One game is in the books for week 1 of the 2012 NFL season, but that leaves us 15 games and a plethora of great story lines to watch. Some involve individual players, some involve coaches and some of them even involve entire teams. Here's the top 5 story lines to watch as you digest this season's first Sunday of games.
5) Rookie quarterbacks getting the start
The big story of April was the amount of quarterbacks taken early in the draft. It's finally time for those young men to prove they belong at this level. Andrew Luck looked great in the preseason, as did Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill. Most of these guys are walking into less than optimum situations so getting wins could be a rare achievement. 5 rookie quarterbacks are slated to start this weekend. It could be a bumpy ride.
4) The New York Jets
This could easily be higher on this list. The Jets' personnel moves this offseason have been a package of jokes. On top of that, they scored exactly 1 touchdown during the preseason. In short, this looked like a very bad football team. No one is quite sure how the Sanchez, Tebow dynamic is going to work, making this a prime story line heading into the season.
3) The Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are coming into the season with great expectations from the national media as well as from the team's fans. I'm not sure I'm buying the hype. They'll get a quick test against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday afternoon. My gut tells me that the Falcons are a far better team than the Chiefs, but they could prove me wrong with a quick start to the 2012 season.
2) John Skelton vs. Kevin Kolb
Skelton is the Cardinals' quarterback — unless he sucks — in that case Kevin Kolb is their quarterback — unless he sucks too — then they look elsewhere. The Cardinals are a team without a quarterback, and they know it. The hope from head coach Ken Whisenhunt is that John Skelton demonstrates the ability to be an NFL quarterback, but the more likely outcome is an implosion. If nothing else, the quarterback upheaval should provide some great sideline frustration arguments.
1) Peyton Manning
Manning is arguable the best quarterback to ever play the game, but he didn't play any last season. He looked solid in his limited preseason action. Against the Steelers defense, he'll likely take a couple of hits and be forced to throw into tight windows. This is the game of the week, and it's riddled with question marks. Stay tuned.