It gives me great pleasure to say that we now have no more Sundays without NFL until after the Superbowl, yay! So with pre-season now underway, we look at some of the more interesting storylines to watch this pre-season.
Bronco’s 3-way Quaterback Tryout
There are some very interesting position battles this August that could make or break a team’s season based on which way they go. None more so than your reigning Superbowl Champions choosing the man to replace Peyton Manning at quarterback.
Mark Sanchez is the slight favourite as he is the only QB on the roster who has made an NFL pass, let alone start, and will be the lowest risk option. Behind Mr. Butt Fumble, is Trevor Siemian who is the only holdover from last season and has the edge of knowing the playbook the best.
If you believe head coach Gary Kubiak then Siemian has a real chance to start in the Week 1 Superbowl rematch. Finally we have dark horse, 2016 first rounder Paxton Lynch, who is likely to be preserved for at least the first half of this year as he is still seen as a raw talent.
All three will be on display this pre-season with varying supporting cast around them to give them a chance to earn the job and it will be a fascinating watch.
Rule Changes Enforced
There was plenty of discussion over the winter about rules changes but in pre-season here are potentially a couple to keep an eyes on.
First is the tweak to the touchback ruling on kickoffs; as a touchback will now be from the 25 instead of the 20 yard line. This should lead to less returns after injuries caused during returns was a concern last year and especially with pre-season and players cautious about running into an injury, we may see limited returns.
The other rule change of note is now two Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalties will result in your ejection from the game. This was highlighted after the big Josh Norman and Odell Beckham Jr. bust-up in New Jersey last season. It will be interesting to see if this leads to any pre-season ejections.
The LA Rams, all of it
The Rams return to Los Angeles is certainly not going to be understated with a whole lot of action inside the NFC West club’s doors. First of all, there’s a new golden boy who we get to witness in the NFL for the first time during pre-season; when Jared Goff will attempt to see off Case Keenum for the starting QB gig. Next we also get our first look at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Rams new home, in Week 1 of the pre-season against the Cowboys. Finally, what better way to watch it than through the eyes of the Hard Knocks cameras as HBO follows all the drama in the locker room and on the practice field throughout a transitional period for the Club.
It’s not quite the Regular Season, but there’s plenty for you NFL fans to keep your eyes peeled for this pre-season.