“NFL Season Opens-With Question Marks?”
32-teams-32 Questions as the 2017 season starts tonight.
ARIZONA…Awful lot of age on Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald…have upgraded the defense with rookies Budda Baker and Hassan Reddick but what does life on defense look like without Calais Campbell?
ATLANTA…Is there a Super Bowl hangover? Will they miss the creative playcalling of Kyle Shanahan? Will age-injury catchup to Julio Jones? Is Freeman-Coleman RB tandem going to continue to grow?
BALTIMORE…Joe Flacco is back, but how long does he stay healthy with back issues and a rebuilt offensive line? Greg Roman comes in with a full season now as offensive coordinator. How big an impact will WR-Jeremy Maclin and RB-Danny Woodhead have?
BUFFALO….Lots of new faces but Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy still there to anchor offense. No Sammy Watkins, who is going to be playmaker down the field? Will new rookie coach do well? Can they make the playoff drought go away?
CAROLINA…Cam Newton comes back off shoulder surgery, but asking will they let him run read-option at all this year? What will Christian McCaffrey-Curtis Samuel add to offense with return to health of Kelvin Benjamin?
CHICAGO…Is Mike Glennon really the answer at QB, or do they wind up playing rookie Mitch Trubisky? Can Kevin White stay healthy and will newcomer Markus Wheaton help him catch lots of balls?
CINCINNATI…How do you let top two OL leave Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler? Looks like Bengals reverting to old ways of owner Mike Brown? Marvin Lewis to pay price at end of season by losing job?
CLEVELAND…What will learning curve be like for Notre Dame rookie DeShone Kizer at QB? How long will Myles Garrett, the 1st pick in draft, be out with ankle? Browns have strip mined roster. How bad will team be? Is another (1-15) in the offing?
DALLAS…Ezekiel Elliott suspension is a blow and more so a distraction isn’t it? Defense plagued by drug suspensions-how big a blow is that? Will NFL catch up and defend Dak Prescott differently?
DENVER…How much does Trevor Siemian grow at QB in 2nd year? How much impact does Mike McCoy bring back as offensive coordinator? Does Jamal Charles add something special to run-pass game? Transition year on defense?
DETROIT…Lions have lost 3-LTs including starter Taylor Decker. Do they have enough to protect big money QB-Matt Stafford?
GREEN BAY…They add TEs Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook to Aaron Rodgers arsenal, but do they have enough defense, especially in secondary?
HOUSTON…JJ Watt and Jadaveon Clowney totally healthy. How explosive is this? How long before Deshaun Watson-Clemson gets chance at QB?
INDIANAPOLIS…No Andrew Luck to start the season. They pick up 6-free agents off the waiver wire. Ugliest season in long time for Colts?
JACKSONVILLE…Tom Coughlin-Doug Marrone bring toughness and old style football there. Blake Bortles still at QB, but interceptions and sacks must cease. Could be a surprise team or could be a disaster?
KANSAS CITY…Andy Reid chopped up roster. Gone are Jeremy Maclin and Jamal Charles plus Dontari Poe. Key LBs Justin Houston-Derrick Johnson coming off surgery. No Tamba Hali. Might this be an odd bad season on Reid resume?
LA RAMS…No Aaron Donald to start the season in ugly holdout. CB-Trumaine Johnson playing out option to leave. Offensive line in state of flux. How does all that help second year QB-Jared Goff and star RB-Todd Gurley? GM Les Snead on hot seat? How tough first year for new coach?
LA CHARGERS….Offense led by Philip Rivers looks good. Lots of skill around him with Melvin Gordon, TEs and WRs. Questions on offensive line. Aside from Joey Bosa-Melvin Ingram pass rush, do they have enough on front seven on defense? Awful lot of inexperience on defense? How good will coordintor Gus Bradley be? Not having top 2-picks hurt, Mike Williams-Forrest Lamp?
MIAMI…No Ryan Tannehill for the year. Can Adam Gase make it work with Jay Cutler? LB corps ravaged by injuries too. Might this be a troubled season in the making?
MINNESOTA…Mike Zimmer health issues solved, but there is no
Adrian Peterson and no Ted Bridgewater-big issue? How good is Dalvin Cook? Is the offensive line good enough to hold up now?
NEW ENGLAND…Tom Bady won’t have Julian Edleman but he will add Brandin Cooks to WR group…RB-by committee can all contribute-though there is no LeGarrett Blount to power ball inside-big loss? Defense without steady Rob Ninkovich and loss of Kony Ealy. Does Belicheck have enough on defense?
NEW ORLEANS…Last year they got rid of Jimmy Graham-TE, this year WR-Brandon Cooks…does Drew Brees have enough help? Will they become more of run team with Adrian Peterson joining Mark Ingram? Does anyone play defense in New Orleans? Does Brees leave as a free agent at end of the year?
NY GIANTS…Eli Manning adds Brandon Marshall to pass catching corps led by Odell Beckham, but is there a run game? Can Erek Flowers become a force at OT? Is there enough back seven defense?
NY JETS….Team is some 63M below the salary cap, have traded away tons of veteran talent…just dealt away DE-Sheldon Richardson. Josh McCown is quarterback-can they win? Can Todd Bowles survive after this ugly season? How would (0-16) play out in the NY press?
OAKLAND….Everything in place to take next step forward. Additional young talent on defense, and the Beast-Marshawn Lynch has come home. A potential Super Bowl team with Derek Carr at the controls?
PHILADELPHIA…Shall be fun to watch this grow. Carson Wentz comes off good rookie QB campaign, and now they have added run game, receivers, to go with pretty strong defense. Surprise team in NFC?
PITTSBURGH…TJ Watt joins good linebacking corps and team looking for growth in young secondary. WR-Martavis Bryant comes off suspension, and Ben Roethlisberger has Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell with him. AFC powerhouse possibly?
SAN FRANCISCO…Massive rebuilding season with new GM, new coach, plug in QB-Brian Hoyer, and lots of young players. In the running for top pick in draft, USC-QB-Sam Darnold?
SEATTLE…Just what they needed, Sheldon Richardson, the Jets DT comes on board. Injured veterans back on defense. Team looks loaded with 4-RBs, big play receivers, and healthy quarterback. Russell Wilson Team attitude is back, and so is talent level. Return to glory for Pete Carroll this year?
TAMPA BAY….Can Jameis Winston take the next step after pretty good rookie season? Can they keep Doug Martin healthy at RB? How bout those weapons DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans? Surprise season coming in the NFC with this bunch?
TENNESSEE….Healthy Marcus Mariota, add WR’s Corey Davis and Eric Decker, and very tough as nails defense. Could this be a really good year in Nashville?
WASHINGTON…Kirk Cousins growing as QB, but team seems thin in terms of talent, and has lots of health issues on defense. Cousins taking big risk playing on 1-year franchise tag contract? How good a coach is Jay Gruden?
SUPER BOWL PICK…..How about Tom Brady-vs-Russell Wilson….Pete Carroll-vs-Bill Belicheck…..Seattle-vs-New England?