5 Things to Watch: Opening Weekend
After a great weekend of College Football to begin the autumn season, it′s the NFL turn to wow football fans across the country. There has been a lot of storylines throughout training camp and preseason, enough to make the biggest NFL fan′s head pop, but now we are here and it′s time to play football.
The NFL is built on storylines and each week those storylines could change and do change. Heading into week 1, there are plenty of things to lookout for but here the 5 most interesting.
Trevor Siemian starts for the Denver Broncos
Siemian is a seventh-round pick out of Northwestern. In November of 2014, he tore his ACL but still managed to make the Broncos′ Super Bowl roster nine months later. Now one year later, Siemian will make his first start in the NFL. Siemian is beating out 1st round pick Paxton Lynch and 5th year veteran, Austin Davis. Both Gary Kubiak and John Elway are very excited about their new starting quarterback and Peyton Manning′s replacement, mainly because of his big arm. Siemian will have a tough challenge Thursday night battling against the Panthers′ defense. The weapons are out there for him to have a solid night but it′s a different story when the lights are the brightest and the entire country is watching. We could see the birth of a great quarterback or…
Blake Bortles v. Aaron Rodgers
This is a very intriguing matchup between the Packers and Jaguars and could tell an early tale for both teams depending on who wins. What it most interesting is the veteran MVP quarterback and the young gun-slinger that will share the field. In Rodger′s inaugural season as a starter, he threw for 4,038 yards, 28 Tds, and 13 INTs; Bortles first season as a starter was similar 4,428 yards, 35 Tds, and 18 INTs. Of course this doesn′t mean much but it is an interesting coincidence. Rodgers is heading into another season where he will have to find ″receivers he can trust″ to go along with a healthy Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Bortles on the other hand is looking jump to the next level with his weapons, Andre Robinson, Mercedes Lewis, Julian Thomas, Allen Hurns, and Chris Ivory.
Carson Wentz first start
Wentz is the highest draft pick out of North Dakota State and the youngest starting quarterback for Eagles since Donovan McNabb in 1999. McNabb replaced Wentz current coach, Doug Pederson for the last 4 games of the season and the rest was history. Wentz will look to be the first consistent quarterback the Eagles had since McNabb but I think everyone in Philadelphia is expecting growing pains. The growing pains might not start in week 1 though. Wentz and the Eagles have enough to overcome the Browns, who are still struggling to find their own winning method. Pederson has much confidence in Wentz – as he should – but Pederson will have to make sure his coaching is up to par, and don′t put his rookie quarterback in uncomfortable situations.
Cowboys′ rookie backfield
The Cowboys will have an all rookie backfield to begin the 2016 season with Dak Prescott at quarterback and Ezekiel Elliot at running back. As a Cowboys fan, I am excited to see how this work out. The main reason why this doesn′t scare me is because we have an all-pro offensive line that can make average look great. Even though both players are rookies, they′re far from average. Zeke is the third running back drafted in the top 20 by the Cowboys, joining the likes of Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett. Prescott, despite being drafted in the fourth round, he was one of the top passers during the preseason, finishing with 5 Tds and 0 INTs. Tony Romo′s injury is the reason why Prescott is getting the opportunity and hopefully he takes full advantage.
LA Rams v. San Francisco 49ers
The Rams will start their season as a LA squad, in the state of California but on the road, 6-hours north of The City Of Angels. The last time the Rams visited the 49ers as a team representing Los Angeles was 1994. The reason why this game is a must-watch is because of the fanbases. Both teams have strong, prideful fanbases. Unfortunately, I expect this game to have some type of violence in the crowds, only because history shows that could happen. Any time two California teams square off, reports of violence in the stands follows the next day. With this being a division game, the intensity is going to be even higher.