Dear Sports Gods,
Please let the 2020 NFL season happen without interruption.
For the first time in nearly two decades the NFL appears to be WIDE open and that’s because of the Tom Brady-Patriots divorce. How many Super Bowls did Brady and Belichick play in? A lot. But now the “usual suspects” come playoff time might not be what we’re used to because Tom taking his talents and $50 million to Tampa Bay.
Brady will begin his post-Patriots era with the Buccaneers, hopefully, on Sept. 13th in New Orleans in a nationally televised contest against now conference foe Drew Brees and the Saints. I mean, how good is that?!
Brady will be 43-years-old, while Drew Brees will be 41. They rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the NFL in passing yards, passing touchdowns and completions. AYFKM? It’ll also be the first time in 75 starts that Tom Brady will NOT be favored in a game as the Bucs are 6 1/2 dogs to the Saints in the season opener. My inner sports dork is going crazy eyeing those numbers.
The Buccaneers have been the NFL laughing stock for decades. Enter Tom Brady. They’ll play a franchise-record five primetime games in 2020, despite only finishing 7-9 in 2019. The Bucs had a league-low 17 primetime games from 2005-2019. NOBODY brings the interest like Tom Brady, especially when he did the unthinkable leaving New England. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The new darlings of the NFL. Who would’ve thought?
One of the other games of intrigue, to me, comes Week 3 on Monday Night Football in Baltimore as the Ravens host the defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes. This one features the last two MVP’s of the league and maybe, just maybe, we’ll see a combined 100 burger. One can only hope.
Another one of I’ll be interested in comes Week 1 in the Meadowlands as the Giants host Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. I’m eager to see how the 38-year-old quarterback looks coming off the elbow injury that limited him to six quarters last season. I respect Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, but I think he’s making a mistake not pursuing Cam Newton who reportedly is OK with a backup role with the “right team.” IF Roethlisberger isn’t “right” the season wouldn’t be lost, much like it was last year with the offense unable to score with Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges under center. IF Big Ben returns to the guy that led the NFL in passing (5,129 yards) in 2018, watch out for Pittsburgh.
Week 6 features a special one for me as the Cardinals, Coach Bro and Kyler will be in Dallas, er Arlington, to face the Cowboys, Mike McCarthy and Dak in primetime, on Monday Night Football. Both teams have upgraded their respective rosters this off-season, but will the Cardinals build on the momentum built late in 2019 and take a jump in Year 2 of Kliff and Kyler? It’s also a homecoming for Murray. He grew up in Allen, a Dallas suburb and has played in AT&T Stadium four times and won all four. Three came in state championships with Allen and the other was a Big 12 Championship victory for Oklahoma over Texas. But when it comes to the Cowboys much will Mike McCarthy impact this team? After 10 years of mediocrity under Jason Garrett, us Cowboys fans can’t wait to see what happens.
I’m frothing at the mouth for what could be the most exciting NFL season in decades. Now we just have to take care of this pandemic thing to see how it all unfolds.