The start of Autumn (of Fall as it’s known there) means the start of the NFL season in the USA.
The all-in predictions are coming to an end as the rubber hits the road (or the pigskin hits the turf).
The divisional winners that go onto the playoffs are basically the standard favourites however there will be an upset – there always is.
The biggest off field story so far was the sudden retirement of Indianapolis Colts Quarterback, Andrew Luck, at the tender age of 29. The ever mounting injuries mentally took its toll and he’d had enough. Over a 5 year career Luck played 86 games but missed 26. That’s a 23% of games that the Colts had to cope without him. He was a legitimate star so he’s a real loss to the sport.
Unfortunately not only was the decision booed by his own fans some pundits also had their say
Retiring cause rehabbing is “too hard” is the most millennial thing ever #AndrewLuck
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) August 25, 2019
The off season has also seen a number of players hold out from training – some from contractual issues in wanting more money (Dallas Cowboys Ezekiel Elliot and Los Angeles Chargers Melvin Gordon), and others because they do not like the new NFL issue helmets (Oakland Raiders Antonio Brown) – a first for that kind of thing.
The main thing in this part of the world NFL related is the decision by the NFL Network not to allow the broadcast of their flagship NFL Gameday programme, Red Zone. Red Zone is basically an 8 hour rush around every game and every scoring play as it happens. For the casual fan this is great as it means there are no timeouts to sit through, no TV ads, and a frenzy of game day action. ESPN in this part of the world can longer broadcast it – as are other broadcasters in the US who cannot either
The NFL is pushing its content to their own Game Pass service which seems to be a common theme these days in the sports streaming world, making it an even more fragmented experience for not only NFL fans, but sports fans in general
The divisional Favourites are as follows
Los Angeles Rams
Green Bay Packers
New Orleans Saints
New England Patriots (surprise surprise)
Kansas City Chiefs
Indianapolis Colts Houston Texans
Week 1 predictions (winners in bold)
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings
Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns
Los Angeles Rams at Carolina Panthers
Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle Seahawks
Indianapolis Colts at Los Angles Chargers
San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots
Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders