The 2013 NFL season is upon us. I’m sorry this is coming after the first game was played, but I don’t even think I was ready for the marksmanship show the elder Manning brother put on and I’m still recovering. If that game and the individual performances put on are any indication of what is to come this season Pigskin fans are in for a wild ride.
Here is a list put together of 10 various things to check out in 2013:
1. WWTTD?: Tim Tebow has found himself on the unfortunate end of the Patriots scissors as he was recently cut from their final roster. He is mainly known for 3 reasons: His devout Christian faith, starting the Tebowing craze and for being one of the greatest NCAA players ever. His success in the NFL has never been pretty and he just isn’t cut out to be a full time/starting NFL QB. Crossroads: Left to continue the pursuit of being a NFL QB or right to take the righteous path of God and spreading his good word? Right now, Timmy is saying he is pursuing the whole NFL QB thing. Either way, NFL fans will be filled in with news on this polarizing preacher.
2. Get Out Of Jail Free: If this Monopoly card actually existed, no pro sports league would benefit as much as the NFL. Although most of their shenanigans take place during the off season (37 times players have been arrested or charged with crimes in 2013, including the now infamous Aaron Hernandez). Keep a tally this season, some teams arrest records are far more impressive than their one for wins.
3. Go South, and a bit to the West, Young Man: He isn’t exactly young, but the former Montreal Alouette’s coach (2 time Grey Cup winner with the team) Marc Trestman is returning to the NFL but as a head coach for the first time. And not just for some scrap team in need of a jumpstart, he’s coaching Da Bears. Big stage. And some BIG personalities (especially the super talented and troubled Brandon Marshall...more on him later). Replacing Lovie Smith who brought the Bears to the Superbowl in 2007, Trestman will look to bring the Bears back and hopefully duplicate his CFL success. I’m sure the Bears will have quite a few new fans from Montreal.
4. Can The Beast Stay In Control?: 3 NFL teams have had the name Marshall stitched into the back of their jerseys since 2006; Broncos, Dolphins and the Bears. 15, 19, 15. Brandon Marshall is exactly what his nickname suggests, a Beast. Actually, he is The Beast. The Apex of all things beast mode. Big size, chip on a shoulder, fast, borderline personality disorder and usually surrounded by some kind of controversy Marshall has become one of the NFL’s best wide outs. But he has also become one of the biggest wildcards as you do not know what you are going to get as the whole borderline personality disorder wasn’t a joke, Marshall was diagnosed in 2011 and has since received treatment and has started a foundation. Stat wise he is unreal: In his 7 seasons in the NFL he has amassed 612 catches, 7755 receiving yards and 45 touchdowns. He had 2 “off seasons” in Miami where he was part of an offense with a questionable passing game, but reunited with Jay Cutler from their early Denver days has got both players back on track. Keep an eye on Brando, and treat yourself to a season of following him for both his on and off field antics.
5. No Fun League Strikes Again: Mile High Salute? Don’t let a ref see you do it. Jack in the box? Better keep the spring tight, Jared Allen. The NFL has done did it again by restricting the celebrations players can do after a player scores, records a sack or anything that might merit celebrating. I think the CFL is too over the top in regards to celebrating, and I think the NFL has become far too tight collared over the decades I have been watching. The leading with a helmet rule makes sense, as does the defenseless receiver/player but who really gets hurt by a celebration besides some big babies feelings? Let’s find out how much fun is “allowed”.
6. Packers Playoff Woes: The Packers Superbowl hangover seems to have lasted a while but only really shows up when the playoffs roll around. After embarrassing losses in the last two post-seasons after solid regular seasons. The Packers look to hoist the Lomabardi trophy again but can Aaron Rodgers and the offense stay sharp and in sync the whole way through and can the defense which has been a massive let down to say the least get back on track and take some of the pressure off the Packers gun-slinging double checker?
7. With Big Bucks Come Big Responsibility: Joe Flacco is officially the man in B-More now. Ray has retired and Ol’ Ed brought his beard and ball hawking ways to Houston. Flacco received a $120.6 million dollar contract form the Baltimore Ravens as he lead them to the franchise’s second Superbowl victory after seeming like he was playing on rookie mode in Madden thought the 2012 season’s playoffs. Perfect in last season’s post-season (1140 yards, 11 touchdowns, 0 INTs, and a 117.2 QB rating) and capturing the SB MVP award and solidifying himself as the Ravens new franchise player he has clearly earned his worth (Yet to miss the playoffs as a starter in the NFL and has a 9-4 record) for now. Week 1 was a bit rough but we are in the age of what have you done for me lately so this season will have fans trashing or praising Ravens management. These emotions could change weekly.
8. Four The Hard Way: Last year NFL fans were surprised with the coming out party for 4 specific young quarterbacks: Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III, the Indy Colts Andrew Luck, SF 49ers Colin Kaepernick and the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson. All four have cannons for arms, wheels for legs, nerves of steel and poise of old vets. Barring injury these four young men will be in the discussion for best QB in the NFL once the old boys hang up their cleats for the final time. To pick one to follow out of the four isn’t easy but Luck gets my vote.
9. All Praise Purple Jesus!:Adrian Peterson has done some amazing things in his career. But over the last two seasons have been the two most remarkable. In 2011, Peterson signed $100 million dollar contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings and what he did that season was nothing short of worthy. Playing in only 12 games Peterson racked up 970 rushing yards along with 12 rushing tds (13 total). Not bad for 12 games considering most players tank after massive contacts in the runningback world. Peterson sadly tore his ACL and MCL in December of ’11. Which makes what happened next even more amazing. Peterson didn’t miss a game last season. Not one. What did miss? Would be tacklers. Purple Jesus gained the second most rushing yards in the history of the league, 2097, and took home both the NFL’s MVP and Comeback Player of The Year. It was truly something to watch him run with zero loss of speed and no apprehension as he runs like a Mack truck on a mission to HIT any and everything in his way, it was as if he never even was injured. It was beautiful. Hopefully PJ can give us a hat trick with three epic seasons in a row. If you see a number 28 running in your direction, odds are it isn’t Peterson but just to be safe...brace yourself.
11/24/2013: Brady vs Manning. ‘Nuff Said.