Ten things to watch for going into the NFL season

Cory Vervynckt, sports editor

10- Seattle Seahawks @ New England Patriots

Week 10 has the must see game of the season, a rematch of what could be called the greatest Super Bowl of all time. The Seahawks will come into this game without Marshawn Lynch as the veteran running back retired, which is upsetting because his legendary press conferences would probably include how they should have ran the ball and they would be Super Bowl champions. But Lynch is off trying rugby at his alma mater Cal. This rematch will be a huge game for both teams as the Seahawks try to reclaim their chokehold on the NFC and the Pats try to keep their reign atop the AFC intact.

9- Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Josh Norman twice a year

If you remember last years New York Giants vs Carolina Panthers game, the story that overshadowed the entire game was Josh Norman vs Odell Beckham Jr. Punches thrown, shoves, trash talk the whole nine yards. The big thought after the game was, “Well it’s only one game.” problem is after the game the trash talk continued on twitter.

Both Norman and Beckham fired insults back and forth over the entire offseason. Norman left the Panthers during free agency and joined the Washington Redskins on a five year $75m deal. You guessed it Norman just joined Beckham’s NFC East. You also guessed it, they will now play each other twice a year. (Week three @ NY & Week 17 @ WSH)

8- The Oakland Raiders

You know the Oakland Raiders are a big mystery this year, finishing last year 7-9 in a stacked AFC West, barely missing out on the playoffs is a success in it’s own right this helped distancing themselves from the disasters of the past 20 years. The Raiders come into this year returning their main offensive firepower, the passing link between Quarterback Derek Carr and receiver Amari Cooper. With sack machine Khalil Mack on the defensive side of things, Oakland could look to take advantage of a Peyton Manning-less AFC West. Oakland is a dark horse in the AFC and could surprise many.

7- The Bronco’s QB situation

After Peyton Manning confirmed his retirement, the Broncos were left with a undesirable decision to make, wait and see what the QB market is in the draft and free agency or pay Brock Osweiler way more than he’s worth.

The Broncos made the conservative decisions and let Osweiler go to the Houston Texans on a four year $72m deal. After Osweiler walked it was a carousel of quarterbacks circling in and out of Denver. With Mark Sanchez, rookie Paxton Lynch-even a possible return for Tim Tebow cycling through the news-nobody knew anything going into preseason. Eventually after week three of the preseason the Broncos formally announced Trevor Siemian, a seventh round pick in the 2015 draft, as their starting Quarterback. Siemian is an unknown and has a lot to prove if he is to fill the footsteps of Peyton Manning

6- Cam Newton MVP Encore?

Cam Newton last year put on a deserved MVP performance. He led Carolina to a 15-1 regular season record and a Super Bowl appearance. It was the first time Newton had arrived on the big stage and announced himself as the next big quarterback. A big question is whether Newton can repeat his greatness. He has the majority of his weapons coming back on offense, including the biggest weapon-himself. Newton has all the ability in the world to stay atop the MVP mountain especially with Tom Brady missing the first four games of the season and Aaron Rodgers starting without Jordy Nelson.

5- The Houston Texans

Like the Oakland Raiders, the Houston Texans are a bit of a mystery. They brought in Brock Osweiler on a four year $72m deal and Lamar Miller on a four year $26m deal. Also, the additions of Will Fuller and Nick Martin from Notre Dame are key for the Texans. Their offense won’t be fully judged until the start of the season, but right now it’s sink or swim. If they play like they look on paper Houston will be something special. Only problem is football isn’t played on paper.

4- Teddy Bridgewater’s Torn ACL

The Vikings can’t catch a break can they? They open a new stadium coming off a playoff appearance and their star running back is back and healthy. Then their star Quarterback is out for the year. It looked like the Vikings were gonna have a stellar year challenging the reigning NFC North champs the Green Bay Packers. It looks like it’s gonna be another Green Bay domination in the NFC North and it all came down to one snapped tendon.

3- Rookie Joey Bosa’s relationship with the Chargers

Ok, you can really only have two opinions on this topic either you’re of the opinion that Bosa should stop complaining and rejecting his contract and should just get on with playing or you are of the opinion that Bosa is fully justified in trying to get paid because his money making years are limited. I’m of the second opinion.

Bosa will max play 10-13 years in the league. He only has a finite amount of time to get his money. While he is justified in rejecting low paying contracts it has incredibly soured the relationship between Bosa and the Chargers to the point he said “I wish I would’ve pulled an Eli Manning and got traded.” and an anonymous GM saying “They should kick him to the curb.” Bosa did eventually sign, but at what cost? His relationship with not only the team but the fans will be strained from the second he steps on the field.

2- Whether the Colts can keep Andrew Luck Healthy

This was a huge concern for the Colts last season as Luck got injured against the Denver Broncos. Luck missed the majority of last year’s season and when he did come back he wasn’t 100% and it showed as he wasn’t performing as we’d expect Andrew Luck to perform. Luck is listed currently as questionable to play in the Colts season opener vs. the Detroit Lions. If he does play the Colts main goal is for Luck to stay healthy. If Luck does stay healthy the Colts could be a real contender in the AFC South.

1- Tom Brady’s Four game suspension

This is the one everyone has been talking about. Tom Brady’s four game suspension for deflategate has been the piece of NFL news the world has been talking about. Brady’s appeal of the suspension was rejected again and he will sit out the first four games of the season.

Brady will be replaced by second year Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

The Patriots said they have full confidence in Garoppolo, especially when he’s throwing to Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Martellus Bennett you can see why. The Patriots face a loaded Arizona, Miami, Houston and Buffalo in their first four games. The Patriots by most predictions go 3-1 or 2-2 in those games without Brady. We won’t know until the season starts, but one thing is for certain, when Brady comes back he will have the biggest chip on his shoulder.