The kickoff to the 2017-18 NFL season is only four short months away, and today in The Herd, Colin went through his Top 10 storylines to watch for the upcoming year.
How will Dak and do in year 2? Can Cam bounce back? Is Jared Goff a massive bust?
Here are Colin’s stories to watch:
10. Odell Beckham drama in New York – Colin has a low tolerance for diva wide receivers, and last year Odell Beckham was a constant headache in New York. From kicking kicking nets, to sideline temper tantrums, to ill advised boat trips, Beckham left no stone unturned in the distraction department.
He also put up another huge season statistically and may be the most physically gifted player in the league. What will the new year bring? The saga continues.
— The Fanatics View (@thefanaticsview) December 12, 2016
9. Will the Falcons come back or implode? – NFL history is filled with teams that followed up a Super Bowl loss with a disastrous season. The Panthers did it last year. The Falcons are coming off maybe the most devastating Super Bowl loss ever, after blowing a 28-3 lead to the Patriots.
Will Matt Ryan and the Atlanta offense continue to dominate without offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan? Or, will the Falcons get hit with a Super Bowl hangover?
This still has to sting:
— Kyle Smith (@AFCEastBros) February 18, 2017
8. Is Jared Goff a massive bust? – The Rams and Jeff Fisher didn’t do Jared Goff any favors in his rookie year, but Goff looked overwhelmed on the field and was mostly ineffective. Enter 30-year-old head coach, offensive wonderkind, Sean McVay, who called plays for a prolific Washington offense, and helped elevate Kirk Cousins into a franchise quarterback conversations.
Goff’s rookie year was mostly a write-off, but if he doesn’t start looking like a #1 pick this season, L.A. may cut ties with him sooner than later.
— DBN Fanatics (@DBN_Fanatics) January 3, 2017
7. Can Cam come back? – Cam Newton followed up an MVP season and a Super Bowl run with a terrible 2016. Newton threw 19 TD’s, 14 interceptions, and only completed 55% of his passes. The Panthers have reloaded offensively, including drafting Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel. Was last year an outlier, or the new normal for Newton?
Here’s a couple angles of Cam Newton getting sacked by Dion Jordan. Carroll is all about speed and athleticism. pic.twitter.com/2TmfLXL6SL
— C.J. Tumbarello (@Tumbarello16) April 11, 2017
6. Can Andrew Luck bounce back? – Andrew Luck has taken a beating for the better part of his career behind a bad offensive line, and has been surrounded by one of the worst rosters in the NFL, thanks to incompetent former GM Ryan Grigson.
Indy finally has a real NFL personnel guy in Chris Ballard, who has been active in upgrading the o-line and defense. Will Luck return to the form that made him the most heralded #1 pick ever? Or will another season of injuries continue to derail his career?
— Indy SportsOne™ (@IndySportsOne) January 1, 2017
5. Mitch Trubisky or Mitch Trubustky? – The Bears trading into the second spot in the NFL Draft to grab North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky caught everyone by surprise, including recently signed quarterback Mike Glennon, who was left out of the loop. The Bears are going to be bad, and even though GM Ryan Pace has said Trubisky will sit, he’ll likely play at some point. Colin isn’t sure the Trubisky can play. He could fall on his face in Chicago.
Fake the jet sweep, look off the safety, drop a dime for 6.
— ✶ Sports Mockery ✶ (@sportsmockery) May 4, 2017
4. Can the Raiders win despite off field distractions? – The Raiders have an electrifying young roster, and Colin loves Derek Carr. From a personnel standpoint, the Raiders should be more talented than last year with the addition of Beastmode in the backfield, but to win this year they’ll have to find a way to block out the off field circus as they play out a lame duck season in the worst stadium in the NFL.
Even with Carr’s otherworldly leadership ability, overcoming the distractions will be a monumental task. Bad vibes in Oakland.
— Ted Nguyen (@RaidersAnalysis) March 18, 2017
3. Is Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl window closed? – Aaron Rodgers bounced back from a subpar first half of last season by scorching the NFL on a stretch run that ended in the NFC Championship game. Even with Rodgers at his peak, the subpar Green Bay roster was exposed in a blowout championship game loss to the Falcons.
And, just like every year, GM Ted Thompson didn’t go on any shopping sprees to surround his franchise QB with better talent. Will Rodgers ever have a team around him again that can make a Super Bowl run? Or is his title window closed?
— FOX Sports Radio (@FoxSportsRadio) January 17, 2017
2. Can Tom Brady keep it rolling? – Father time is undefeated, but he still hasn’t caught Tom Brady. Coming off his fifth Super Bowl win and locking down G.O.A.T status. Conventional wisdom says that Brady can’t play at an elite level forever. Is this the year he begins to decline? Or do the normal laws of athlete-aging not apply to Tom Brady? The addition of Brandin Cooks and no Deflategate shouldn’t hurt.
— Coach Bass (@Coach_Seabass) April 12, 2017
- Will Dak and Dallas have a sophomore slump? – Dak Prescott’s meteoric rise from unknown rookie to franchise quarterback caught everyone by surprise. Colin was slow to buy into Prescott, but thinks he’s a star. Now, the league has a year of film on Prescott, and the Cowboys have a brutal schedule to close the upcoming season. Many quarterbacks have struggled in their second year after impressive rookie campaigns. RGIII and Matt Ryan come to mind.
Romo is gone. It’s Dak’s team and Dallas is loaded, but anything short of a Super Bowl will be considered a failure. Prescott has risen to every challenge so far, can he step up again in year two?
— Seahawks Fan (@centurylinkfiel) December 2, 2016