The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans, who you might recall blew a 24-0 lead against the Chiefs in the playoffs last year, in the 2020 NFL season opener on Thursday, Sept. 10. That's 100 days from now and we're literally so excited we spent a week thinking of 100 things we're looking forward to this season and wound up having to cut the list down. What we're left with is this amazing post that will make you long for football even more than normal.
1. Tompa Brady
Like many middle-aged people, Tom Brady has gone to Florida, signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It's his first time playing for a team outside of New England and for a coach other than Bill Belichick in over two decades. Can't wait to see if he's just a snowbird looking to keep the old bones warm or if he can actually still get it done.
2. Brady-less Belichick
You can't deny these are the two biggest stories of the season. How will Brady look without Belichick? How will Belichick look without Brady? Will the Patriots dynasty end? These are the questions we're about 100 days away from answering. You know Belichick wants to prove he can do it with Tom. But can he?
3. More Playoff Games
Two more teams will make the playoffs (one from the NFC and AFC) and two more games will be added to Wild Card weekend. More football = more fun, especially in the playoffs. 'Nuff said.
4. Chiefs Dynasty?
There's been a lot of talk this offseason about how the Chiefs could/should be back-to-back Super Bowl champs (damn, Dee Ford going offsides). But many recent teams were believed to be starting a dynasty and failed to live up to it (outside of the Patriots). We'll see just how talented and deep this Chiefs team is coming off their first Super Bowl in 50 years.
5. Mahomes No-Look Passes
Speaking of the Chiefs, there's no QB in the league who creates as much excitement as Patrick Mahomes (sorry, Mr. Rodgers). One of his most exciting attributes is the no-look throw. He's done it successfully and unsuccessfully before. The fact that he can do it at any point creates an underlying excitement every time he has the ball.
The DeAndre Hopkins trade shocked everyone this offseason and led to a bevy of jokes at Bill O'Brien's expense. The real winner here, however, is us football fans, who now get to watch electric QB Kyler Murray throw to arguably the best receiver in football, who will learn alongside one of the best receivers in NFL history in Larry Fitzgerald. Should be fun.
7. Tiger King Joe Burrow
After arguably the greatest college football season for the LSU Tigers, Joe Burrow is changing his stripes with the Bengals. The woebegone franchise needs someone to lead them from the pit. Can the local boy make good? He's got the talent, that's for sure, and will be given the chance this year as the starter. That's must-watch TV.
8. Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson was so damn good last year, you don't need a clever subtitle for him. Just say you're excited to watch Lamar Jackson play and everyone will agree.
9. Big Ben Back?
Ben Roethlisberger cut his beard, which apparently means he can throw the ball again. Can he do that for an entire season without re-injuring his shoulder or suffering another bad injury? History says no, Big Ben believes yes, and the truth will be discovered on the football field.
10. Vegas, Baby
The Las Vegas Raiders begin a new chapter in their storied history, moving into their new desert digs. There are a lot of storylines surrounding the team (we'll get to those later), but the most interesting are how the players (home and visitors) handle the new, shall we say, laissez faire locale and how the transient nature of Las Vegas translates to NFL games.
The Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers' future replacement in the first round, Jordan Love. He is nowhere near ready to start now, but will be a focal point of coverage and scrutiny all year. So will coach Matt LaFleur's ability to handle the mess he helped create. Rodgers has already expressed disappointment in the pick. Love has said all the right things about wanting to learn and backup an all-time great. LaFleur hasn't said much. There will be drama this year setting up a full soap opera in 2021. Get your popcorn ready.
12. Brees' Big Easy Swan Song
It's unclear if Drew Brees will play beyond the 2020 season. He did reportedly sign a deal with NBC to be a broadcast analyst after he retires this offseason, so he's at minimum lining things up for after football. After three straight years of heartbreak in the playoffs, does he have enough to lead the Saints to the Super Bowl one more time? Rest assured if he does and they win, this will be his final season.
13. Mitch and Nick
The Bears traded for Nick Foles this offseason and have said he will compete for the starting job with Mitch Trubisky. The early money is on Foles to claim the starting job but the Bears have a lot invested in Trubisky after spending the second pick on him in the 2017 draft. This QB drama will be fun in the preseason and likely seep into the regular season.
