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?