The NFL season pops off on Thursday and the intrigue is already overwhelming football fans. There are an abundance of storylines both and off the field including, the Eagles’ chances in 2018, a new look Dallas offense, and the ongoing battle about the protests against police brutality.
Here’s five questions that all NFL fans have about Week 1 of the NFL season
1. Was Nick Foles 2017 Super Bowl run a fluke?
The Eagles announced on Monday that Nick Foles will be the Week 1 starter against the Atlanta Falcons as Wentz is not yet cleared for contact while recovering from a torn ACL that cost him last seasons playoffs.
Foles became the starter in Week 14 and pulled off a Jeff Hostetler, leading the Eagles through the playoffs and past the mighty New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. So far this preseason, hes played more like the backup as the Eagles failed to score a point in 10 drives with Foles this preseason.
First Things First on Twitter
You cannot go into Week 1 and say, ‘we’re gonna beat Atlanta 31-28.’ Not with Nick Foles as your QB. You CAN say, ‘we’re gonna obliterate this Falcons’ offensive line.'” – @getnickwright https://t.co/dxgCBw5YuS
We’ve got a lot of confidence and faith in him and the guys who will play with him, head coach Doug Peterson told the media on Monday.
With Wentz’s return still up in the air, Foles will be heavily relied on to navigate the Eagles through the first few games and help them avoid a post-Super Bowl LII slump. Hes not in the position of savior anymore. He’s also on a short leash with a fan base that is spoiled after winning it all last season. Two bad quarters could have them calling for Wentz and Foles NFL fairytale is over.
2. Can Pittsburgh be the same lethal offense without all-world running back Le’Veon Bell?
Pittsburgh Steelers fans are sick leading up to Week 1 against a much more talented Browns team than in recent years. Instead of paying Bail for being one of the elite dual-threat back in the game, Pittsburgh has expressed disappointment that Bell wont be with the team for Week 1. Instead, Bell, who has played more than 13 games just twice in his five-year career, has chosen to hold out for a long-term deal comparable to other stars who got paid this offseason.
The media’s been steady hyping the situation. That hasn’t helped negotiations either.
mark schlereth on Twitter
And they offered @LeVeonBell 10mil guaranteed. Fake 70 mil contract Shame on them! https://t.co/QThFN7LsQL
Todd Gurley’s huge contract extension was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The Steelers have been playing hardball, but a poor offensive showing against the Browns could expedite this process.
NFL Total Access on Twitter
If I’m a WR on this team, I’m worried” @ReggieWayne_17 and @DCarr8 chat @LeVeonBell and his continued holdout https://t.co/vJcDppDpDq
3. Can Nathan Peterman be anything other than the brunt of a bad Tyrod Taylor joke by the end of Week 1?
Most fans know Nathan Peterman as the rookie who was thrown into the fire with the Bills last season after Sean McDermott unfathomably benched starter Tyrod Taylor and threw five picks in the first half, throwing a pick-six on his first series.
The Shadow League on Twitter
Here is Nathan Peterman throwing his fifth(!) interception of the day. All in the first half. #Bills https://t.co/OLWjQBLZYR
Taylor hadnt thrown a pick in his first 38 starts. While Tyrod’s babysitting Clevelands offense for Baker Mayfield, Peterman was able to beat out No. 1 pick Josh Allen for the starting job in a quarterback race dubbed the best of the worse.
4. With the Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and Dez Bryant Era officially over in Dallas, can Dak Prescott go from a game manager to a playmaker for the Dallas Cowboys?
Many NFL heads believe that Prescott was the product of a solid offensive line, Ezekiel Elliott’s run game and the veteran receivers that Dallas surrounded him with. The stars of Dallas previous regime are all gone now and now with the absence of Trevis Frederick, the glue of the Cowboys O-line, Dallas offense is compromised. If they ever see Dez again, it will be as an opponent.
ESPNs Dan Orlovsky expressed the skepticism about Prescott:
We’ve only seen him play at a real high level with a dominant run game, a dominant offensive line and weapons on the outside,” Orlovsky said on ESPN’s Get Up show. “Some of those weapons are gone. I just mentioned issues with the offensive line not being as dominant and that’s going to affect the run game. So hes not there yet. Until you do it by yourself like every other NFL quarterback has to do. I’m not gonna sit here and say you can carry a football team.
5. Will LaMar Jackson get any PT?
Starpower is something that drives the decision of a football team. Despite winning a Super Bowl in 2013, the Baltimore Ravens havent won a single playoff game since. In fact, theyve missed the playoffs in four of the last five seasons, as Joe Flacco continues to falter in big spots.
The Shadow League on Twitter
LaMar Jackson is already out here making sensational runs like this. https://t.co/xuHeMUoNZY
A 9-7 record and near playoff berth last year didnt do much to re-establish Flaccos popularity with the Ravens fanbase. Most fans want to see LaMar Jackson in action, but its unlikely that he will get many reps behind center in Week 1 against the juggernaut Patriots. Thats a tough spot for a rookie who has shown flashes of brilliance along with some rough patches of immaturity in brief preseason looks.
NFL on Twitter
A TD through the air and one on the ground, Lamar Jackson was IMPRESSIVE. Every throw and run from @Lj_era8’s #BALvsMIA performance! #NFLPreseason https://t.co/kYDvGDpZVU
Maybe we see Jackson at another position in some special packages? You dont want to get your future QB hurt though. Maybe Flacco is so miserable in the first half, that the Ravens decide to throw the rookie into the fire? The Ravens are not rushing the process, so if Flacco is hot, we probably wont see Action Jackson.