14. Aaron Donald Domination
Aaron Donald is the most dominant defensive player in the NFL and watching him manhandle offensive linemen is a treat. He's faster, stronger and more agile than virtually anyone he faces one-on-one, which is why he usually has to beat at least two players to get to the QB. Somehow he always finds a way.
15. Dak On-Field Drama
This offseason has been dominated by talk of Dak Prescott's contract negotiations with the Cowboys. Personally, I'm more excited to see what he does with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and rookie CeeDee Lamb. He'll prove whether or not he deserves (or deserved if he gets the deal) the big money on the field, which is always better than hearing people debate about it on TV.
16. Carson Wentz Prove-It Tour
Fair or not, all the discussion around Prescott's new contract has shone a lot of light on Wentz's career, with varying opinions about how it's gone so far. After squeaking the Eagles into the playoffs despite injuries at every skill position and then getting sidelined before getting the chance to finish the job, can Wentz silence the doubters that have emerged over the last few months?
17. Browns' Bounce-Back Year
The Cleveland Browns were the talk of the town in August 2019. Things have, ah, changed since then. Baker Mayfield is now on his third head coach in as many professional seasons and Odell Beckham Jr.'s stock plummeted after a rough year. They have a lot to prove, and the clock is always ticking in Cleveland.
18. The AFC East's Efforts to Topple New England
For the first time since the turn of the century, the AFC East is truly wide open. Nobody knows what the Patriots have in Jarrett Stidham. The Dolphins have a blue-chip quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa who may not see the field immediately. The Jets and Bills have young quarterbacks looking to make the next step. Most importantly, another team may finally wear the AFC East crown.
19. The Slugfest of the NFC South
There isn't as talented a group of quarterbacks as there is in the 2020 NFC South. Brady and Brees are walking Hall of Famers. Matt Ryan has been good-to-elite for 10 years. And we get six total matchups between those three. It will be a war zone, and it will be great football to watch.
20. San Francisco's Super Bowl Hangover
Just about every team not named the Patriots has struggled in the season following a Super Bowl loss. Will the Niners suffer the same fate?
21. Tony Romo's Omniscient Broadcasting
The day Tony Romo and Jim Nantz return to our lives after a tumultuous eight months for everyone will be a glorious day indeed. Can Romo predict the exact day it happens?
22. Gardner Minshew's Extended Audition
Gardner Minshew was very entertaining to watch in 2019, but it didn't lead to many wins for the Jaguars. Over the offseason, they traded Nick Foles and officially gave Minshew a full-season opportunity to prove he's their QB of the future. I don't know if he is, but I can't wait to watch him try.
23. Philip Rivers in a Different Uniform For the First Time Ever
After 15 seasons in Chargers blue, Rivers made the move to Indianapolis. How good the team will be remains to be seen, but it will be jarring to see Rivers in anything other than the getup we've become accustomed to over the years.
24. The Lions Blowing Fourth-Quarter Leads
In 2019, the Lions went 1-5-1 in what FiveThirtyEight describes as "coin-flip games": games in which the participating teams had somewhere between a 40 and 60 percent chance to win with five minutes or less left in the game. That is remarkably bad, and a familiar feeling to Detroit fans everywhere. With the same coaching staff and pretty much the same roster, there's not a lot of optimism that will change.
25. Cam Newton Bidding War After Week 4
Newton remains a free agent, a baffling prospect told to anyone before this year. But teams will come calling once their starting QB gets hurt or they come to the harsh realization that their quarterback room isn't quite what they expected. He'll have many suitors after the first month of the season is in the books.
26. Social Distance Tailgating
Fans won't be at NFL games to start the year, and it may stay that way for the entirety of the season. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some socially responsible tailgating in your backyard. Attendance restrictions cannot limit our enjoyment of a grilled sausage and cold beverage of choice on Sunday afternoon!
27. Chase Young Living in the Backfield
He didn't go first overall, but it was widely accepted Young was the best football prospect in the draft. Now he'll be joining a defensive line in Washington that features four former first-round picks, and he'll be a blast to watch.
28. Isaiah Simmons All Over the Field
Simmons may be the best pure athlete to enter the draft in some time. It will be fascinating to see how the Cardinals use him, because with his combination of size and speed, the sky is truly the limit for how he can affect offenses and transform his defense.
