As exciting as the 2018 NFL offseason has been, the NFL’s regular season is finally here. Right off the bat, it’s clear that Week 1 will feature many moments where teams will experience highs and lows. However, that’s what makes football so great. Here are my Top 5 moments that I will be looking at on gameday:
1. Will Von Miller and Bradley Chubb be the best edge rushers in 2018?
There has been a lot of hype surrounding fifth overall draft pick Bradley Chubb… could he be better than former number one overall pick Myles Garrett? Bradley came to the perfect team in Broncos for edge rushing, lining up with former second overall pick and Super Bowl champion Von Miller. Von Miller racked up 10 sacks and 51 tackles in 2017, which was impressive but not the season he was looking for coming off a life-changing six-year deal worth $114.5 million dollars. However, with Bradley Chubb lining up on the other side, Miller should get the help that’s needed. In 2017, Chubb had ten sacks and thirty-nine tackles, and twenty-three of those were behind the line of scrimmage. We should be excited about this new and improved line for Broncos this Sunday.
2. Aaron Rodgers seeks revenge and redemption
After the way the former Super Bowl MVP’s 2017 season ended, Aaron Rodgers is hungry, ready, and set to return better than ever. Rodgers almost had a career high in passing yards during his 2016 season with 4,428, a year in which he exploded for a career-high of 40 touchdowns. Rodgers will be tested immediately his first game back during Sunday Night Football’s matchup against a young and talented Bears defense. The unit only got better with the recent blockbuster trade to acquire DE Khalil Mack from the Raiders. Cue the fireworks.
3. A healthy Andrew Luck returns to the field
We couldn’t have an article of this type without mentioning Andrew Luck, right? One of the best quarterbacks in football (pre-shoulder injury) has returned and the Colts organization and fanbase have got to be ecstatic. Luck hasn’t played a full season since 2014, which is mind-blowing but true. The closest Luck got to playing a full season was fifteen games in 2016, where he only missed one game due to a concussion. In 2016, Luck threw for 4,240 yards and 31 touchdowns, almost mirroring Rodgers’ stats in 2017. Luck will be back under center for Week 1 and everyone should be rooting for one of the best quarterbacks in the game.
4. Steelers Struggling?
The football world was taken by surprise when news broke that Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell would not play the opener and continue his holdout. Many teammates have voiced their opinion on this, including his own offensive linemen. David Decastro had something strong to say to Bell, telling him to, “Just sit out the whole year then.” Like DeCastro, many fans and teammates have agreed with him, but not wide receiver Antonio Brown, who had positive comments on his teammate and friend on Instagram, writing, “We all we got, we all we need. ready to roll whenever you get back to us, family ✊🏿 @leveonbell.” Coming from Brown will surely mean a lot to Bell, but many teammates like Decastro, who won’t get paid nearly close to what Bell will get when he gets his extension, will continue to be furious until the RB returns.
5. Sam Darnold’s first start
The Jets have ruled that the Former Rose Bowl winner and third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft will make his first NFL start Week 1. After Teddy Bridgewater was traded to the Saints, Bowles didn’t have much of a choice to start Sam Darnold. Darnold was hyped throughout his last two seasons at USC, throwing for 4,143 yards in 2017 and, most importantly, completing 63.1% of his passes. Darnold struggled with turning the ball (13 interceptions in 2018), and it’s something he needs to improve upon in his rookie year. A tough Lions secondary that features Darius Slay will be his first test.