By: Joe Cardoso
WE MADE IT FOOTBALL FANS!! I truly hope this installment of 1st and 10 thoughts finds you healthy and well. This year has us all on edge and rethinking all things. We saw sports shutdown and our escape and love was taken from us and we didn’t know if we would get it back. Well here we are week 1 is underway and with any luck and people following safety guidelines we get a full season. If you are new to 1st and 10 thoughts, it is 10 games/topics that I have on my mind week to week. With that being said let’s dive in and get things going.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints: Battle of the seniors as Tom Brady faces off with Drew Brees in an empty dome which should help the Bucs. We all can’t wait to see Tom under center with all his new toys and wearing those colors, can the Saints pick up where they left off and make another Super Bowl run? How will Gronk look? Mike Evans playing? Has the New Orleans defense improved?
- Los Angles Rams vs Dallas Cowboys: Dallas fans begged for Jason Garrett to be fired and he is gone, enter Mike McCarthy former Packers head man. Cede Lamb joins an already dynamic offense how will they use him? It was all good just a week ago for the Rams. Money being tossed around to players a Super Bowl run and then BANG, it all came crashing down last season. As they open a brand new stadium what will Jared Goff perform? Keep an eye on Cam Akers rookie running back out of FSU.
- Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings: With the way, things ended for the Packers last year they couldn’t wait to hit the field again. Instead of getting a weapon for AR-12, we saw them draft a QB who won’t see the field this season unless injury, so what are the Pack going to do to improve and help Davante Adams out. The Vikings revamped defense gets a real test off the jump and should be heavy Dalvin Cook to set up play action.
- Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington Football Team: The only question for the Eagles is can Carson Wentz stay ON the field? This was a playoff team last year even without Wentz so the talent is there. For Washington, it is a new era as Ron Rivera comes to the DMV. I’m excited for all the young players to get on the field and get a shot to showcase what they got. Can the Eagles protect Carson against this defense set up to destroy the opponents upfront?
- Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots: I picked Cam Newton to win comeback player of the year and he starts the push for it against a team that is full of unknows. What will Belichick and Josh McDaniels unleash on the league? Do not think the Pats don’t remember what happened that last game of the year. A Dolphins win would be huge for Brian Flores and the culture he is building.
- Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens: Is THIS the year? Were we all just a year off in predicting the Browns to be one of the top teams in the AFC? Baker Mayfield can’t be any more inconsistent right? Odell Beckham has some great music video guests spots now time to put it on the field and get some wins. For the Ravens the 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson will only be better he is hungry for greatness book it. Can he develop as a passer and have some weapons to catch his darts?
- Las Vegas Raiders vs Carolina Panthers: Two teams in the same boat of sorts. For the Raiders it’s moving to Vegas and trying to improve on last season. The Panthers enter the Matt Rhue era and Teddy Bridgewater is back as a starting quarterback in the league after a stop in New Orleans. It is year 3 of the 10-year $100 million dollar contract for Jon Gruden who sits at an 11-21 overall record. Another strong rookie class would be major for the sliver and black, and this is a make or break year for David Carr.
- Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Hawks: I want to see which version of Todd Gurley we get and is Hayden Hurst the missing piece Matt Ryan has needed. For the Seahawks, it’s a talented group for Russell Wilson and a defense that could be legion of boom 2.0. Lots of young unknown talent to watch in this one.
- How will it look and sound for fans at home? The NBA has done a great job with presentation and I hope the NFL can do the same. Let us hear the sounds of the game and have the mute button ready. New touchdown celebrations on deck and just the overall debates we have on the game. These are just some of the things I love about the NFL.
- Los Angles Chargers vs Cincinnati Bengals: This could low key be a fun game with a lot of points. We have never waited this long to see the number one pick take the field and the Chargers have a ton of weapons. Joey Bosa is a problem but the return of A.J. Green is something to watch.
Football is BACK and it couldn’t come at a more important time. We will see a ton of social justice messages throughout the weekend and we should. The NFL is a huge platform and equality for all is something we all should support, and if you don’t I have to ask why is that? This is a season unlike any in history and that should make for incredible drama and play. Catch 1st and 10 each and every week and hit me up @JoeCardoso301 to talk ball. Enjoy the games!