Very soon the NFL training camp season will begin as teams start to report in mid-July. An exciting offseason has fans begging for more. What does the 2018 season hold? We will find out when it all unravels beginning Sept. 6th when defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles takes on Atlanta Falcons to kick it all off. Here are some of the biggest questions entering the 2018 season.
NFL MOST SEARCHED QUESTIONS ENTERING 2018 SEASON
It has been a busy offseason for the 32 franchises that make up the National Football League. Teams have completed OTAs (organized team activities) and mini-camps and are now preparing for their preseason training camps. As we await the beginning of camp and the preseason, there are a number of questions remaining to be answered. Very soon, fans across the country will learn the answers.
No team has repeated as Super Bowl champion since the 2004-05 New England Patriots. That does not mean that the defending champion Eagles have no chance at a repeat. Philadelphia won last year’s Lombardi Trophy with their backup quarterback Nick Foles who was the game’s MVP. With starter Carson Wentz back, it’s hard to imagine NFL defenses slowing down the Eagles. The schedule is no piece of cake as Philadelphia must face Minnesota, Carolina, New Orleans, and the Los Angeles Rams in addition to their rivals in the NFC East. The Eagles could have the league’s best offense and best defense. Remember, the Eagles led the NFL in rush defense last year. Can they repeat? Absolutely.
The Minnesota Vikings offense was not all that bad in 2017. Journeyman quarterback Case Keenum had a career season as he took over for the injured Sam Bradford in Week 2. The Vikings offense got even better when the team signed former Washington QB Kirk Cousins in the offseason. Cousins has thrown for over 4,000 yards in three straight seasons and is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. He will still have wide receivers Stefon Diggs (NFC divisional playoff game hero) and Adam Thielen (career-high 91 catches). Cousins will also get a full season out of RB Dalvin Cook who went down early last year with a knee injury. Yes, Cousins will make a difference but whether that means the Vikings can win the NFC and get to the Super Bowl remains to be seen.
It’s really hard to believe that the Cleveland Browns could go 0-16. They did it last year, but only the Browns and the 2008 Detroit Lions have ever gone winless in a 16-game season. Could Cleveland really go 0-for-32? The Browns might not win in Week 1 (Pittsburgh) or Week 2 (New Orleans), but a Week 3 date with the New York Jets at home could be the Browns first win since a Week 16 victory over the San Diego (now Los Angeles) Chargers during the 2016 season.
None of the five first-round quarterbacks taken in this year’s draft has been named a starter as of yet. Don’t expect any of the five to win a job heading into Week 1. That could change due to injury, but Lamar Jackson is not going to start ahead of Joe Flacco anytime soon. Sam Bradford will begin the season as the No. 1 guy in Arizona where Josh Rosen is waiting. Incumbent Josh McCown will be the Day 1 starter for the New York Jets. He will be a solid mentor for Sam Darnold. Of the two remaining first-round quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen, it might be Allen that gets the first start. The Bills’ quarterback depth chart is not as strong some of the others mentioned here. Buffalo will likely roll with former Bengal A.J. McCarron. Nathan Peterman started a few games last year but was awful. If McCarron stumbles, expect the strong-armed Allen to be thrust into the fire. The same could happen in Cleveland where Tyrod Taylor will start ahead of Mayfield.
With Foles still in Philadelphia, the Eagles have the luxury of not rushing Wentz back into the lineup. He has progressed nicely in his rehab and has been working on his pocket mobility. It appears that Wentz will recover to 100 percent, but Eagles head coach Doug Pedersen has given no definitive timetable as to when Wentz will return. When he returns, he will have plenty of weapons from which to choose including TE Zach Ertz, WR Alshon Jeffery, and a strong contingent of running backs in Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, and Darren Sproles who is also returning from an injury.
Watt played in only five games last year failing to register a sack for the first time in his seven-year career. It was the second consecutive year in which the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year missed most of the season. In 2016, Watt played in just three games after undergoing surgery for a herniated disc in his back. He underwent surgery again after playing in Houston’s first three games that season. In the Week 5 game last year against Kansas City, Watt suffered a tibial plateau fracture in his left leg forcing him to miss the rest of the season. Can he recover? Watt is 29 and should have a few good years left. Between 2012 and 2105, Watt recorded 68.5 sacks. Even if he only produces half of those numbers, he’ll help the Texans which fell apart after Watt, LB Whitney Mercilus, and QB Deshaun Watson were all lost for the season.
50% up to $250
|OPEN YOUR BETONLINE ACCOUNT
|Claim your 50% on your first deposit
2018 NFL Football Season