It’s back, football is back, finally! Here’s a few final thoughts on what’s bound to be an exciting weekend.
I’m not sure what will be stranger, the totally empty stadiums or the mostly empty stadiums. Thursdays curtain raiser (and Chiefs banner Raiser) will be witnessed by 17,000 lucky fans. A mere 22% of the usual 76,000 Chiefs fans who pack into Arrowhead Stadium.
There’ll be no such luck at the opening of the Rams new $5Billion+ stadium Sunday night. Zero fans will be allowed in the SoFi Stadium this year. There’ll be pumped in crowd noise, plenty of fancy tarp covering seats and an odd atmosphere for players and fans at home alike. But it’s football and I can’t bloody wait for it!
Missed tackles, Miscues and Injuries
Every season has its share of early season mistakes. Take away pre-season games and limit training camps and the number of those mistakes will inevitably increase. Unfortunately so will the number of soft tissue injuries. There’s ways to limit the mistakes and injuries – smaller playbooks and more rotation can help but it’ll happen. The silver lining on mistakes is more big plays; expect a few big ones this weekend.
Lets go Joe
The Bengals tee off against the Chargers this week in no.1 pick Joe Burrows first game as a pro. It’ll be a culture shift for Burrows who’s used to winning, he went 15-0 last year at LSU. It’ll be different this year in Cincinnati for sure.
Starting your first NFL game with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram coming at you certainly isn’t ideal. But the Bengals have a half decent chance of getting something out of the game. If so watch the Burrows hype train roll on.
Cam they Digg it?
As Cam Newton attempts to fill the boots of Patriots living legend Tom Brady, Buffalo will be trying out new star receiver Stefon Diggs. Both have a point to prove; Newton that he’s still got it and Diggs that he’s a true no.1 receiver, worth the 1st round pick traded for him. The Bills and Patriots are pegged to have different seasons; the Patriots hoping it’s a retool not a rebuild whereas the Bills hoping for their first division title since 1995.
The Window Bowl
If there are two teams that are more in “windows” than the Saints and the Buccs, well, there isn’t. The Saints have remortgaged the future ($70m+ over next year’s predicted cap) for one last shot at another ring before Drew Brees hangs up his cleats.
The Buccs have brought in seemingly timeless Tom Brady and his best bud Gronk to try and defeat father time and the rest of the NFL. Tamps want to grab Brady’s 7th ring and their 2nd, a win against NFC South rivals Saints on Sunday would be a great start.