29. Deshaun Watson, Escape Artist
The only upside of the Texans' inability to put a good offensive line in front of Watson is that we're given more chances to see how Watson gets out of the jams that line puts him in. Here's to another season's worth of Houdini acts from the former Heisman winner.
30. Baker Mayfield Clashing With Media
Mayfield isn't afraid to speak his mind, and has done so to the faces of his critics a few times in his young NFL career. It will be fun to see him go toe-to-toe once more with the Colin Cowherds and Rex Ryans of the world once more.
31. Brady's Warm Reception in Atlanta
December 20 will mark the first time Tom Brady will be in Atlanta to play the Falcons since he broke their hearts in Super Bowl 51. He will be booed, one way or the other. If the fans are there, it will be a downpour of ill wishes. If not, I wouldn't be shocked to see Atlanta's sound team play booes through the speakers in their dome. Brady is the boogeyman and will be welcomed as such.
32. Bill O'Brien Blunders
2020 will not pass without multiple questionable decisions by Bill O'Brien the GM and Bill O'Brien the head coach. How long ownership will tolerate it is the real question.
33. Tyrod Taylor's Three Starts
Tyrod Taylor backed up by a high draft pick with a coaching staff that swears Taylor will be the starter? We've seen that story before. Poor guy will be unseated by Justin Herbert sooner rather than later because history is a flat circle.
34. Tua Taking Charge in Miami
Eventually, Tua Tagovailoa will start for the Miami Dolphins this season, giving the franchise a chance at its first true star franchise quarterback since Dan Marino. Brian Flores appears to be building a defense that should make life easier for Tagovailoa, but it will be on the young quarterback to make that offense his own. Given his collegiate track record, he should be fun to watch.
35. Sam Darnold's "Leap" Year
Sam Darnold will be entering his third season in 2020 but he'll still be only 23 years old. Given the moderate improvement he showed from his first to his second season, many are expecting him to take a leap forward in Year 3. And, frankly, he should. The Jets haven't dramatically improved the talent around him, but it should be better. He needs to step up, take command, and elevate his teammates.
36. Jarrett Stidham's Debut
Is Jarrett Stidham any good? We have no idea. But neither do you. He is likely to get an extended audition to be Tom Brady's long-term successor in New England. It will be fascinating to watch.
37. Rams And Chargers Limping Into SoFi Stadium
The Rams and the Chargers were both massive disappointments in 2019 and as they enter their gaudy new stadium in 2020, both teams could be even worse. The Chargers lost their franchise quarterback and the Rams were forced to dump key players to save salary cap space. Could either team make a playoff run? Maybe, but on paper neither looks likely to contend for a division crown.
38. Russell Wilson Magic
Russell Wilson may not be the most likable quarterback on the planet, but it's hard to argue he isn't elite. The man just makes plays when he's on the field and he's incredibly fun to watch. He makes individual plays and throws that seem impossible until he completes them.
39. Nick Bosa Elevating His Game
Nick Bosa will be forced to elevate his game even more during his second season. The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year was a monster in 2019, but with DeForest Buckner gone he'll have to do even more in 2020. Bosa finished 2019 with 47 tackles, nine sacks, 16 tackles for loss, two fumbles recovered and an interception. More will be expected this season.
40. Henry Ruggs III's Speed
Henry Ruggs III ran a 4.27 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine and likely could have gone faster. Jon Gruden is going to take advantage of that speed, so we can't wait for the first time Ruggs gets loose and turns on the jets.
41. Christian McCaffrey in the Open Field
With the exception of Lamar Jackson, no one is more of a video game creation on offense than Christian McCaffrey. He can do it all and makes it look so easy. The cuts, the spins, the jumps, the stiff arms, it's all magical and it will return soon enough.
42. Teddy Bridgewater as a Full-Time Starter
The last time Teddy Bridgewater was a full-time starter in the NFL was 2015 when he was a young, promising quarterback. A terrible injury that threatened his leg being amputated (and of course his career) led to a prolonged journey back to NFL starter. After going 5-0 as the Saints starter when Drew Brees went down, he now gets a chance to be the guy with the Panthers. It'll be great to have McCaffrey with him in the backfield, but just seeing Bridgewater get this chance again will be special.
