Brigit McDannell '18Sports Editor
As summer ends and the leaves begin to change from a vibrant green to an array of red and orange hues, America’s most beloved sport officially begins. For the next 13 weeks, football aficionados will be watching each game and predicting in anticipation of seeing which teams will land the final two spots for the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
The final game is currently scheduled at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, the home of the San Francisco 49ers. This will be the first Super Bowl held in the San Francisco Bay Area since Super Bowl XIX in Jan. 1985. However, the location is subject to change.
According to Yahoo! News sports writer Jay Bubsee, the Denver Broncos are going to miss the playoffs. Bubsee is not confident in the team as new head coach, Gary Kubiak, is testing new waters and Payton Manning’s change in position on the offensive line will hurt the team. Manning learning a new skill so late in his career may lead to some losses for the Broncos.
Fellow Yahoo! News sports writer Eric Edholm believes wildcard Minnesota Vikings will make the playoffs and could even challenge the Wisconsin Green Bay Packers in their division all season. Edholm supports his prediction by saying running back Adrian Peterson and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will propel the team forward and gain at least 10 or 11 wins.
Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports News sees the Texans, the Dolphins, the Eagles, and the Saints making the playoffs. This is somewhat of a risky prediction because the above teams did not make the play offs last year. In the American Football Conference (AFC) east, “the New England Patriots have one won this [division] all but one year over the last decade. They’ll win in 11and 5…. In the AFC North, the Baltimore Ravens at 10 and 6 win the division…. In the AFC South, listen, Andrew Lock (QB) going to dominate this division for the next ten years, with the Colts winning 11 and 5.... In the AFC West, and probably my surprise team in the NFL—The Kansas City Chiefs will win the division 11 and 5. Their defense is elite.”
Rodger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League, is predicted to step down once the season ends, according to Kevin Kaudk, Yahoo! News sports writer. Goodell has lost financial support from team owners, who have lost faith in his ability to properly mediate and respond to the legal issues with Tom Brady. The media finds Goodell incompetent and many fans are unhappy with him as commissioner. The NFL has announced they will be looking for a less controversial leader to replace Goodell.
On Sept. 10, the Pittsburg Steelers lost to the New England Patriots with Tom Brady acting as quarterback after his four game suspension was overturned, 28 to 21.