1 The newest team in the league is the Los Angeles Rams! They just moved from St. Louis after 20 years in the midwest. It’s a welcome back to LA as the Rams called Southern California home for 50 years prior to their St. Louise move. While LA has typically been a basketball and baseball city, its fans have embraced the Rams with open arms. As players go, Aaron Donald is the team’s star. The team also spent its first overall pick on Jared Goff, who is off to a slow start. Interesting times ahead for the Rams.
2 In Denver, Peyton Manning retired last spring after 18 years (just like his jersey number), so it’s a whole new look for the Broncos. Brock Osweiler, their 2nd string quarterback went to Houston after Denver lowballed his new contract. The new starting quarterback is Trevor Siemian, who has never played a regular season game in the NFL. It’s clear that it will be a much harder road to the Super Bowl for the Denver Broncos – though (UPDATE), they came away with a big win Thursday night in their season opener.
3 In Dallas, Tony Romo fractured his spine during preseason, and he will be out for at least 8-10 weeks. The Cowboys will have to rely on Dak Prescott as their starting quarterback, a rookie that they drafted in the fourth round. Early preseason returns have been pretty good – definitely better than expected. The Cowboys will also lean on Ezekiel Elliot, their rookie first round pick at running back from Ohio State. This means that for the first time in 40 years, the Cowboys will start a rookie running back and a rookie quarterback to open the season
4 Teddy Bridgewater, starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, dislocated his knee and tore his ACL last week. He’ll have at least a year of rehab before he can play again. Unsatisfied with Shaun Hill as their backup, Minnesota pushed their chips in, trading their next year’s first round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Sam Bradford. Bradford, a former Heisman trophy winner and first overall pick, has had an injury-plagued career and has never quite broken out. Minnesota fans assuredly have a wide variety of opinions on this gamble, but we like it. It’s a bit against the grain to like this decision since he’s had a few bad seasons, but Bradford could really thrive with his former college teammate and star running back Adrian Peterson and a really good young defense on the Vikings.
5 The first 4 weeks of the season will be missing some star power: In New England, Tom Brady is suspended because of his DeflateGate involvement. In Pittsburgh, Le’Veon Bell is suspended for 3 games for using recreational drugs. And dont forget the retirees: we already mentioned Peyton Manning, but Marshawn Lynch also retired after a decade plus playing for the Seattle Seahawks
If you’re asked for your bet on who will make the Super Bowl?
Experts expect the following teams to be in contention for the Super Bowl, hosted in Houston in 2017.
NFC: Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks
AFC: New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers
Don’t discount our hometown Houston Texans!