It’s almost time for the new NFL season
The NFL offseason is a long, dark period for fans but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We haven’t seen a competitive game since early February and won’t until the first week of September. As if that wasn’t enough, the NFL offseason also coincides with the football offseason and although we’ve had some fantastic cycling, golf, cricket and tennis, it just doesn’t compare.
Since the February Super Bowl, we’ve had the draft, free agency and OTAs. We currently find ourselves in training camp with pre season starting on Thursday. The NFL has strict rules on how much each team can practice and training camp is the first chance we can really gage depth charts and how each team will perform this season. Training camp also reveals players who are having contract standoffs.
Pre season starts on Thursday night with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio. This is a game between two teams which this year sees the Arizona Cardinals take on the Dallas Cowboys. This game marks the weekend in which the NFL’s greatest are inducted into the hall of fame. Don’t build your hopes up though as last year this game was cancelled due to an unsafe pitch. Even when this game does take place, many starters don’t appear or only appear for a very short amount of time. Arizona’s starters have already been ruled out of the game.
Pre season properly starts the next week with every team in action from Wednesday night through to Sunday night. Most games don’t start until after midnight (GMT) and probably aren’t worth staying up for. Pre season games are mainly used for rookies and backup players to show what they can do with veterans and starters being rested to avoid unnecessary injury. In week 3, starters see slightly more time but by week 4, they hardly appear, if at all. Pre season records shouldn’t be dwelled upon but keep a keen eye on your team for breakout players or the league as a whole if you play fantasy.
The league starts on Thursday 7th September (Friday 01:30 GMT) where the Kansas City Chiefs face the New England Patriots. It’s tradition for the Super Bowl champions to kick the season off and last year we saw a Super Bowl rematch in the season opener. This starts off 256 games of football across 17 weeks of the regular season to determine who goes on to the playoffs.
I hope you’re excited because I sure as hell can’t wait!
Featured image propety of In The Stand Sport