It’s over people, ok it’s not over over but with the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl left in the schedule of this NFL season I think it’s time to start thinking a bit about next season. You know, one could imagine that next season the refs will do a better job, not like that lousy, LOUSY no pass interference call against the Saints. Don’t you even start right now if you truly don’t think that that was a BS call. I’m not taking anything away from the Rams, they are a great team, probably the best reincarnation of “The Greatest Show on Turf” but there are better ways to win and start building credit and a legacy, not like that though. After watching the Patriots take out the Chiefs in over time, I have to say that the Rams won’t have it easy at all, yes they took out the Saints, but they never had the lead in any part of the game whatsoever. Still, let’s keep the Super Bowl talk for next week and let’s dig into three things that will make next season much better.
This Year’s Rookie QB’s, Next Year’s Stars
This year´s rookie class, starting out with the quarterbacks we had all go in the first round surely made sure they went out and made a splash in their first season as pros. Let’s start off with the obvious choice here and who the future looks brightest, Baker Mayfield. The Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback took charge of a team that no one gave anything for and made it into a fun, lifeful and competitive squad. Mayfield has turned this team around and his future is looking bright with playoff implications even in the picture if he can continue his stride.
Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens was another one of those stories that were just too good. He went from being Joe Flacco’s second stringer to leading Baltimore into the playoffs and making it known that there was a new star in Ravens territory. His ground speed and explosiveness with the ball make him out to be this generation’s Michael Vick, but please Lamar, stay away from dogs. What about Sam Darnold? With new coach Adam Gaze in hand to teach him the ways and already a whole part of New York waiting for him to break out, next season is looking better and better for him. As far as Rosen and Allen go, they showed splashes of good playing but they need their teams to step up as well as a collective if not they will be left behind in the train.
New Coaches, Fresh Ideas
Look, I’m a diehard Jets fan, I don’t have any problem saying it, when they first picked Adam Gaze over a guy like Mike McCarthy for example I was pissed but then it all came together for me. This is going to be a season of teams looking for the next Sean McVay. The Cardinals went out and got Kliff Kingsbury, the 49ers have Kyle Shanahan, the Jets have Gaze. This that’s happening is good people, it’s out with the old, in with the new, unless the old is guys like Belichick, Tomlin, Reid and Carroll, then we are good. Teams nowadays need to understand that football is a game of offensive excitement and defensive wisdom. So finding the right mix like the McVay-Davis combo will be hard, but not impossible. I’m also liking the Bruce Arians-Todd Bowles mix going down in Tampa Bay. If they can do some decent picking in the draft and kick Jameis Winston into shape or to the curve, they might get something fun started. Also the Cowboys should finally get rid of Jason Garrett, but that’s just my humble opinion.
Underdogs No More
Next season will bring out even more underdog teams to the helm of the fight. Squads like the Cowboys, Giants, Patriots, Steelers and Seahawks are great, but they are growing older and older by the day and time is starting to or has already caught up to them. The Steelers will have a harder time against a Browns and Ravens teams that are thirsty for success. The Patriots? You can only live off Brady’s rent for so long before the linings start running thinner and thinner, look at the Jets in this situation to start their take over of the division. I’m seriously liking teams like the Bears too to have a breakout year and finish off what they started out this season, the Lions with some proper work and a couple of key offensive signings or draft pickups might be looking good too. Next season will be all but a favorite’s game with the tides slowly starting to change around the league. I know this season isn’t over yet but hell why not get excited over the next already?