As NFL training camps heat up, NFL fans will be quickly turning their attention back to the gridiron to see how their favorite teams are gearing up for the upcoming season. This weekend, the pre-season games kick off with the Hall of Fame events. This coincides with the release of the "Fantastic Four" and we’ve identified four things that you should look forward to this season:
#1. The Indianapolis Colts Offense – For the past few years, the best quarterbacks in the league have undoubtedly been Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers. Well, there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Andrew Luck. If he remains healthy, he has a chance to go down as one of the best signal-callers to ever play the game. Indy has won back-to-back AFC South titles, and they’ve gotten better on offense with the additions of Frank Gore and Andre Johnson. The explosiveness on offense alone will bring another division crown, and if the defense can improve, the Super Bowl is entirely possible.
#2. The Philadelphia Eagles Running Attack – The NFL has morphed into a game where the passing attack dominates. But if you’re a fan of the running game, Chip Kelly’s offense, especially if often injured QB Sam Bradford can stay healthy and show off the skills that drew raves when he was in college at Oklahoma, will be very fun to watch. With DeMarco Murray, Darren Sproles and Ryan Matthews, three former Pro Bowlers, in the mix, the multi-faceted ground game will be official.
#3. The Emergence of the AFC East – The Jets have overhauled their roster, as evidenced by the return of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie in the secondary. Rookie defensive lineman Leonard Williams from USC is expected to have an immediate impact on a defense that should be one of the NFL’s best. Bringing in outstanding wide receiver Brandon Marshall from the Chicago Bears should be just what the doctor ordered to get quarterback Geno Smith’s career moving in the right direction. With the emergence of Sammy Watkins as an elite receiver, and the additions of Percy Harvin and LeSean McCoy, the Buffalo Bills took a huge step forward. In Miami, quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has steadily improved every year, should continue his rise and could possibly emerge as a top 10 passer. But the giddiness for Dolphins fans lays in the arrival of the NFL’s most dominant defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh. Every team in the division is thinking playoffs. Oh, and we didn’t even mention that team in New England.
#4. The Re-emergence of RG III, The Superstar – The Washington football team will be one of the surprise stories of this season, as quarterback Robert Griffin III enjoys his best season as a pro. If you haven’t been paying attention, RG III’s NFL nightmares have not been of his own doing. Over the past two years, he’s dealt with major injuries, coaching changes and shifts in offensive philosophies. A good barometer to gauge the future is where he left off, completing 16 of his 23 passes and throwing for 220 yards in the end-of-year win over the Eagles. He and DeSean Jackson could form one of the most dynamic passing combos in the league. If you want to know what he is capable of, just look at his rookie campaign in 2012. He was merely scratching the surface of his potential when he set league records for the highest passer rating (102.4) and touchdown to interception ratio (4:1) ever by a rookie quarterback. If you thought he was done, I’ve got a funny feeling that RG III hasn’t even really gotten started yet.