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It’s a lot easier to write content once the season starts because there’s so much going on. To avoid the temptation of writing short essays I’m going to highlight a few key things to keep an eye on in the NFL and in College Football. My midweek writing will now essentially take a format of discussing what we saw during the weekend and what we can expect in the NFL.

NFL

The cuts have been made and we’re now at the 53-man roster point. Most teams by now will have also put out a press-release detailing who will be starting QB. A few cuts made surprised pundits, but there was really nothing that was too far left field. Notably in the Brown’s locker room, Nate Orchard and Devon Cajuste were cut. Both had featured heavily in the Hard Knocks Series and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t really taken to Cajuste. He lost out to Seth DeValve, proof that being popular means nothing.

A number of failed draft experiments now also find themselves on the Free Agency list. The Hackenberg experiment finally comes to an end, having thrown more passes to journalists than his own receivers (probably). Kony Ealy unable to find the form he had in SuperBowl 50 is gone, Brashard Perriman is finally accepted as a failed draft experiment. Shane Lechler, the five-year veteran was cut in favour of an undrafted Rookie. Roberto Aguayo was cut again. Aguayo was famous for being terrible on hard knocks despite being a first rounder. Thomas Rawls left the jets, after never really finding the form he displayed earlier in his career. The Giants kept four QB’s on their roster, raising a few quiet questions about the faith the organisation has in Eli Manning.

Week 1 clashes

Patriots vs Texans may be a great game. The Texans may well be on the up with Watson healthy, Watt healthy. They could well make the playoffs this year. Across from them Tom Brady and Bill Belichick who are part of perhaps the greatest football dynasty. Edelman will be out after his positive test for performance enhancing drugs and the running game has never been the strongest at New England, but expect Gronkowski to pick up the slack.

The last big game to watch will be Vikings vs 49ers. The Vikings are coming off the back was a terrible end to the season. The Minneapolis Miracle was such an incredible high, only to come crashing down to the Eagles the week after. It wasn’t just a defeat; the manner of the loss was perhaps most painful. You lose a game by 31 points in the NFC championship game and you don’t forget it easily. The 49ers want to show that Jimmy G wasn’t just winning in garbage time. Garoppolo has always had questions surrounding him, so this will be his first chance to really answer them.

Kirk Cousins, Image Credit: SNY.TV

College Football

An interesting weekend in College football. Is it already too early to call Clemson vs Alabama? It’s probably not too early to call the second half of that, especially given that apart from the last four games (Bama’s gauntlet) they face a fairly easy schedule. There were tonnes of games, with some very interesting results. The biggest though are worth the most discussion.

Michigan continues to slide, losing to Notre Dame by 7. That makes the 17th consecutive true road game they’ve lost now against ranked opponents. If this doesn’t raise questions about the program little else will. If Jim Harbaugh wasn’t feeling the heat before, he surely is now. Michigan face Western MI next, what should be a much easier affair. They’ll need to rebuild confidence in themselves. A close loss to a team is one thing, but when it’s number 17, there’ll be a lot of questions that will need to be answered in the near future. Shea Patterson will also have to look to build. Though he threw for 227 yards completing 20/30, he threw 1 Int, no TD’s.

 

Jim Harbaugh unhappy with his side’s performance. Image Credit: MLive.com

Louisville remembered what it was like not to have Lamar Jackson. They also found out what it feels like to be on the other side of the might of Alabama. Losing 51-17 is hard, because it really brings questions about how the rebuild has gone at Louisville. The face Indiana State this weekend, looking to get their season back on track. Jawon Pass was passable (pun intended), with 20/39 and 2 TD’s and 2 Ints. More importantly though Tua on the Bama side went 12/16, 227 yards, 2 TD’s before leaving the game. Every time he plays it’s almost impossible not to get excited.

Finally, LSU vs Miami was hard viewing for many Canes fans. Milk Rosier looked good in parts, but there wasn’t anything really that gave confidence in the Miami offence. LSU by contrast looked strong, with Brossette having a 125-yard rushing game with 2 TD’s. The Canes are known best for their strong defense, with the famous turnover chain present at every game. So for the LSU offence to come out and perform the way they did is positive. The LSU defence also looked strong, managing to keep the Canes in check. LSU faces Auburn in week 3 and if they win that they could easily look to win the West. The real tests will come against Georgia and Alabama later in the season, but with Auburn so close on the horizon it’d be extremely premature to look that far.

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