Very soon the NFL training camp season will begin as teams start to report in mid-July. An exciting offseason has fans begging for more. What does the 2019 season hold? We will find out when it all unravels beginning Sept. 6th when defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles takes on Atlanta Falcons to kick it all off. Here are some of the biggest questions entering the 2019 season.
All 32 teams in the National Football League have been hard at work preparing for the NFL Draft. Once the draft is over, teams will begin preparing for rookie camps, organized team activities (OTAs), and mini camps. When summer comes, preseason training camps will get underway and the new season will begin. When it does, a number of big questions heading into the season will be answered. Here are a few.
Can the New England Patriots really do it again?
The Bill Belichick-Tom Brady dynasty has played in the last three Super Bowls winning two. Can they really do it again and reach Super Bowl LIV? Do not count the Patriots out. They are the smartest team in football and somehow seem to find a way to get things done even when it doesn’t appear possible. Brady will have a new legitimate threat at wide receiver in rookie N’Keal Harry and the running game is solid with Sony Michel and James White.
No team has repeated as Super Bowl champion since the Patriots did it themselves in 2004 and ’05. The AFC East is weak and the Patriots play the AFC North, which means games against Cleveland and Cincinnati. Pittsburgh will be missing Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. The Patriots also face the NFC East which means games with the Giants and Redskins. The toughest games on the schedule as it appears now are Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, and Kansas City all division winners from a year ago. While it doesn’t likely, the New England Patriots could surely do it again and capture another Lombardi Trophy.
Will the Cleveland Browns win the AFC North Division?
The talent is absolutely there, but no this isn’t going to happen. There are two reasons why. One is simply the culture of the Browns organization. With Freddie Kitchens as the new head coach, the Browns are going to need some time to adjust. They aren’t simply going to win the division because they acquired WR Odell Beckham Jr. in a trade.
The second reason the Browns will not win the AFC North is their schedule. They face the Ravens and Rams in their first four games of the season. They play Tennessee, 9-7 last year, Seattle, and must travel to New England. There is also a game at Denver, two games with rival Pittsburgh and another one against Baltimore. It just isn’t going to happen Browns’ fans.
Who makes a greater impact – Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr.?
Both star receivers will be playing for new teams this season – Brown in Oakland and Beckham in Cleveland. Both have had outstanding careers thus far. Beckham started his career with three straight Pro Bowls and has 1,000 yards-plus receiving in four of his five seasons. Brown is a seven-time Pro Bowler and has had at least 100 receptions and 1,250 yards receiving in each of the last six seasons.
The biggest factor on potential impact is simply age. Brown is past his peak and will be 31 years old when the season begins. Beckham does not turn 27 until November. For that reason, Beckham will have the greater impact on his team.
Which first-round quarterback will start in 2019?
The quick answer to that question is … all of them! Only three quarterbacks were selected in Round 1 – Kyler Murray, Daniel Jones, and Dwayne Haskins. Everyone knew Murray would go No. 1 to Arizona and with that would become the guy ahead of last year’s first-round pick Josh Rosen. Having experience running the Air Raid offense like his head coach Kliff Kingsbury, Murray should start from Day 1 in Arizona.
Jones was selected at No. 6 by the Giants and at the first inkling of any issues with Eli Manning fans will be clamoring for Jones. He wasn’t drafted sixth overall to sit on the bench. The same holds true for Haskins who was taken 15th by Washington. At some point, head coach Jay Gruden is going to have Haskins start a game this season. Bet on it.
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Who will win the NFL Rookie of the Year Awards in 2019?
The recent trend on offense has seen a running back win the Rookie of the Year award in four of the past six seasons. On defense, linemen have won three of the past six with two corners and one linebacker, Darius Leonard who won the honor last season.
This year, expect another defensive lineman to capture the award as 11 of them were taken in the first round of the 2019 draft. Edge rushers normally have the most dramatic effects on defense and expect the No. 3 pick, Nick Bosa, to put up some solid numbers in San Francisco. The same should hold true for Clelin Ferrell of Oakland and Montez Sweat in Washington. Expect one of them to win the Defensive ROTY.
On the other side of the ball, only one running back was taken in the first round of the draft – Josh Jacobs, who went to Oakland. Quarterback Kyler Murray was taken first overall and should start in Arizona. Will he put up the numbers though? Rookie quarterbacks often struggle in their first season. Only one has won ROTY in the past six seasons. Look for a sleeper candidate to emerge. One like New England WR N’Keal Harry who will get to learn in the best organization in sports and catch passes from the greatest of all-time, Tom Brady.
2020 NFL Football Season