Football reduces us to our most private and primate impulses. We survive winter through the vicarious thrill we get from our favorite football teams.
The Bucs took a gamble signing Michael Johnson to a huge contract, and this season, he has to be the guy.
With Chris Johnson gone, the Tennessee Titans look to redesign their offense and that all starts with quarterback Jake Locker. After an injury plagued career, Locker has to stay healthy and become a leader on and off the field if the Titans want to win.
Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy had a spectacular year in 2013, but improvement by Lacy and a healthy Aaron Rodgers, the Packers may just end up being the NFL’s most balanced offense in 2014.
The last time the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted a rookie who made an immediate impact and started opening day was Kendrell Bell in 2001, but first-round draft pick Ryan Shazier has all the skills of an NFL starter and the backing of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
If before the 2013 season you would tell Bolt fans that Cal rookie Keenan Allen would become the “go-to” guy for much of last season, many may have scratched their head a time or two. When all was said and done last season, Allen emerged not only as the Chargers’ top threat, but one of the top wide receiver stories around the NFL.
The Jets marquee offseason signing is more than just a number one receiver for Gang Green.
In December of 2011 the NFL formally announced the suspensions of two Redskins players, tight-end Fred Davis, and left-tackle Trent Williams. Both players received a four game suspension without pay, for testing positive for marijuana three times throughout the course of the season.
He may be known for his trash-talking, but that doesn’t mean Sherman isn’t one of the most talented cornerbacks currently in the NFL. As this year’s cover athlete for Madden 15, he’s out to prove there no such thing as the “Madden Curse”.
The New Orleans Saints had a vastly improved defense in the NFL in 2013, but it never hurts to get a bit more veteran leadership and skill onto the roster. That’s what they did by adding Champ Bailey during the offseason, and he is looking for a Super Bowl ring before his stories career ends.
It may be ugly at times in 2014, but Bortles will be unnerved and will benefit by going through any growing pains this fall as the Jaguars have much work to do before competing in the AFC South.
The Minnesota Vikings have a long tradition of having very good defensive tackles. They drafted Sharrif Floyd in the first round of the 2013 draft in hopes that he can continue the trend. He learned a lot of from former teammate Kevin Williams and slimmed down in the offseason to reach his full potential. This season should be the beginning of the Floyd era in Minnesota.
The biggest rule change of the 2014 NFL season won’t require a single edit in the rule book. That’s because, technically, it’s not a change. The league has simply made aggressive play in the defensive backfield a “point of emphasis” Initiating contact five yards beyond the line of scrimmage and illegal hands to the face were always penalties, but now the NFL will be monitoring them more closely.
You don’t need to be a fantasy football guru to know you shouldn’t draft a back-up quarterback. This is especially true if the back-up in question failed to beat out Brian Hoyer for the starting job.
Johnny Manziel fell a lot further than anyone would have expected at the NFL Draft, but he landed right where the Cleveland Browns wanted him to fall. Now, the focus needs to stay on the field instead of off it, and Manziel could up bringing an excitement that the Browns have not seen in decades.
The 49ers’ acquisition of wide receiver Stevie Johnson is a win for both the team and player. San Francisco gets what they hope is the final missing piece to their passing game, while Johnson gets the chance to return home and not only play for a contender, but play in a market where his talents will not go un-noticed.
Even though he will be 38 in October and well past his prime, safety Charles Woodson has the ability to lead the Oakland Raiders defense this season to a level the team hasn’t seen in awhile.
It’s been a long-time since the New England Patriots had a shutdown cornerback on their roster, and they finally have one in former New York Jets star Darrelle Revis.
Jeremy Maclin is not going to have to be Jerry Rice or Terrell Owens. He merely needs to be a receiver for Nick Foles, while the tight ends help chip in the rest of the production in the passing game.
The Carolina Panthers cut the face of the franchise, Steve Smith, and let the only other three wide receivers on the roster that caught a pass last season leave as free agents. Tight end Greg Olsen is the only proven receiver returning from last season’s squad. Olsen should be Cam Newton’s favorite target this season.