My 10 things to watch this weekend
The opening weekend of the NFL season is always full of interesting happening and stories. Here are 10 I want to keep an eye on.
Here are 10 things from Week One that intrigue me:
---Points. Points. Points. Thursday's Denver-Baltimore game showed us we should get ready for a lot of high-scoring games. I will make this prediction now: The scoring record for total points in an NFL season is going down.
---How will teams defend the read-option? Defensive coordinators have spent months working on it. Now they get their chance to show off what they've learned. It will be fun to watch the chess match.
---How will officials call the hits on the read-option quarterbacks? This is going to be interesting. Will the read-option quarterbacks throw up their hands to avoid a hit? If they carry out the fakes, they will get blasted. Teams are planning to hit them and hit them a lot.
---Sean Payton and Drew Brees together again. Payton is the best play-caller in the NFL, and he and Brees have such great chemistry. I love the way they handle running that offense. The NFL missed Sean Payton in 2012. Glad he's back.
---Rookie quarterbacks making their first starts. Geno Smith will be starting for the Jets and E.J. Manuel for the Bills. Can they continue the roll that the rookie passers were on in 2012?
---Is Tampa Bay corner Darrelle Revis all the way back? We keep hearing he's back, but until he gets on the field and shows he can be the same player, there are doubts. Can he be the same press-man player he was before tearing his ACL.
---Tom Brady's new pass catchers. He will be throwing to a young, inexperienced group that has more speed down the field than he's had in recent years. Keep an eye on those young receivers.
---Which player will have his coming-out party on opening day? Can I pick Julius Thomas? He had it Thursday for Denver to open the season, but there will be others. Pats receiver Kenbrell Thompkins maybe?
---Chip Kelly's offense. How fast can the Eagles go? Kelly loves to go as fast as any offense has gone before, but can he play at the pace he wants?
---Overreaction to one game. It started already with the Ravens getting blown out by Denver. Just say this over and over again: It is just one game.
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