43. No Hiding Dwayne Haskins
Last year there were excuses for Dwayne Haskins' poor play. He was a rookie, he didn't get much time to adjust to the NFL level and didn't have much time as a starter at Ohio State either. But potential will only get you so far in the NFL. If he can't take a sizable step forward in his sophomore season, the clock will begin to tick on his time as the Redskins starter.
44. Alex Smith Walking Onto the Field
Despite his desires, Smith may never play football again. But we will see him walk onto the field at some point in 2020 with his teammates, and it will be an incredible moment.
Ryan Fitzpatrick played one of the most important roles in how the NFL playoffs unfolded last year. The Dolphins surprise win over the Patriots in Week 17 moved the Patriots to the 3 seed and allowed the Chiefs to get the 2 seed. Tua Tagovailoa is now in South Beach too, but this is Fitzmagic's team to start. Can't wait to see what he's got left.
46. Mekhti Becton on Sam Darnold's Blind Side
We tend to throw around the term "mountain of a man" generously when talking about NFL players, because most of them are indeed gigantic. But none personifies that cliche like Becton, who is 6'7" and 360 pounds. That is a walking boulder and you cannot tell me otherwise. Who knows how good he'll be in his rookie season, but just watching him line up against a defensive end who's four inches shorter and nearly 100 pounds lighter will be delightful.
47. Derrick Henry Bulldozing
Derrick Henry is basically a wrecking ball on the football field and I can't wait to see him plow through defenders once again. The only question is, how long can his body handle the punishment he doles out?
48. Ya Diggs, Buffalo?
Stefon Diggs had some issues with his usage in Minnesota. He also had back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Then he forced a trade and ended up in a run-heavy Buffalo offense. Can't wait to see how that plays out. Regardless, he'll have cool cleats.
49. Custom Cleats
Ok, I'll bite on the low-hanging fruit. From Odell Beckham Jr. to Diggs, there were some really cool cleats (at least in pregame) around the NFL last year. Expect to see even more in 2020.
Yeah, I'm on a run here, but the fact that we got to 50 on this list and are just now talking about Odell Beckham Jr. is a minor miracle. He's coming off the worst full season of his career and has been the subject of trade talks all offseason. Depending on who you believe, he either wants to stay in Cleveland or is ready for another team. If he has another bad season, one can expect him to be demanding a trade.
51. Jamal Adams Hits
There's been trade rumors this offseason as Adams seeks a new contract coming off a first-team All-Pro selection. Whether he's playing for the Jets, Cowboys or whoever, you can bet Adams will make a few highlight-reel tackles for our viewing pleasure.
52. Mile High Lock
Drew Lock is the quarterback-of-the-present for the Broncos and a lot of their success rests on his shoulders. He's been hyped up by everyone inside the organization throughout the offseason, so clearly they think they've found their man. They also gave him more weapons like Jerry Jeudy and Melvin Gordon. We'll see if Lock can live up to expectations and return the Broncos to playoff relevance. Or perhaps he's a better dancer.
53. Hopkins Revenge Tour
We mentioned DeAndre Hopkins earlier, but it's time to revisit him now. The crazy trade from the Texans to the Cardinals (for a second rounder, lol) must have irked Hopkins. Coming off a third straight first-team All-Pro season, the return on investment didn't match the product on the field. Still only 27, you have to imagine he's motivated to prove Bill O'Brien is just as dumb as most have made him out to be this offseason with another massive season. In that offense, why wouldn't he?
54. Will the Real Jimmy G Please Stand Up?
Jimmy Garoppolo was one good pass away from winning the Super Bowl. He overthrew Emmanuel Sanders, however, and is considered the primary reason the 49ers didn't take home the game. We've seen flashes of greatness from him, but we've also seen inexcusable miscues (at least based on what he's being paid and what the Niners traded to get him). This year will go a long way toward deciding his future in the NFL.
55. Tailgate Teasers
Before every game, you get quick shots of people tailgating and the food they're eating outside of the stadium. While we don't know if fans will be able to enter the stadiums, seeing people congregate and eat brats while watching football will be a sight for sore eyes.
56. Terry Bradshaw Saying Stuff
Is there anyone more beloved in NFL pregame? Terry Bradshaw sometimes mispronounces a word or two, but he's honest, insightful and doesn't take himself too seriously. His playful banter is only part of what makes him so great on FOX pregame.
