The 2017 NFL season starts tonight with the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots kicking off their title defense against the Kansas City Chiefs. It seems like only yesterday the Patriots came back from a 28-3 deficit in Super Bowl 51, beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in one of the craziest games anyone will ever witness. I left that game exhausted. In the deepest recesses of my brain and heart I think I still might be. It took a lot out of me.
But now we’re turning the page. Tom Brady isn’t suspended, the Patriots are again favored to win the Super Bowl and nearly every expert prediction has the some combination of these teams in the Super Bowl: the Patriots, Packers, Seahawks, with the results leaning heavily towards the Pats winning. Given the competition in the AFC, it’s hard to not think that way. But a lot can happen between now and Super Bowl 52 in Minnesota and…
Wait…the Super Bowl is in Minnesota???
Don’t the Vikings play games outside, having to do so after the Metronome’s roof collapsed? Hold on, Google!
Oh, looks like they solved that problem.
Okay then, the Super Bowl is in Minnesota. It’s not the strangest thing I’ve learned all day (that’s probably the news of the new Bachelor, who is some dude from some season who does something,) but it’s up there. I’d say it’s a notch below hearing that Justin Timberlake is going to be on the new Foo Fighters’ album. Like it’s surprising, but not totally out of left field because just like there is really nothing Dave Grohl would do now that would legitimately be considered a surprise, the NFL is a shameless, money-grubbing son of a gun who routinely defies logic. They are both impervious to eliciting surprise.
Is the fact that the season and the teams in the running to be in the Super Bowl almost seem like a foregone conclusion kind of a bummer, though? I mean, it kind of worked in the NBA because going into last season everyone knew the NBA Finals would feature the Warriors and the Cavs again and we were all generally cool with it. The Celtics run was fun, but it was just that, fun. The NBA Finals seemed predetermined and no one batted an eye. Now we have to wonder if we feel the same way about the Super Bowl? I imagine people will feel a little different because one of the team’s considered a shoo-in to make it to Minnesota is the Patriots and for some reason that is beyond me, people hate the Patriots. But still, does anyone really think the Raiders or Texans have a chance at getting past the Patriots?
Shut up. Of course they do.
And I’m going to be honest, I think the Patriots will play either the Packers or the Seahawks too and the Patriots will probably win and win by no more than four points, because that’s what they do.
Here are 52 other things I think about the 2017 NFL season.
1. I think Aaron Rodgers’ mustache is an American treasure.
2. I think I don’t hate JJ Watt anymore because after what he did in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, I don’t see how you could.
3. I think that will change if the Texans play the Patriots in the playoffs. But it’s cool, it’ll be sports hate. Totally different.
4. I think the Super Bowl Halftime Show will be Taylor Swift and you can’t convince me otherwise.
5. I think a Questlove-led tribute to Prince would be better, though.
6. I think the Raiders won’t be as good as everyone thinks they will be.
7. I think the Raiders won’t be bad, though.
8. I think the Raiders will be good enough to win one of the Wild Card spots.
9. I think that I routinely forget that the Chargers are in L.A. now.
10. I think the Dolphins will be TERRIBLE.
11. I think the only glimmer of hope the Dolphins have is that they won’t be as terrible as the Jets.
12. I think Jets’ fans will just quit after the “E’ when they’re encouraged to spell J-E-T-S.
13. I think that no one will be able to blame them.
14. I think that no matter what Gronk says, I’ll be 30% nervous every time he takes the field that it’ll be the last time he does so this season.
15. I think the Patriots will be fine despite losing Edelman.
16. I think I might miss him more.
17. I think the Bucs will start hot, level out, but then be dangerous once the playoffs come.
18. I think they’ll get knocked out early though and the response will be that they’re a year away from being a serious contender.
19. I think that with that being said, the Bucs are a year away from being a serious contender.
20. I think that we’ll forget Adrian Peterson is on the Saints by week five.
21. I think I might have picked Willie Snead for my fantasy team based in large part on how fantastic his name is.
22. I think the Cowboys will be a mess this year.
23. I think the Vikings will make the playoffs.
24. I think the Lions will be a mess…again.
25. I think the Lions made the right move locking up Matt Stafford, though.
26. I think it was the best worst decision they could make, which is where the Lions are for the time-being.
27. I think the Patriots won’t go undefeated in their division.
28. I think the Dolphins will beat them in Miami.
29. I think that by mid-season, I big topic will be what’s wrong with the Broncos?
30. I think we’ll all know what the answer is without really thinking about it.
31. I think the Steelers will get talked about as the best chance to knock off the Patriots in the AFC.
32. I think Big Ben gets injured and missed three games.
33. I think it’ll be two games less than he was supposed too.
34. I think Big Ben might not be human.
35. I think the Jaguars will be looking for quarterback help on Craigslist by the time Blake Bortles throws his tenth pass of the season.
36. I think the NFL should just pull the plug on the Jags.
37. I think sports radio in New York is going to be fantastic this season.
38. I think that the first two episodes of Bloodline were really good.
39. I think it’s relevant to mention that because I watched them while participating in a fantasy football draft.
40. I think anyone who claims to be good at fantasy football is full of shit.
41. I think the best part of playing fantasy football is the draft and even that gets boring after the fifth or sixth round.
42. I think the Washington football team should change their name to the Warriors.
43. I think the Washington Warriors sounds pretty cool.
44. I think a team name shouldn’t offend anyone. If it does, it should be changed. Pretty simple.
45. I think the LA Chargers makes sense as name, but the LA Rams should change their name to something more Hollywood.
46. I think Dak Prescott will have a rough, rough year.
47. I think I don’t know what’s going with Ezekiel Elliot beyond the fact that he maybe beat up his lady friend and the NFL proceeded to punish him in a way that now makes him look like the victim. The NFL is pretty amazing that way.
48. I think if you think the NFL is disgusting and impossible to support, I completely understand.
49. I think we should all just agree to ignore the Bengals, unless you have a Bengal on your fantasy team. If that Bengal is Andy Dalton, you should be barred from playing fantasy football.
50. I think Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned this entire year and the reasons why just keep getting worse.
51. I think it’s crazy that a team like the Panthers, Steelers, Bucs or Seahawks – teams that have starting quarterbacks who play a similar style of ball as Kapernick, wouldn’t sign him.
52. I think the Patriots are going to win the effin’ Super Bowl and it’ll be fantastic.