The 101st NFL season will be a season like no other. Every major sports fan has known for months now how the pandemic could affect NFL teams and games.
With all the setbacks and issues in the MLB, some football fans may fear the NFL will see a similar fate. However, at the time of writing this article, the season is less than a week from kicking off.
If all things go as planned here are 5 story lines to watch for this season.
5. What’s next for the Washington Football Team?
The seemingly endless controversies involving the Washington Football Team continue to pile up, and the results of the NFL’s investigation will probably result in some sort of punishment.
Many female ex-employees have come forward with allegations of abuse in the workplace and this has some to wonder if owner Dan Snyder will be forced to sell the team. The next mascot for the team is probably the last thing on management’s mind right now. This story is far from over and it could lead to some major changes soon.
4. How will the Chiefs follow up their historic season?
The Chiefs brought back a majority of the members of the Super Bowl LIV team and added another offensive weapon by using their first round pick on running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire from LSU.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has already built quite a resume despite only starting for 2 seasons. He recently signed a 10-year $500 Million deal after winning the MVP award and a Super Bowl in back to back seasons.
The Chiefs are all in on Mahomes for the future and it will be intriguing to see how the team plays with the entire league gunning for their spot.
3. The relationship between the Packers and Aaron Rodgers.
The Green Bay Packers finished last season with a 13-3 record and a loss in the NFC Championship game. With their quarterback Aaron Rodgers aging, they chose to use their first round pick on his potential replacement, quarterback Jordan Love from Utah State, instead of getting a player who could make an instant impact.
Rodgers has never been one to shy away from letting his grievances be known but thus far no issues have came out since training camp began.
Now the question is, how much longer does Rodgers have before he gets replaced? Only time will tell, but the Packers will probably make a decision in the foreseeable future.
2. Will the new look Patriots continue to win without Brady?
For nearly two decades Tom Brady was the quarterback for the New England Patriots, so seeing them take the field with anyone other than him under center is still a shock months later.
Cam Newton was recently announced as the week 1 starter and he has a lot to prove after being released by the Carolina Panthers in March.
Head coach Bill Belichick has coached the Patriots to 9 Super Bowl appearances and won 6 of them, however he did so with Tom Brady as his quarterback each time.
The Patriots also had multiple departures in free agency this spring and a few COVID-19 opt outs. Will Belichick be able to coach this team to the Playoffs, something he has done 16 out of the 19 seasons he has been head coach?
1. How will the Buccaneers play with all of their additions?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were one of the most active teams during the free agency period after perhaps their biggest signing in franchise history, Tom Brady. It’ll be baffling to see when he takes the field with a new team but the big expectations have followed him to Tampa Bay.
With offensive weapons like wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, tight ends OJ Howard and Rob Gronkowski as well as their most recent addition, running back Leonard Fournette the offense looks great on paper. But will the Buccaneers be able to live up to the hype?
If Brady can win outside of New England in his 20th season that will only add to his long list of accomplishments.