A multitude of non-Football issues are colliding as the NFL season sets to start. First, the harrowing encounter of Michael Bennett and the Las Vegas Police where they threatened to blow his head off and detained him for no other reason but for being Black. SEE. A horrible and way too common occurrence for people of African descent. We are thankful this incident didn’t end tragically or with injury as was the case with NBA Player Thabo Sefolosha. SEE. Clearly, being a black sports star does not shield you from the add on service you may get from the police if you’re Black.
Second, the ongoing Colin Kaepernick saga, a quarterback who took the San Francisco 49ers within a 4th and 5 from the goal line from winning the Super Bowl, to being not even given a chance to workout for a team. SEE. The league wide black balling of Kaepernick is already a stain on this young NFL season. It takes a star like Aaron Rodgers to state what we all know is true, Colin is not on a roster because of his protest. Credit to Aaron Rodgers for speaking the truth and for acknowledging the real shit that black players have to deal with.
Politics aside, Colin Kaepernick is a good quarterback. In the right system he’ll take a team to the playoffs. And with a good defense that team could go deep in the playoffs. If the sport is about the best athletes and competing to win the Super Bowl. Kaepernick is actually a proven winner and should be on a roster.
Thirdly, CTE. The ongoing concern about concussions and the long term health of players continues to be an issue for the league. Players are retiring earlier and earlier which may not be a bad thing but will it effect the product on the field. More and more fans are turned off because of the hits and now knowing the repercussions of players toughing it out.
Finally, NFL players need more economic security given the violence and shortened careers of this gladiator sport. NFL players need that NBA money or at a minimum that MLB money. The NFL is by far the most popular sport and the U.S. and those who make the product happen the players are among the lowest paid among the professional sports leagues. Unless you are Matthew Stafford or Aaron Rodgers
Given all the issues we still enjoy watching it, enjoy the fantasy football leagues, and enjoy the betting.
New England Patriots again. The Patriots don’t go undefeated but someone else is Father Time. The injury to Edelman hurts them. And despite what Tom Brady eats father time will catch up.
If the Raiders stay healthy they should win the division. But it will be a battle with the Chiefs and explosive Chargers.
It’s the Steelers again. For the Ravens we need to see if Joe Flacco is healthy or not. But do the Steelers have enough to get passed the Patriots in the playoffs?
Tennessee Titans could be an 11-5 or 10-6 team they make the leap and win the division especially if Andrew Luck is in and out.
One of the toughest divisions, along with the AFC West and NFC South. The Dallas Cowboys fall of a bit with the Ezekiel Elliot six game suspension and the strange Giants get slightly better. The Redskins remain the same sort of in the 11-5 to 8-8 range. The Eagles are a year or two from being right there. Pick the Giants to win the division.
Seattle Seahawks to win the division. The Cardinals are so talented but needed to go younger at quarterback (sorry Carson Palmer) an injury to Palmer and they are done.
Green Bay Packers. They came alive toward the end of the season before running to the Falcons in the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers will be on fire this year.
One of the toughest to predict. We’ll go with the Falcons. The hell with the hangover. The team is stacked offensively and defensively. The Bucs improved and may be just a year away from something. The Saints and Panthers will be competitive as well.