about since the AFC championship game was if he cheated. With all those negative words being thrown around with his name, it’s no wonder his reputation has crumpled over the last few months. But that’s in the past now, as the reigning Super Bowl MVP will be on the field for the first four games of the season and plans to be on it for all sixteen. Even with Brady coming back, this Patriots team is still in a bad spot. Losing so much of their defense that propelled them in Super Bowl 49 is not going to be easy to just revamp. Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Vince Wilfork, and Kyle Arrington are just a few of the major losses this team suffered in the offseason. Not to mention the running backs that have been dynamic for the last couple of years in New England. Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley are gone due to free agency. Jonas Gray was released, and Legarrette Blount is suspended. The running game for New England is something to watch going down the stretch. Yes folks, Brady is back, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy ride for the defending champs the rest of the way.
Chip Kelly’s Circus of Moves
A boring offseason would be the wrong way to describe what Chip Kelly did in Philadelphia this year. He completley flipped this team’s personel around and transformed it into his own masterpiece. After he was given the power to make the roster moves, he didn’t shy away from it, making as many moves that he wanted. First off (and most shockingly) was trading star running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills.
We’ll get to the Bills later. In exchange for the outstanding back the Eagles picked up linebacker Kiko Alonso, who played for Kelly when they were both at Oregon. Alonso missed all of last season with an ACL injury, but was absolutely electric his rookie year. Because of that injury he suffered, people seem to forget that Alonso is one of the best linebackers in the NFL.
I expect to see big things out of him this year. Then it was the huge signing of DeMarco Murray. Murray led the entire National Football League in rushing yards last season with Philly’s rival, the Dallas Cowboys. Leaving Dallas was a stunner, none the less for a rival. Murray is a great back and is very intriguing to watch, now insert him into Chip Kelly’s offense and the sky is the limit for him.
Let’s not forget about the very controversial quarterback swap, in which the Eagles acquired Sam Bradford from the St. Louis Rams in exchange for QB Nick Foles, a pro bowler the year before. Bradford was the number one pick by the Rams and has a great ability at the quarterback position. However, injuries have kept him off the field for extended amounts of time. Kelly was willing to gamble and add the skillful Bradford.
Then of course there was the Tim Tebow madness, as he impressed the nation during the preseason. Apparently it wasn’t enough though, as Chip Kelly decided to cut ties with Tebow and cut him when getting down to the fifty three man roster. Tebow showed he could play in this league, and should get another shot.
There were departures as well such as Evan Mathis and Jeremy Maclin, leaving some questions on offense. Chip’s circus of moves this offseason should be fun to watch to see whether it pays off and he looks like a genius, or goes all wrong and looks insane.
Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota
Being drafted number one and number two are huge in any sport. These two quarterbacks had outstanding college careers, with Jameis leading an almost perfect Florida State team, to Marcus winning the Heisman Trophy and leading the Ducks to the National Championship Game. It will be a great time watching these two grow with each of their teams, and how they are able to develop into the NFL. Luckily, the two face off in Week One, where we will get to see how one fairs against the other. These two could both be elite quarterbacks in the NFL down the road, and watching them grow starts now.
Buffalo- One QB away
Look, it’s no secret that when Rex Ryan came in and took over the Buffalo Bills that big changes would come. They weren’t necessarily bad changes. Bringing in the dynamic running back LeSean McCoy was definitely a positive move, along with tight end Charles Clay. The questions rise up with bringing in Richie Incognito, who played the lead role in the Dolphins’ bullying scandal with Jonathan Martin a few years ago. Incognito claims that he is past all that, but still it’s a cause for concern in the locker room. Percy Harvin was also brought in, a veteran wide receiver who is very talented. However he was dumped last season by the Seattle Seahawks because of reported chemistry issues. The talent is sky high with Percy Harvin, the issues however is another problem. The defense is really what to watch in Buffalo. Shocking the National Football League last season, this defense is now ranked number two in all of football. Now bring in a defensive minded coach in Rex Ryan, and things can only get better. Expect this defense to lead the way for the Bills as they attempt to get to the playoffs and end the longest current playoff drought in the NFL. Led by All-pro Mario Williams, last year the defense’s front four had three pro bowlers and a $50 million player. The linebackers are young but play exceptionally well, and the secondary is frightening.
With what looks like a stacked team everywhere, there is one faulty spot that could potentially hold Buffalo back from being a four win team to a ten win team. The quarterback position doesn’t have a solid answer. Tyrod Taylor was named the Bills’ starting QB and he deserved it. Taylor showed some flashes of skill and looked good in the preseason, but nothing close to what Buffalo wants out of the position. Needless to say, the Bills look to be a force in the 2015-2016 season, as long as the quarterback situation gets settled.
How Dangerous Can the Colts Be?
One of the best quarterbacks in the league. One of the best wide recievers in the league. Two new additions, that will both most likely be hall of famers. Does that sound like a pretty good team? That’s only four players, not to mention a solid offensive line, and a much improved defense. Indianapolis’ predicted records range anywhere Sent from my iPhone
Of course, there are many other stories to this upcoming season, but this should be enough to get you ready. If you have any questions, comments, or just want to talk football, feel free to leave a comment or find me on Twitter @Nathanpigg5.
Spark Sports Analyst