57. Matt Stafford to Someone Deep
Matt Stafford has been launching footballs high and deep for years in Detroit. Somehow, they're often reeled in for a big play. It used to be Calvin Johnson. Now it's Kenny Golladay. No matter who it is, it's always an entertaining moment in Lions games.
58. Minkah Watt
The Steelers are getting back to their roots and building through defense. That started when they drafted T.J. Watt and continued when they traded for Minkah Fitzpatrick. With those two young stars anchoring that defense, expect plenty of turnovers and few fun returns for touchdowns.
59. Chargers Fans?
It's become one of the cruelest jokes in the NFL, but the truth is Chargers games last year definitely had more fans cheering for the visitors than the home team. Will the Chargers be able to reclaim home-field advantage in their new stadium? Or was this destined to fail when they left San Diego? Year one in their new stadium will go a long way toward answering that question.
60. Healthy Saquon
I just realized we haven't even discussed arguably the most exciting player in the NFL with the ball in their hands. Shame on us. Saqoun Barkley battled injuries all year and was stuck with a team that was clearly rebuilding. New coach, second-year quarterback, an offseason to recover and new offensive linemen should help Saquon reclaim the form that led to him winning Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018. If you think that's enough for the Giants to be good is another story.
61. You Got Mossed
A time-honored tradition on ESPN showcasing all the defenders in the NFL (and around football) who have a ball caught above their head, à la Randy Moss.
62. New Monday Night Booth
Speaking of ESPN, the mystery of who will be in their Monday Night Football booth remains a topic of conversation amongst us media nerds. Whoever it is, we're excited to see how they do. It's been a rough couple of years for the MNF booth, and this could be a one-year thing. Regardless, seeing how they perform will be interesting.
63. Focused Fournette
It's kind of funny how people talk about Leonard Fournette as if he had a bad season last year. In my opinion, he was the best player on that offense and defenses knew it. Somehow he still cracked 1,000 yards rushing and had 76 catches for over 500 more yards receiving. He's in a contract year and seems to want out of Jacksonville (who doesn't at this point). It's going to be interesting to see how he does with the gold pot at the end of the rainbow and whether he makes it the rest of the season with the Jags.
64. Ngakoue Drama
While we're on the Jags, Yannick Ngakoue has basically torched every bridge back to Jacksonville, and yet he remains a Jaguar. He got into a fight with the Jags co-owner and has publicly demanded a trade what feels like a few dozen times. Whatever happens there will be interesting, including a trade.
65. Loose Cheetah
Tyreek Hill had some off-field issues last year and the accusations weren't pretty. But when he's on the field, there's no denying he's among the most explosive football players on the planet. With no suspensions (at least now) keeping him out of games, could he lead the league in receiving? Even if he doesn't, watching him break a big play is on my to-do list.
66. Clowneying Around
Has he lived up to expectations of being the No. 1 pick and hailed as a transcendent pass rusher? No. But still, he's interesting and fun to watch. Where he's playing is anyone's guess, but wherever it is he'll make a few highlight plays that turn heads.
67. Matt Ryan to Julio Jones
It's still one of the best connections in the NFL and it's pretty consistent week-in and week-out. Julio for over 100 and Ryan for over 300 feels like a safe bet when both are healthy. A few highlights plays always materialize too. This duo doesn't have too many years left together so enjoy it while you can.
68. Jalen Ramsey Trash Talk
It really doesn't matter who he's going up against, Jalen Ramsey is going to try and get under his opponent's skin by trash talking him before, during and after seemingly every game. He's looking for a new contract so perhaps he tones it down? Nah, I don't think so either.
You knew we had to save this number for Rob Gronkowski. He's officially un-retired and reunited with Tom Brady and it feels so good. He will always be one of the most entertaining players in the league and should have a decent season considering he'll likely focus solely on catching the ball and less so on blocking. Freed from the shackles of the Patriot way, one wonders what kind of shenanigans he'll get up to this year.
70. Kelce Brothers
The Kelce brothers were both first-team All-Pro selections last year and are two of the most entertaining personalities in the NFL. Travis, the tight end from Kansas City, just won his first Super Bowl and is a huge part of the Chiefs' high-octane offense. Jason, the center for the Eagles, wore a Mardi Gras outfit to the Eagles Super Bowl parade. Whatever these two do this year, it will be special on and off the field.
