By Nick Villano @nick_villano on May 29, 2014
The NFL season is about 100 days away. With the draft behind us and teams' depth charts starting to fill out, fans are getting excited for their respective teams. Right now, every team is in first place. There are some storylines that every fan should be excited for. These 15 things make the 100 day wait seem like an eternity.
With what is quickly becoming the best rivalry in the NFL, fans are lucky enough to see the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks twice every season. Two of the fiercest and hardest-hitting teams in the league always play great games against each other. The first matchup between these teams will occur on Thanksgiving, and I will be thankful for the NFL that day.
This is a matchup every QB will circle as a week to watch their back constantly. This could be one of the scariest sack duos in the history of the game. With the Texans' offense having QB issues, this duo could be on the field quite often. This will be a must watch when looking through your Sunday Ticket package.
When you have two major wide receivers who are both 6-foot-5, you are a matchup nightmare. Add in the new QB Josh McCown, who has shown in the past that he loves to throw it up for his receivers, and you could have a really good offense in Tampa Bay. Lovie Smith had a similar weapon with Brandon Marshall in Chicago, so he knows how to use tall wide receivers. Imagine how good their red zone efficiency will be.
For as long as Calvin Johnson has been in Detroit, he seems to be in charge of running the Lions' offense. He may have been the most important offensive player in the league not playing QB. Now he has Golden Tate catching passes on the other side. How good will Megatron be when he doesn't have to battle double teams on every play?
Julius Peppers seems like the kind of guy who takes it very personally when a team moves on from him. The fact that he signed with the rival Green Bay Packers may be evidence of that being true. The first time Peppers will take on his former team is Sept. 28 when he goes to Soldier Field as the enemy. Expect a historical performance that day.
Darrelle Revis went to New England, Aqib Talib is in Denver and Alterraun Verner went to Tampa Bay. In all, 15 cornerbacks are calling new cities home, with players like Asante Samuel and Jabari Greer still waiting for a team to call and give them a shot to continue their career. It will be interesting to see all these players in new uniforms.
Is there any other game that is as much of a must see as this matchup? Look at what happened last season when these two went against each other in Week 12 -- it had everything. It took overtime to name a winner. Then the two got the No. 1 and 2 seeds and eventually met in the AFC Championship Game. This rivalry is one of the most exciting things in sports.
Sammy Watkins was called the best receiver prospect since Calvin Johnson, and the Buffalo Bills mortgaged the future to move up and take him at No. 4. The expectations will be through the roof for him to produce immediately. Can he live up to his potential? He is the early favorite for Rookie of the Year.
Robert Griffin III was one of the most popular players in the world two years ago. Last year seemed more like a headache. With Mike Shanahan gone and a year removed from the torn ACL, Griffin can refocus. Add on the fact that he has an added weapon in DeSean Jackson, and the Redskins could be an underrated team this season.
Andrew Luck is starting to show why he is the best QB prospect since John Elway. The last memory people have of him is a bad one (four interceptions against the Pats in the playoffs), which is going to make him work harder than ever this offseason. He is going to help carry the Colts this year, especially with a returning Reggie Wayne.
Eli Manning threw more interceptions in 2013 than he has in any season of his career. The offensive line didn't do him any favors, but you have to put some on his shoulders. He usually follows up a bad season with a good one, so expect a comeback year -- especially with a great new weapon in Odell Beckham Jr.
There was no Madden curse in 2013 since Barry Sanders graced the cover, but the athletes will not be so lucky this season. The cover vote is down to Richard Sherman, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck and Cam Newton. One of these players will be looking over their shoulder all season if they grace the cover. The Madden curse is still undefeated.
It seems like a yearly occurrence that the Dallas Cowboys will go down to the wire with a playoff spot on the line and lose it during the last week. It seems like it is a running joke at this point. Can it be possible that it will happen again in 2014? Fans can only hope so.
The Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings all spent first round picks on quarterbacks. The countdown is on until they all get the start in their respective market. Brian Hoyer, Matt Cassel and Chad Henne will not be able to hold off Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater for very long. It will be interesting to see if any of these players can have Matt Ryan-type impacts in their first year.
Peyton Manning had arguably the best quarterback performance of all time in 2013. It will be hard to repeat, but with the addition of Emmanuel Sanders it is definitely possible. All he hopes for is a different result in his final game of the season.
August 28, 2015 by Jason Fletcher
The Carolina Panthers will host the New England Patriots on Friday night from Bank of America Stadium. Find out what to expect from this matchup of 2014 playoff teams. Read More
August 28, 2015 by Nik Zirounis
Here are five things to watch during the Miami Dolphins' third preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Read More
August 28, 2015 by James Forsythe
The San Francisco 49ers are reeling after the latest of bad news surrounding the troubled linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Read More
August 28, 2015 by Ethan Buss
Ater the second preseason game, Packers tackle Don Barclay was highly criticized. However, fans should not worry as David Bakhtiari should make it back by Week 1. Read More
With the Packers losing their top wide receiver Jordy Nelson to an ACL tear, many are in panic. However, the Packers should have plenty of reasons to not worry. Read More
August 28, 2015 by Seth Lassen
Manti Te'o apparently wasn't the first collegiate athlete to be catfished in a major way. Read More
August 28, 2015 by K.J. Momberg
Here's five bold predictions for Friday night's game between the Lions and Jaguars. Read More
August 27, 2015 by Doug Green
The Philadelphia Eagles are rumored to be actively shopping Matt Barkley for trade, but they'd be smart to keep him on the roster. Read More