The wait is almost over NFL fans, as we are just two days away from regular season football. Heading into Week 1, there are countless storylines because of all of the movement around the league. Picking five from this list is no easy task. With this in mind, I have narrowed down my top five NFL storylines that should be addressed in Week 1.
Just how good can this year’s Patriots team be?
It is truly a rarity that a defending Super Bowl Champion gets better in the offseason but it is true for the Patriots. Already a team with the greatest quarterback to ever do it in Tom Brady, a top 3 Head Coach of all time, and a top end defense, they got BETTER. New England returns almost its entire roster and brings in CB Stephon Gilmore as well as WR Brandin Cooks. On top of this, they will bring back Rob Gronkowski and have a full season of Brady. In a weaker AFC, anything worse than 13-3 and a Super Bowl run would be a major disappointment. It will be very interesting to see how good this team is Thursday against a solid Kansas City Chiefs team.
Just how BAD can this year’s Jets team be?
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the New York Jets are in for a historically bad season. With problems at almost every position, the Jets traded away from their only strength (defensive line) for a number two receiver. This team will have major trouble moving the ball and will have their defense on the field a ton. With 0-16 as a real possibility, New York opens the season in Buffalo against the Bills as one of their only winnable games. To non-Jets fans, enjoy a laugh. To Jets fans, my condolences.
Will the Cinderellas of 2016 come back to earth?
Last season, there were lots of teams that took an unexpected jump. To me, the biggest surprises were the Cowboys and Falcons dominating the NFC and the Raiders outscoring their opponents in the AFC. I think all three of these teams will take an inevitable step back but still contend for the playoffs. Week 1 provides a nice test for Dallas against the Giants, who Dak Prescott hasn’t beaten yet. Also, the Raiders face the Tennessee Titans who look to make a run of their own. While the Falcons should run through the Bears, the other two games are a few to keep an eye on.
Potential 2017 Cinderellas
Everyone’s got sleeper teams heading into the season and that’s what makes the NFL great. Personally I’m keeping my eye on the Titans (vs Oakland), Eagles (@ Washington), and my Buccaneers (@ Miami) in Week 1 to potentially begin a breakout campaign. As we all know, the playoff picture is a revolving door and just about anything can happen. I mean be honest, how many of us REALLY thought Dak Prescott could win 13 games last season? All in all, Week 1 doesn’t define an entire season but it could be a sign of who to buy stock in this year.
This rookie class is receiving some high praise and deservedly so with some nice talent at every position. Players such as Myles Garrett, Christian McCaffery, Leonard Fournette, and Deshone Kizer will be making their much anticipated NFL debuts on Sunday. Understand that the NFL season has its ups and downs so don’t judge them as stars or busts solely from Week 1. With that said these kids are talented and will likely impress in their debuts, so get excited for this rookie class. The rookie of the year race should be a good one in 2017.