71. Spending the Day on the Couch By Choice
The return of the NFL will be a return to normalcy. Who knows how much time we'll have spent at home because of lack of options between now and then? Eleven or so consecutive hours of football on a Sunday sounds like the ultimate staycation.
72. Kyler Murray's MVPush
Murray and the Cardinals are a popular pick to have a breakout season. Murray threw 42 touchdowns in 14 games in his one season as a starter at Oklahoma. He showed flashes as a rookie and if the Cardinals are going to leapfrog three playoff-level teams in the NFC West Murray is going to need to be spectacular.
73. Matt Rhule, NFL Head Coach
2020 will mark the first year of Rhule's six-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. He was an excellent college coach who turned around two programs at Temple and Baylor in pretty short order. Year 1 of his NFL experience will be worth keeping an eye on as he institutes his system and culture, even if the results may not necessarily show immediately.
74. Skip Bayless Shrieking About the Dallas Cowboys
I'll admit not everyone will look forward to this. Hell, most people probably aren't. But nothing suggests a return to normalcy for me like Bayless hooting and hollering about America's Team on Monday morning. It'll be a significant upgrade over his umpteenth Michael Jeffery Jordan monologue at the very least.
75. Jerry Jones Media Games
Since we're talking about Dallas, Jones dancing with media is always an enjoyable side dish to the main course of football. ESPECIALLY if Dak Prescott enters the year under the franchise tag designation or (even better) refuses to sign the tag and holds out. Jones is not shy about speaking his mind to reporters and we're guaranteed a handful of great soundbites ever year.
76. The First Big Adam Schefter Scoop
Nothing tells us football is back like getting on Twitter and seeing a classic Schefter scoop. We shouldn't hold out hopes for something as monumental as Andrew Luck's retirement like last year, but the NFL's premier insider rarely disappoints.
77. Bill Belichick Fashion Statements
With no Tom Brady for the first time in two decades, will Belichick stick to his cutoff hoodies? Probably, but it's always fun to see how he mangles his clothing on a weekly basis.
78. Michael Thomas Catching Everything in His Area Code
Thomas broke the NFL's single-season reception record in 2019, and that was with Teddy Bridgewater throwing him the ball for a few games. He's led the league in that category for two consecutive seasons and hasn't posted a catch rate below 80 percent in that timeframe. He's one of the best receivers in the game and there's no reason to think he'll be anything but that once more in 2020.
79. Frank Gore Defying Father Time (Again)
Gore signed a one-year deal with the Jets to return to the field at age 36. He's an absolute marvel of a running back and it'll be great to see him churn out 500-700 yards and a couple TDs again this year and every year until the heat death of the universe.
80. Mock Drafts
There is no greater tradition in NFL fandom than devouring mock drafts from September to April, and no better way to ease the pain of your team losing their 10th game than to look into the future.
81. Stephen A. Smith Trolling the Cowboys
If you're going to have Skip Bayless on this list talking about "my Cowboys" you have to have Stephen A. Smith trolling them after loses. It's just a shame these two aren't face-to-face anymore. Their Cowboys arguments (win, lose, or draw) were legendary.
82. Big Man Touchdown
Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a 300-plus pound offensive or defensive lineman scoring a touchdown. They usually do so awkwardly and on trick or fluke play that only comes around every so often. Savor every moment folks.
83. Trade Deadline
The last few NFL trade deadlines have been better than the NBA trade deadline, which is unusual. We saw Jalen Ramsey and Emmanuel Sanders get moved last year. The year before that Amari Cooper and Golden Tate headlined the action. Teams are going for it more than ever and with an extra playoff spot to be had this year could be even more nuts. Even if trade aren't completed, the rumors are tantalizing enough to make me smile.
84. Packers Bike Ride
Every year, Packers players ride children's bikes to practice one day in preseason. It's not only a cool tradition that started with Vince Lombardi, it's also funny seeing massive men on small bikes. Best part is we don't even had to wait 100 days for it.
85. Jason Garrett vs. Dallas
The Cowboys fired coach Jason Garrett after last season, though it was prolonged. The Giants hired him to be their offensive coordinator. Those two games have to be circled on Garrett's calendar. He'll pull out all the tricks to try and beat Jerry Jones and dem Boys.
86. Pancake Blocks
Call me old-fashioned, but a good pancake block really gets me going. While you're watching the running back or wide receiver run by, I'm watching the big boys knock their opponent on their back. That's big-boy football right there.
