Whether it’s the ongoing saga of Johnny Manziel or all the recent arrests of players on your favorite team (I know all about it), the NFL season or even just the preseason can’t come soon enough. It’s feels like it’s been forever since the Seahawks and whatever team they made look stupid (oh yeah, it was the Broncos). The most popular sport in America is plenty intriguing even in the offseason.
What are you most looking forward to this coming season? Is it how the top picks in the draft will perform and assimilate to the league? Or is it how the top teams from last year are set to rebound? Many people tend to think that the NFC Championship game was the de facto Super Bowl after Denver was shellacked in the big game. The Broncos have undergone some big changes this offseason in hopes of upgrading their defense (most notably Demarcus Ware), but how what might be the bigger story is how the offense responds to the best performance in the history of league while Peyton Manning gets a year older, Knowshon Moreno is gone leaving Montee Ball to step up and live up to expectations, Wes Welker is in decline, and Eric Decker might actually be a bigger loss than first expected.
And what does everyone think about a Seattle Seahawks repeat? Yeah, I don’t think that’s happening either. But “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch is set for another big year if he avoids the injury bug. The defense isn’t as deep, but is still elite. If the offense can step up with a full season from Percy Harvin (however forgotten) there may be still be a big season left from these guys. Meanwhile, archrival San Francisco is looking at a put up or shut up season from a squad that has had an all-world defense for a few years now. In Colin Kaepernick can turn the corner and develop a better rhythm with his receivers then things might be okay.
The most intriguing part of the upcoming season may very well be what teams beyond Denver have the opportunity to become elite this year. Baltimore has several troubled players but tons of talent. If Ray Rice or someone else is good enough to produce then the offense will have some balance with a bolstered passing game thanks to Steve Smith. Cincinnati shouldn’t be worried about the talent-base going anywhere or getting older any time soon, but the opportunity to win and win big might not have too many seasons left. It is amazing how Marvin Lewis has managed to stick around amidst the mediocre seasons.
Given the potential of this season and its players’ this season is sure to be a fun one. Now all that needs to happen is an acceleration of mini-camps, less preseason games, and as many Instagram pictures of Johnny Manziel as possible.