How will the Colts cope without star quarterback Andrew Luck? Pic: Michael Conroy Four-time Pro Bowl all-star Andrew Luck shocked the football world — and his own team — by retiring just two weeks before the first Sunday of the new campaign. Luck was a genuine superstar who offered Super Bowl hope to the Indianapolis Colts. But he was worn down by a plague of injuries in recent seasons and walked away from a team that made the playoffs last year. Only time will tell.
Patriots begin title defence against Steelers Whenever we embark on a new NFL journey each and every season, we begin with 32 teams. That is 32 teams and 1, players - give or take - with aspirations of winning the Super Bowl. Every year, we end up with the New England Patriots. Or at least the Pats and three other teams.
They've reached the Super Bowl in five of them, and won three. The repeat contenders The New England Patriots should - deservedly - be at the top of every list of Super Bowl favourites and power rankings. Yes, first-round pick N'Keal Harry will be a loss on injured reserve and David Andrews is out with blood clots, but do each of those individuals matter in the grand scheme of things?
As long as Belichick and Brady are around, the Pats will simply make things work. The late pickup of Antonio Brown is just the icing on the cake. The two sides that played out arguably the most entertaining game of last season - a win for the Los Angeles Rams over the Kansas City Chiefs - are expected to be hot teams again this time around.
Patrick Mahomes, MVP, threw for 5, yards and 50 touchdowns in his first season as the full-time starter.
What can he achieve in year two? Ahead of the start of the NFL's th season, we run you through all the Sky Sports coverage this season. While there were questions surrounding Jared Goff after his underwhelming performance in the Super Bowl, the Rams don't have any doubt he is their man.
After handing him a record guaranteed contract for a quarterback , expect LA to continue their success as long as Sean McVay is the man leading the way. Even if Goff suffers, the defense is strong enough to keep the Rams in the mix.
Brees 40 and Rivers 37 will have their teams competing for as long as they play, but what will it take to go all the way? Drew Brees and the Saints were a game away from the Super Bowl last season Next in line After falling to Green Bay in Week One, there has to be some form of concern for the Chicago Bears after their dreadful offensive display, in particular, the poor play of Mitchell Trubisky.
However, their defense still played excellently, and they fell to the Pack in opening week last season before rebounding to There is time for a turnaround. The return of Ezekiel Elliott for the Dallas Cowboys after his holdout absence was crucial.
They bring back their core players from last season and the only question is: how far can Dak Prescott take them? Who is the best running back in the NFL? It depends on the health of quarterback Carson Wentz, but they are definite contenders. The Houston Texans were pipped in the playoffs by the Colts last year, but by no means should they be overlooked in the AFC playoff race.
Back into the fray Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers did it with defense on Thursday, but they have what it takes to explode on offense too. Before Rodgers was injured in and a subsequent team collapse happened last year, they had made the postseason in seven straight seasons.
They are likely to be back.
With Russell Wilson at the helm, the Seattle Seahawks are always in the mix. Is this the season they go on a run? The Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars had major dips in , but are expected to be back again this season - for different reasons.
Atlanta were ravaged by injury and are returning some key players.
Can he perform now there is a blueprint to stop him? Acquiring Odell Beckham Jr was the major move, and hope and expectation has been building in Ohio.
Will they finally reach the playoffs after a season absence? An improved running game and solid defense will keep them competitive, but it is all on their QB.
But last year he was hurt, and the Carolina Panthers suffered. With him fully healthy, they are immediately ready to challenge in the NFC. The San Francisco 49ers were injury-struck last year, so should improve.
But there are still questions surrounding quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and who he really is as a QB. In the last four seasons under Jay Gruden, the Washington Redskins have gone , , and This year is make or break.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions actually got worse under Matt Patricia in his first campaign, having achieved at least nine wins in three of four prior seasons. Which way will they go?
Long shots Kyler Murray was picked first overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the Draft There are three teams with new head coaches - the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals, and Arizona Cardinals, who have potential, but also changed coaches for a reason.
If you are looking for entertainment, look no further than the Oakland Raiders.
They shipped off their best talent last season ahead of a revamp this time around, and it certainly hasn't gone swimmingly. The Antonio Brown trade was a disaster and there are signs of another difficult season here.
Saquon Barkley is the bright, shining hope, but can he do it all himself? Also See:.