2017 Storylines- NFL

1. The kids in Dallas– The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a season where they were 13-3, winners of 11 straight games and the top seed in the NFC playoff picture and all of this happened with a rookie quarterback and rookie running back. They both enter their sophomore seasons and The NFC East is no cakewalk and while last year’s offensive talent is still there, we have to remember Prescott and Elliott are still kids with only one season under their belts. Things get tougher when defensive coordinators have a full offseason to scout and prepare a game plan to slow you down. Can these two pick up where they left off in 2016?

2. The Quest For Six– After coming back from a 25 point deficit in Super Bowl 51, the New England Patriots went into the off-season and believe it or not added more to their roster. Dwayne Allen was acquired from the Colts, Brandin Cooks was acquired from the Saints, the team traded for Kony Ealy in a deal with Carolina and signed former Buffalo Bills Stephon Gilmore and Mike Gillislee, signed former Bengals running back Rex Burkhead nad recently, they signed former Jets linebacker, David Harris. They’ve added pieces as if they lost the Super Bowl. They are the favorites not only to come out the AFC once again but win the whole thing. Six Super Bowls titles in 17 seasons and if they did win it, they would tie the Pittsburgh Steelers with six titles. The championship defense begins on September 7th.

3. Anybody’s NFC– When you look at the AFC, we know who the clear cut favorite is just about each year to represent the conference in the Super Bowl. The NFC right now is extremely wide open. Nobody expected the Atlanta Falcons to even make the playoffs yet alone clinch the two seed in the NFC Playoffs and eventually win the NFC title, Green Bay has been a round away from the Super Bowl in two of the last three seasons, the Cowboys would be a contender if the defense were more consistent, the Giants have been known to get hot, the Panthers are a full year removed from playing in the big game. Then, there’s Seattle and I feel that title window is closing for them. The secondary which has been the backbone of the defense is getting older and they’ve had trouble staying on the field. When Earl Thomas went down, he took the defense’s production with him. They truly weren’t the same without him. The NFC as a whole should be extremely interesting this season.

4. Aaron Rodgers Window– He’s had quite the career. He had to sit behind an all-time great before he got his shot to start and he hasn’t disappointed. He’s won two MVPs and a Super Bowl. When you look at many of the rosters that have won Super Bowls over the years (Denver, Seattle, New England, Pittsburgh) all those teams I listed all had one thing in common: They each had defenses to make stops and quarterbacks can’t win titles without some consistency on defense. Are the Packers going to finally step it up on defense? Has Aaron’s window closed to get back to another Super Bowl?

5. The New York Saga Continues– For the last two seasons, I’ve stated that the Giants needed to get a guy that could complement Odell and one of the very first moves that took place this off-season was the team signing veteran receiver Brandon Marshall which now gives the Giants an exciting tandem for Eli Manning to get the ball too. If either guy doesn’t get the football, how will they react? Odell has been known to let his emotions get the best of him and Brandon Marshall has also throw temper tantrums on the sidelines. This should be all the way interesting.