2017 NFL Season
Take a look at 10 questions heading into the 2017 NFL Season (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Every offseason, questions are popped into the minds of football fans about the upcoming season. Which team will shock the world? Who will win the super bowl? Which players will regress? Here are 10 things that I question about the upcoming season.

  1. Can the Patriots continue dominating?

The Patriots are the best team in football, and it’s not close. This past season they went 14-2 and won the super bowl, and all of that was with Rob Gronkowski only playing in 8 games. They got even better in the offseason by trading for Brandin Cooks and signing Stephon Gilmore. Tom Brady will be 40 years old when the season starts, the question is, how long will he and the Patriots continue to dominate.

2. Have the Texans found their franchise QB?

The Texans have a good running game, good receivers and an excellent defense, what’s missing? A proven quarterback. The question here is do the Texans have their long term franchise QB in Deshaun Watson? He was excellent college, but will he succeed the same type of way in the NFL? If so, the Texans will be a very dangerous team.

3. Will this be the year Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota make the playoffs?

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota were the first two picks in the 2015 draft, and both of them are coming off of very good seasons, both of their teams were very close to making the playoffs. The Buccaneers and Titans each got better in the offseason, will we be seeing these two youngsters in the playoffs this upcoming season?

4. How will the Raiders fare?

The Raiders are coming off of an excellent season, who knows how far they could have gotten if Derek Carr never got hurt. They signed Marshawn Lynch, but I question if he can play at the same level that he did 3-4 years ago with the Seahawks. If so, the Raiders offense will be even scarier this upcoming season.

5. The entire NFC East

It seems like this division gets a lot of the headlines, and this year should be no different. Will Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot have sophomore slumps? Will the Cowboys take a step back after surprising everyone last season? Will Carson Wentz thrive now that he gets to throw to Alshon Jeffrey? Are the Giants legit super bowl contenders with their great defense and excellent trio of receivers on offense? How much better will the Redskins defense be after the additions of Zach Brown and Jonathan Allen, can they get back into the playoffs? These are all questions to keep an eye on pertaining to this division.

6. How much bigger is Aaron Rodgers window to win a super bowl?

The Packers were a very up and down team last year, Rodgers didn’t live up to expectations the first month of the season, and the Packers only won 4 of their first 10 games. However, they caught fire towards the end of the season and made it all the way to the NFC championship game. How many great seasons does Rodgers have left? Will this be the year the Packers return to the super bowl? They haven’t made it since 2011.

7. Will the Falcons have a super bowl hangover?

The Falcons shocked the world last season by marching all the way to the super bowl, many people question if they can do it again. We just saw the Panthers miss the playoffs the year after they marched all the way to the super bowl. People question if Matt Ryan can be as dominant as he was this past season now that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is gone, only time will tell.

8. How will all the rookie running backs fare?

This recent draft class was filled with excellent running backs. Two of them went in the first top 10 picks, Leonard Fournette and Christian Mccaffrey. The two leading rushers last season were rookies, Ezekiel Elliot and Jordan Howard. Will Fournette live up to his hype? Will Christian Mccaffrey quiet his critics? Can Dalvin Cook be the Vikings long-term running back like what Adrian Peterson was?

9. Is Seattle’s window closing?

Are the Seahawks really super bowl contenders? Their offense isn’t very good at all, they have arguably the worst offensive line in the whole league, and their defense isn’t as dominating as it was, it was getting burned left and right after Earl Thomas season-ending injury. I question if he can be the same player after his gruesome leg injury. Are the Seahawks just another playoff team or are they real super bowl contenders?

10. Can the Bengals make it back into the playoffs?

Before this past season, the Bengals made the playoffs 5 seasons in a row. Can they make it again? They added some nice offensive pieces in the draft in John Ross and Joe Mixon, but I question if they can leapfrog the Ravens and Steelers in that division.

 

 

 

 

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