The day is February 2, 2019, and, to the surprise of no one, the New England Patriots have just won their sixth Super Bowl during the Brady-Belichick era. But coming into 2019, there are so many unknowns, 32 teams ... 31 teams. We all know the Giants aren't going anywhere this year. 31 teams have a chance at winning Super Bowl 54. With the rise of superstars, like Baker Mayfield, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Donald, the NFL is better than ever with all the possibilities going into this year. But what is going to happen? Here are five things you need to know before the football season starts.
1. Patrick Mahomes is really really good
The reigning NFL Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes is looking to pick up right where he left off in 2018, after tossing 50 touchdowns, to only 13 interceptions. He will be getting backed by two of the biggest weapons, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs might have a competent defense in 2019, and Patrick Mahomes might have to buy a new trophy case for all the MVP awards he's going to win in his time with the Chiefs. For Mahomes in 2018, it was clear that there was some fatigue built up over the season. If the Chiefs keep his workload a little lower in 2019, somehow, Mahomes may be better than he was in 2018.
2. The NFC is wide open this year
Let's face it, in 2018, it was a two-horse race for the NFC between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. Going into 2019, there are four, maybe even five teams from the NFC that can go and not just play in the Super Bowl, but win the Super Bowl. The New Orleans Saints, led by Drew Brees, are always contenders for the NFC crown. Even with the loss of running back Mark Ingram, they can still be contenders.
For the Los Angeles Rams, Jared Goff is starting to play like a number one overall pick, and Todd Gurley is being Todd Gurley. Aaron Donald, who won the NFL's players choice Top 100 this year, is possibly the best player in football right now. Out of all the teams in the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles might have the most talent on their roster, top to bottom. If, and that's a big if, Carson Wentz can stay healthy all year, the Eagles can possibly go back to the promised land. The Minnesota Vikings are one of the sneakiest teams in football, as they have an extremely good defense going into 2019, and Adam Thielen is playing like a top-5 wide receiver in football.
3. Calm down, the Browns are good, but how good?
Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, David Njoku, Myles Garett, and Denzel Ward. No, this isn't your dream fantasy football lineup, this the roster that the Cleveland Browns will be rolling out in 2019. On paper, this team can win 12, maybe 13 games, but will there be the chemistry there to get to the win total? With a rookie head coach in Freddie Kitchens and the flamboyant personalities of OBJ, Baker Mayfield, and others, the Browns could go 12-4 this year and be the greatest sports story ever. Or, they can go 7-9, miss the playoffs, and cause many to wonder if the move for OBJ this offseason was worth it.
4. The New England Patriots still exist, and so does Tom Brady
Yes, the loss of one of the greatest tight ends in football history, Rob Gronkowski, hurts the Patriots. But, ever since the Brady-Belichick era started, it has always been the next man up mentality. It will be hard to replace Gronk's production. After Brady signed a two-year extension with the Patriots, which could hint to his retirement in two years, maybe it means there is more of a fire burning for Brady to want to go out on top. All offseason, everyone has been hyping up the Chiefs, the Browns, and the Chargers, but people keep forgetting the fact that in the last three seasons, the only team to come out of the AFC has been the New England Patriots.
5. No one is under more pressure than Daniel Jones
No matter what he does, whether it's throwing a ball out of bounds, the way he walks, hell, even the way he eats his sandwiches, everyone in the New York market is going to pick at what 6th overall pick Daniel Jones does. It is clear to see that Eli Manning's time in New York is up. But, when there is a talent like Dwayne Haskins, Josh Allen, and others on the draft board, and the Giants select Daniel Jones, a scrawny quarterback out of Duke, the Giants faithful weren't too pleased. No matter what Jones does this year, he won't please anyone in the Giants fan base. Even first overall pick Kyler Murray is under less pressure than Jones, and Murray is supposed to turn around the Cardinals' franchise.