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Everything you need to know about the NFL Season

September 4, 2018

Sunday afternoons are about to get a whole lot more interesting.

One of America’s favorite sports, NFL football, is returning to the field. On Sep. 6, the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles plan to take on Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. Other notable Week One matchups include the Texans facing off against the Patriots, receivers Antonio Brown and Jarvis Landry going head to head in the Steelers/Browns game, and of course the Miami Dolphins opening up against the Tennessee Titans.

It’s a confusing time for Dolphins fans. Some fans are optimistic about quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s return after his ACL injury late in the 2016 season. However, many fans, including Palmetto sophomore Jean Saint-Jean, are still frustrated with moves from the front office that were met with anger from Dolphins fans, like the Jay Ajayi trade to the Eagles or the Jarvis Landry trade to the Browns, both for fourth round picks.

“[The Landry trade] was a dumb move,” Saint-Jean said.

Not all of the Dolphins moves this offseason were controversial. In the draft, the Dolphins acquired defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick and tight end Mike Gesicki, both of whom are appearing to be very promising players. They also signed University of Miami alum and NFL veteran Frank Gore to add a boost to the running game. Furthermore, the addition of receivers like Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson seem to be fitting in well with Devante Parker and Kenny Stills.

On the other hand, the Dolphins defense is not looking as good as the offense, despite the fact that the Dolphins offense was the fifth lowest scoring team in the NFL last year, scoring just 17.6 points per game. Despite drafting Fitzpatrick and linebacker Jerome Baker, the Fins cut linebacker Lawrence Timmons and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. This won’t do much to cut down on the 24.6 points per game the Dolphins gave up last season (only the Colts, Browns and Texans were worse).

Some people are excited for the Dolphins this season and believe the Fins could possibly win a lot of games this year, but other fans like Palmetto High security guard Sheldon Smith are cautiously optimistic.

“It’s gonna be just like every year,” Smith said, referring to the constant high expectations of the Dolphins from the fans in the offseason that are hard to live up to.

So far, it’s been difficult to judge the Dolphins. A lot is riding on Ryan Tannehill to turn the offense around, and this year could define his future with the Dolphins. His head coach, Adam Gase, may also be on the chopping block at the end of the year.

In other NFL related news, one of the biggest trends this offseason was quarterbacks switching teams. All three of the Vikings quarterbacks went to different teams in free agency. Teddy Bridgewater went to the Jets and later traded to the Saints, Case Keenum signed with the Broncos and Sam Bradford joined the Cardinals, but Vikings fans didn’t complain due to the signing of Kirk Cousins after the Redskins acquired Alex Smith, implying Cousins would not return to Washington. After making the NFC Championship last season, it looks like the Vikings are serious Super Bowl contenders.

Some other interesting headlines this offseason have been the rumors surrounding former Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack and Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. Mack has been holding out for a new contract from the Raiders and didn’t play any football this preseason. Near the end of the preseason, the Raiders traded Mack to the Chicago Bears. Meanwhile, Bell and the Steelers can’t come to terms on a new contract, so there’s a strong chance Bell leaves the Steelers next season. Bell also has not played this preseason.

In regards to the New England Patriots, there’s a bit of concern as they lost several key players this offseason, including cornerback Malcolm Butler (to the Titans), Danny Amendola (to the Dolphins), offensive tackle Nate Solder (to the Giants) and running back Dion Lewis (to the Titans). There have also been a few concerns about aging quarterback Tom Brady, who turned 41 in August, and when he’ll retire.

The defending Super Bowl champions also  lost a couple key contributors, such as running back LeGarrette Blount to the Lions and linebacker Mychal Kendricks to the Browns, although the latter was cut after charged with insider trading, but still remained strong this offseason. The highlights included trading for defensive end Michael Bennett, signing receivers Mike Wallace and Markus Wheaton, and keeping both star quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Super Bowl MVP quarterback Nick Foles.

Overall, this NFL season is shaping up to be very interesting. Before we know it, Feb. 3 will roll around and we’ll watch the Super Bowl 53 Champion be crowned. Whether you watch football or not, get ready because the talk of the season has just begun.


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