Must say I’m excited. The NFL season is set to kick off in under three weeks, therefore I’m allowing myself to write the first of what, I imagine, will be a few posts whose main theme will be “YAY! FOOTBALL IS BACK!!!” . So since this is the first one of these, and since there is still some time that needs to go by before the official games actually start, this is a good time to write about what it is we are looking forward to. To put it more accurately, what are some storylines I personally can’t wait to see play out:

How far can the Chicago Bears Go?
The Bears are somewhat under the radar, probably because the Packers are expected to have full control of the division and the Lions were actually the ones making headlines last year. The Bears, though, seem to finally have all the pieces in place. Jay Cutler is healthy and he has a great new toy to play with, in receiver Brandon Marshall. Matt Forte has the contract he wanted so much, and can be expected to put up huge numbers again this season. The defense should be solid, despite the uncertainty regarding Brian Urlacher’s health.  No doubt the Bears are in a tough division, but I expect them to be very dangerous.

The Jets Imploding
Many are probably looking forward to see how the Tim Tebow story will unfold in NY. For me, as a backup QB, Tebow is a minor character. The bigger story, and one I’m practically drooling over the thought of, is the Jets are likely to self destruct in..5..4..3..2..1! Too much drama around this team, some good players who can’t seem to get on the same page, a starting QB who, quite frankly isn’t great. This should be fun (for me) to watch.

Patriots Bouncing Back after Super Bowl Loss
There is such a thing as hubris, so after ripping the Jets, I should probably take a look at my own backyard. On paper, the Patriots are supposed to run the table, pretty much all the way back to the Super Bowl or at least the conference final. BUT, and this is amazing, 17 straight SB runner ups have failed to do so. Last time the Pats were in this position? Ah, yes, Tom Brady blew out his knee week one and they missed the playoffs. Lovely time that was… So while I’m optimistic about this season, I have my concerns… We won’t know till the end of January if this curse will be reversed.

RGIII in Washington, D.C.
Yea, I know, there’s also Andrew Luck, but seems like the expectations are higher in Washington. While the Colts are in a rebuilding mode and very aware of it, the Redskins want to win NOW. Can’t blame them… So it will be very interesting to see how RGIII responds. I happen to think he’ll do very well and that the Redskins will be competitive and more. In another tough division, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them make the playoffs.

Peyton Manning – a Bronco!
This one pretty much explains itself. Every NFL fan on the face of the earth wants to see how Manning will do post neck surgery. Will he be healthy? How will he do in a new organization? How far can the Broncos go? This is without a doubt the biggest storyline heading in to the 2012 season.

All will be answered soon enough. Have I mentioned YAY?

Manning’s new look. (By Jeffrey Beall (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)