October is here. Fall weather, the end of baseball season, the beginning of hockey season more rumors and speculation about the NFL.
This is where playoff teams are established and dreams are either created or squashed.
The Kansas City Chiefs keep winning, the Jaguars keep losing. Those are the breaks in this sport. And honestly, Mike Shanahan and Greg Schiano could be shown the door before the season ends.
Here are the 10 storylines that will materialize in the next four months.
10. The Browns are for real
They may not make the playoffs but it appears Cleveland (yes, I said Cleveland) could make things very interesting in the AFC North. Three straight wins and a stingy defense had Rob Chuzinski and his staff thinking wild card berth.
9. Tom Coughlin, Rex Ryan or both?
This could be the year we see both New York coaches fired. It could also be a season where Coughlin retires and Ryan is fired. It really does not matter. Both teams are awful and the “he said, he said” differing of opinions with Ryan and Geno Smith is enough fodder for New York press.
8. Jaguars to London
Or Los Angeles or take your pick. The fact of the matter is this team is going nowhere and regardless of the schedule and record, the team will get a three-year window with Gus Bradley and David Caldwell before any major changes at the top are made. Just deal with it. There will be a new quarterback in Jacksonville next season.
7. A Tony Romo slide
Right about now, don’t you think the loss to San Diego will start the discussion? And the more mistakes he makes, the more the fire will burn. I am literally waiting for Jerry Jones to give him the dreaded vote of confidence to succeed. This is what happens when you sign a quarterback for over $100 million and they are not Peyton Manning.
6. Mike Smith’s job is in jeopardy
He cannot get this team to the promised land. No matter how hard he tries, Smith gambles and loses. The offense is his the ability to be the best in the league. The defense is solid but not spectacular. It’s Super Bowl or bust or Smith might be on the way out.
5. Tebow to Tampa Bay
I am very surprised this has not happened yet. Tim Tebow in a city that needs a backup quarterback and needs to fill seats. Hmm. Haven’t we seen this before? The Jaguars are not the only team in the state of Florida that needs help and right now, this makes more sense than him being in Jacksonville.
4. Can Pittsburgh turn it around?
They are fading fast. I feel so sorry for Mike Tomlin because he is a class act and one of the best coaches to ever be in the Steel City. There are changes that need to be made on offense and defense. The Steelers as an organization won’t make the playoffs, but they will better by midseason.
3. Drew Brees challenging records again
This time, it’s a shot at 6,000 passing yards. And with the reconnection with his head coach Sean Payton, this is a real possibility. Forget the idea the Saints were going to run more, mainly because the running game has been abandoned. This is a pass first, second and third team.
2. Teams are figuring out Philadelphia
While they may score plenty of points, the spread offense cannot work in the NFL. The idea of a 3-4 defense cannot work in the NFL. Chip Kelly is a good coach and the Eagles are exciting, but this act will last three seasons and Kelly will be out of a job.
1. Peyton Manning, best ever
There is no disputing he is “Superman” the way he runs the Denver offense. If he remains on pace, there will be 60 touchdowns and about 5,000 yards on his resume this year, Two seasons ago, Eli got his second Super Bowl ring. This season, Peyton joins him.