With the start of the 2015-16 regular season less than 24 hours away, welcome to the debut of INSCMagazine’s new weekly column Four Downs that will cover the top four things to look for each week in the NFL.
Without further ado, here are the four things to watch in Week 1
1st Down – Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: In one of the earliest-ever matchups between back-to-back Heisman Trophy quarterbacks in Jameis Winston (2013) and Marcus Mariota (2014), the NFL gets a glimpse at the next generation of superstars duel in what will become a great rivalry.
2nd Down – Aaron Rodgers sans Jordy Nelson: In what may be a developing storyline all season long, Aaron Rodgers will attempt to lead the Green Bay Packers to an NFL-record 14th NFL championship minus his go-to man in wideout Jordy Nelson. Yes, Mr. Munn gets to abuse the Bears twice a year with weapons such as Randall Cobb, James Jones(again!) and second-year wideouts such as Davante Adams and Jeff Janis. If anyone can pilot such a high-powered and lethal offense such as Green Bay’s though, it is the two-time NFL MVP.
3rd Down – Dez Bryant vs. Odell Beckham Jr.: In a marquee matchup between two of the most electrifying playmakers in all the NFL, you have Mr. Cover Boy in ODBJ against the man simply known as “Dez”. In what is one of the classiest and always-entertaining rivalries in the America’s Team vs. Big Blue, be sure to keep an eye on both superstars.
4th Down – Adrian Peterson’s Viking Quest: it is not too often that many feel sorry for one of the true model franchises in the NFL such as the San Francisco 49ers. Five Super Bowl trophies, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, etc. The Niners are truly one of the league’s banner franchises.
With a massive exodus that would make the gold miners for which inspired their nickname red in the face, San Francisco had arguably the WORST off-season in NFL history thanks to a number of defections, retirements and off-season moves. Now deprived and barren on defense, how does such a unit stop a very angry and motivated Adrian Peterson, who has had quite an off-season of his own?