Jun 12, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) during minicamp at Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Questions That Need Answering In 2014

Many football fans know there are questions that can’t be answered until the NFL season begins.  What are some big ones to ponder?

Can anybody in the AFC get past Tom Brady and Peyton Manning?

It’s amazing how two men have managed to maintain a stranglehold on an entire NFL conference for over a decade and a half.  That is a testament to just how great Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are.  After playing in their third AFC championship against each other and then seeing their teams get even better in the off-season, is there anybody in the AFC that can stop the two of them from doing it again?  And again?  And again?  Both Manning and Brady have said they intend to keep playing and don’t look in danger of falling off a cliff.  At present there really isn’t anybody poised to knock them off that perch.

How will title and free agent losses affect the Seattle Seahawks?

Past champions all say that winning the second title is infinitely harder than winning the first.  Not only must the team play harder, they must summon even greater will because that desire of never winning a ring is gone.  That alone will make it hard enough for the Seattle Seahawks to repeat.  Never mind the fact they play in the toughest division in the NFL and also suffered a series of difficult roster losses to free agency, especially in terms of veteran leadership.  They are still the champs and have their best players locked up long-term.  Whether that is enough to see them through is up for debate.

Will Jerry Jones blow up the Dallas Cowboys if they go 8-8 again?

There was a time when Jerry Jones had zero patience for anybody who didn’t make the Dallas Cowboys winners.  Now, as time has passed, the owner seems to have grown more willing to wait, to let his coaches and players mesh.  Or he’s just gone soft.  It depends on who you talk to.  The bottom line is the Cowboys have gone 8-8 three-straight seasons, missing the playoffs each time in the final game against all three division rivals.  It doesn’t get much worse than that, unless it happens for a fourth time.  Will that be the breaking point for Jones?  Will he break up the roster led by Tony Romo and Jason Garrett and look to start fresh?  He insists that won’t happen, but a man can only take so much.

Can Mike Pettine resist the Johnny Manziel allure?

Start the clock.  NFL fans everywhere know it’s going to happen.  The only question is how long it will take.  Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine has fervently said he intends to wait on taking the leash off 1st round draft pick Johnny Manziel.  He wants him to sit back, learn the offense and study behind veteran Brian Hoyer.  There is nothing wrong with that.  The problem is…it’s Johnny Manziel.  Sooner or later Browns fans are going to start calling for him.  Many head coaches have proven unable to resist heeding those calls.  Can Pettine dare to be different or will Manziel Mania get started in 2014?

Tags: Jerry Jones Johnny Manziel NFL Peyton Manning Seattle Seahawks Tom Brady

  • trinity

    I don’t think anyone is knocking Tom and Peyton off the throne. I respect rothliesberger, flacco, and luck. But I don’t see their teams doing it. As for Jerry, he seems to care more about ratings than he does about winning these days. He’s willing to tolerate losing if it’s 51-48 to Peyton Manning. His willingness to tolerate and reward mediocrity is why the cowboys are a joke.

    • Erik Lambert

      Both your points are in line with what I think as well.

  • RegisHawk

    The Seahawks are the reason that the NFC West is the toughest division. Since they don’t have to play themselves (except at practice), they have it easier than the rest of the NFC West. As for roster losses, they really didn’t get hurt as much as conventional philosophies would like to pigeon-hole it.

  • HD

    Seattle is making room for new talent at less cost to pay their core group (and stay competitive)…If you look closely at who Seattle gave up in free agency or cut themselves…there are players waiting for their shot at those positions..some since 2012…The whole method to Schneider’s and Carol’s madness is to find the best players that fit their scheme and upgrade every year…to maintain a winning tradition…Seattle’s started the 2013 season with 23 players who weren’t on the roster at the end of 2012…there are only 3 players left from the 2010 roster ….from 2011 to 2012…there were another 23 roster adds that were new from the previous year…Seattle sifts and continues to morp their ranks (and refine their ghost roster and practice squad)…don’t forget…since 2010 Seattle has won the NFC West twice…was 30 seconds away from the NFC Championship game in 2012 and won the Super Bowl in 2013…all of that under critical scrutiny from the NFL expert analysts…Maybe the Seahawks really are on to something…

    • Erik Lambert

      It’s a terrific method when you have Marshawn Lynch toting the rock and All-Pros littering your secondary. No question Carroll and Schneider deserve loads of credit for their success but I’d like to see the method tested by not having Beast Mode in the backfield or Thomas or Sherman on the back end. Would the machine run as effectively?

      • HD

        you are aware when Seattle signed Lynch from the Bills…he was having off field legal problems and frankly hadn’t looked very good with the Bills..that’s why they were happy to release him in 2010 for a 4th round pick in 11 and a conditional pick in 12….that littered backfield consists of three 5th round picks, a fourth rounder, one first rounder,,,two of the backups were UDFA…I think Seattle would have found someone else to get the job done…they appear to be pretty good at finding talent…one other footnote…Seattle had 23 players make the team in 2012 and 2013 who were not on the previous year roster…that’s a 44% roster turnover 2 years in a row…I find that pretty impressive considering their results for both years…check out the new faces this year