Three storylines to keep in mind for the upcoming NFL season
Bigoa Machar, Publishing Editor
Sunday’s are about to get a million times better with the opening of the NFL season right around the corner. After a busy offseason, here’s a few things to look for when the opening kick the pigskin goes through.
New City, Same Name
After being gone for the past 22 years, the Rams organization packed up their home in St. Louis and bee-lined for the bright lights of Hollywood. With nothing much expected of the tea, as far as on field talent, it’ll be interesting to see how the team does back in their original home. With rookie Quarterback Jared Goff taking a backseat to the starting job, Rams fans can look forward to another electric year from second-year running back Todd Gurley. Even though his rookie year was cut short due to injury, Gurley was still able to rack up 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 games last year. Expect Gurley to continue where he left off as he continues to prove himself as one of the most productive backs in the league.
Water under the bridge
Before the start of the pre-season, experts were predicting the Minnesota Vikings to compete for the top seed in the NFC as one of the powerhouses in the conference. An unstoppable running game combined with a brick wall of a defence is usually a recipe of success. Unfortunately, that recipe was unfortunately ruined as starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went down with a gruesome knee injury in practice and is now out for the year. In order to compensate for the loss, Vikings’ management went out and traded the team’s first round draft pick to acquire Sam Bradford, who will be filling in Bridgewater for the year. Expect the Vikings to rely on their running game now more than ever as they look to live up with their astronomical standards.
In what’s been a ridiculous situation that’s plagued football fans for almost a year, New England quarterback Tom Brady has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season because league commissioner Roger Goodell has nothing better to do but investigate year-old allegations. Regardless of the situation, the Patriots will have to make do in the meantime, and making do takes physical form in young quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo, who has never started an NFL game in his life, will be baptized by fire as the Pats take on the elite defense of the Arizona Cardinals in the first week of the regular season. It’ll be interesting to see how Garoppolo handles the limelight, but don’t expect the youngster to produce at the same level that Brady does. Patriots fans should be happy with a 2-2 record at the end of these four weeks.
Daks out for Harambe
Speaking of rookie quarterbacks, Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys will be front and centre on America’s team after Tony Romo’s latest injury could force him to sit out for the entire season. The rookie out of Michigan State won’t be left out to dry however, as the Cowboys are more than stacked at other positions. We’re already aware of what star receiver Dez Bryant is capable of, as well as fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott will look to lead the ground attack for the Cowboys. On top of all this, Dallas boasts arguably the best offensive line in the entire league, so Prescott will have time to make those crucial decisions during each game. Expect the Cowboys to fight for playoff contention in the NFC East.