New season kicks off with Steelers at Patriots
Sean MacCourtney | Sports writer | @seanmaccourtney
It is always a bittersweet time when summer ends. Bitter because summer fun is over and sweet because football season is upon us. Thursday night the NFL season kicks off with the Pittsburg Steelers taking on the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots in Foxborough. This is a huge matchup, as both teams are favored to win their divisions. The Patriots were expected to be without future first ballot hall of famer Tom Brady but after last week’s court ruling, Brady will be suited up and ready to go. Brady will be more determined than ever to lead the Patriots to their 5th Super Bowl title. The Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, yes, the Buffalo Bills were expected by some to make a run at the AFC East due to the four game suspension of Brady, but now that the suspension has been lifted, it is expected that the Patriots will run away with the division once again.
It was quite the offseason for the always dangerous Seattle Seahawks as they were able to add All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham to their already loaded roster. Not many thought it was possible to take the Seahawks to another level, but with the addition of Graham, we will see just how possible it is. The Seahawks will once again be a Super Bowl Favorite.
Due to a torn ACL, Green Bay Packers leading receiver Jordy Nelson is out for the season. This puts added pressure on reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, but if anyone can handle extra pressure, it is Rodgers. He will lean heavily on wide receiver Randall Cobb and running back Eddie Lacy. Even with the loss of Nelson, the Packers will be one of the top teams in the NFC. It will be either Green Bay or Seattle who represents the NFC in Super Bowl 50.
Andrew Luck has been the perfect replacement to Peyton Manning and could very well be the NFL’s highest paid player in the near future. With the additions of Frank Gore and Andre Johnson, the Colts could be as good as they have ever been. Luck is on his way to a great NFL career and the addition of these two future Hall of Famers will only make him better. The Colts have high expectations for this season and are even considered by some to be a Super Bowl contender. This will be Luck’s fourth season in the league and he has already been to the playoffs every year and he is a Pro Bowler. Some believe this will be the first of many All-Pro seasons for Luck.
The Denver Broncos did themselves a huge favor by resigning star wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. Not only is Thomas one of the best players in the league, but he is also Peyton Manning’s favorite target. New head coach Gary Kubiak has helped to improve the Broncos running game and with pro-bowler CJ Anderson in the backfield, the Broncos will be much more balanced than in previous years. With superstar defenders such as Von Miller, Demarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, TJ Ward, and Chris Harris Jr, the Broncos defense could be even better than their offense. It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see another Manning/Brady matchup in this years AFC Championship game.
Summer may be over, but football season is here and it is a beautiful thing.
Sean is a Sophomore at UVU, studying communications. He is originally from Cherokee, N.C. Follow him on twitter @seanmaccourtney