Plenty of Intrigue Heading Into New NFL Season

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The new NFL season is almost upon us with the teams set to fine-tune their preparations over the course of the next four weeks ahead of the opening round of matches, from September 10-14.

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

At this stage, it is perhaps no surprise that the two sides leading the betting for Superbowl glory are the two that contested last season’s showpiece, although it is the beaten Kansas City Chiefs who are the favourites at 5/1, with the triumphant Tampa Bay Buccaneers next best at 6/1.

Time Ticking for the GOAT

The Buccaneers have been able to reassemble their title-winning line-up so will be expecting to at least challenge for honours again this time around, although one obvious thing to consider will be whether Tom Brady’s powers will actually start to wane.

There is an assumption that the seven-time Superbowl champion will eventually call time on his career and presumably that will be when he feels he can no longer compete at the highest level or to his high standards.

Time waits for no man and at 44, it is surely getting close for Brady but he is coming back for at least one more season, and we will soon see if he still has the arm to lead the Bucs to another title.

There is no real surprise that various quarter-back situations across the league will be generating the most headlines, good or bad, with that position the most important for any NFL side.

A Look to the Packers Future

Brady’s situation will certainly garner interest, particularly if he continues to succeed, but Green Bay’s season could be the most intriguing of any, following on from the Aaron Rodgers’ post-season saga.

It turns out he will, in the summer-long will he-won’t he question of taking the field for the Packers this season but after missing team activities and mandatory minicamps, his Lambeau future was very much the talking point.

Whether this is a last hurrah for the reigning MVP is still open to question but Green Bay are likely to gain some knowledge on whether Jordan Love is a suitable heir over the course of the pre-season, with Rodgers not expected to take too many snaps.

The 36-year-old Rodgers, 10/1 to win the Regular Season MVP award for what would be the fourth time this season, looks to have a squad capable of challenging for the big prizes, should all be well enough off the field.

The Packers will also be fuelled by last season’s disappointment, having lost the NFC Championship game 31-26 at Lambeau to the Bucs, and they are 6/1 to go one better this season and win the conference.

More Scrutiny for New Starts

There are plenty of other QB situations that will be of interest with Cam Newton battling with Mac Jones for the starting position at the New England Patriots for one, while there are new starts for the likes of Sam Darnold at Carolina Panthers and Matthew Stafford at Los Angeles Rams, with Jared Goff having gone in the opposite direction to Detroit Lions.

The wantaway Deshaun Watson’s situation at Houston Texans doesn’t look like being resolved anytime soon, not helped by a raft of off-field issues, while the likes of Trevor Lawrence, Justin Field, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance will be looking to showcase the reasons they were high draft picks earlier this year.

Away from the signal-callers and it will be interesting to see how returning players – from injury or opting out – fare this time around, with the San Francisco 49ers’ defence particularly decimated last season.

Key Returners in NFC East

Dak Prescott has been badly missed by the Dallas Cowboys, and they will be looking to challenge for the NFC East title with him once again calling the shots, with America’s Team installed as 13/10 favourites.

And in the same division, Saquon Barkley has struggled with injury over the last two seasons and the 9/2 New York Giants will be hopeful of seeing him form a key part of their offence for the majority of the campaign, although he is still anticipated to miss the first couple of games.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Rob has around 20 years journalism experience and has written and commentated on the likes of football, cricket and rugby. He also has an impressive background in racquet sports and regularly provides content on the likes of tennis and badminton.
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