We are roughly two weeks away from the start of the 2013 NFL Preseason, believe it or not. There has been a whirlwind of change this offseason, but what are the five major storylines heading into the season?
Let’s find out.
Patriots’ offense without Aaron Hernandez
Aaron Hernandez will be a major missing component for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Not only does he take up double teams and safety help, he also is a great red zone tight end for Brady.
He has accounted for 18 regular season touchdowns in 38 games. He will most definitely be missed, but I think Rob Gronkowski’s injury issues and the fact that Wes Welker is in Denver will hurt even more.
Will Wes Welker be the missing piece in Denver?
Since joining the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, Wes Welker has been a constant Pro Bowl player. Accounting for 672 receptions, 7459 yards and 37 touchdowns, Welker dominated in the slot inside the Patriots’ offense.
And now he’s with Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ offense. Expect great results for both the quarterback and wide receiver.
Denver came up short last season, but Welker very well could be the missing link.
How will the sophomore quarterbacks fare in second stint?
Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck are three quarterbacks on the rise. Similar to Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers, I expect these quarterbacks to account for four or five Super Bowls while in their prime.
That’s saying something.
But which quarterback is due for a set back and which one is set to continue the sharp play? I would say that all will continue going forward without taking one step behind. However, if I had to choose one, I would say Griffin III might take a step back.
He was so dynamic last season; maybe too dynamic if you can believe that. He doesn’t know when to slide, and the injuries that come without sliding are the major concern I have.
Other than that, I don’t see any steps backwards for these three superstars.
Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers are front and center
Colin Kaepernick has the world’s highest selling NFL jersey, according to the latest results, and the 49ers are destined for the Super Bowl for the second straight season.
Or are they?
It’s extremely difficult to make it to back-to-back Super Bowls after failing in your first attempt. So difficult, the last team to do it was the Buffalo Bills in 1994, the final fall of their 4-straight Super Bowl losses.
San Francisco has a great defense, they have the nice running attack, they have solid special teams, they have good coaching and they have great weapons on the outside. It’s all going to come down to one man: Colin Kaepernick.
Great player, don’t get me wrong, but he still is a quarterback who has a lot to prove before I’m willing to say he’s a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback. He has only started a couple handfuls of regular season games. I’m not there with him, yet.
Is Joe Flacco really worth the mega deal?
You win one Super Bowl and you’re catapulted to the top of the NFL salary stakes? Joe Flacco played unbelievably well in the 2013 NFL Playoffs en route to his first Super Bowl championship.
Sure, he may have gotten lucky against Denver, but he did what he needed to do and now he’s paid like the best quarterback in the league, making 20 million in 2013.
Is he worth THAT contract? Will he ever be able to live up to the hype? I don’t think so.
Flacco has been a quarterback who relies on defense and the running attack. He has never thrown for more than 4,000 yards in a season, he has averaged 20 touchdowns per year and has accounted for 18 turnovers per season.
Those are average-to-decent numbers as a starting quarterback in the league. Nothing special to say the least.
Flacco is a good quarterback, but certainly not worth the money.