87. Justin Tucker Nailing Bombs
There aren't many kickers who get me excited, but Baltimore's Justin Tucker is one of them. Honestly, I love watching him kick to see if he misses. It's that rare. And watching him drill them down the middle from 50-plus yards while other kickers shank it from 35 shows you how good he is.
88. AB Back?
The number was too perfect to pass up, as was the opportunity to discuss Antonio Brown. He's the most polarizing free agent in the NFL and the question is will a team take a chance on him? The talent seemed to be there in the few minutes of football we saw out of him last season with the Patriots, but the attitude and off-field issues can't be ignored. Well, unless you're trying to win a Super Bowl and think he's the key to taking that next step. Even if he doesn't play in the NFL, his commentary on how he's getting screwed should be fun.
89. Gurley in Georgia
Toddy Gurley's health has been a subject of conversation for the last two seasons. It still is. But now he's back in Georgia where he went to college on a Falcons offense where he won't be a focal point. If he can't get it done there, we'll officially know he's done.
90. Mack Sacks
Khalil Mack is coming off a down season where he only had 8.5 sacks. The Bears paid him to be their alpha on defense and you know he wants to reclaim his spot on the All-Pro team. I'm expecting double digits from him again.
91. Le'Veon vs Gase
Le'Veon Bell signed a big contract with the Jets before last season and promptly had the worst full season of his career. A lot of rumors circulated that Jets coach Adam Gase didn't want him on the team and actually tried to trade him at the deadline. They've supposedly worked out their issues, but if Bell isn't getting the ball enough for his liking and the Jets are losing, this could get ugly fast. Or maybe we see the old Le'Veon patiently waiting for his moment and then bursting through the hole. Either way, it will be fun.
92. You Like That?
Kirk Cousins remains the quarterback in Minnesota and is being paid handsomely do so. He's been ridiculed and celebrated throughout his time there, sometimes by the media, sometimes by his own teammates. Whether you think he's good, bad, overrated or underrated doesn't matter. When he screams "You like that!" after a big win, you gotta smile.
Fantasy football has ingrained itself within the very fabric of our daily life on Sunday. There's the morning injury check, setting your lineup, resetting your lineup, questioning yourself, watching the games, and getting mad that you made that one change that cost you a win by .01 points. Then you win the next week and all is forgiven and you're hooked once again.
What used to be taboo in America is now, like fantasy, a daily part of many people's lives on Sunday. With more states legalizing gambling, it should increase even more in 2020 and beyond. Having action on the game makes those last few minutes excruciating. You're then exultant or despondent after the outcome. Usually you go through all the emotions in between. Regardless, it enhances the importance of the game, even when it's just a $5 bet.
95. Ripping the Refs
Calling out the ref when you lose is a time-honored tradition. Sometimes it's warranted. Sometimes you're just looking for a scape goat. Sometimes you blame the refs one week and thank them the next. Either way, seeing those stripes on the field will be exciting and angering all at the same time.
96. Cam Fashion
We may have to wait some time for this, but at some point this season we should be blessed with a crazy Cam Newton outfit that provides memes and laughs for days. No way he remains a free agent forever, right?
In a few years, these may not be as cool because players are getting so good at them and defenders are getting better at stopping them, but there's been an influx of players using the hurdle move to leap over a defender over the last few years and it's always good TV.
There are individual rivalries in the NFL and team rivalries. Both conjure palpable emotions you can feel through the television. You realize when watching them unfold that this moment isn't about the money or the fame. It's simply about being better than the person across from you. The motivation is pure gladiator stuff and it's what makes the NFL so amazing. Two men, equal in many ways, just wanting to win that one battle, that one play. And that's usually when you see the best moments happen too.
99. Witching Hour
From around 3:15-4:15 ET, nothing else matters on NFL Sundays other than what's happening on the field. Highlight plays are made, blunders are laughed about, epic comebacks are staged and we all watch with bated breath. The only better feeling is the bathroom break just before the next games start 15 minutes after.
100. Red Zone
Saving the best for last? Perhaps. Or maybe we wanted to avoid this until the end because it's painful to know we're still over 100 days away from our first Sunday of NFL action. But when Scott Hanson says "seven hours of commercial free football starts now" I might shed a tear.