10) Will Roger Goodell repair his image with the NFL players and the fans? Putting James Harrison’s ridiculous rants aside there are still many NFL players that despise Goodell’s seemingly dictatorial approach. (How quickly they have forgotten how gunslinger Aqib Talib and numerous DUI offenders have avoided suspension thus far.) Fans also have given Goodell a lot of blame for the elongated lock out. To most fans bad news and Goodell seem to find themselves making headlines together far too often.
9) Can Chris “STFU” Johnson live up to his new contract? After going after fans and last year proclaiming he would run for 2,000 yards it’s time for him to earn his $30 million guaranteed paycheck.
8) Will Donovan McNabb be able to resurrect his career with the Vikings? Playing at a level just below Manning, Brady, Brees, and Favre for much of his career McNabb has gone from superstar to nearly irrelevant. Fans must hope he utilizes the great Adrian Peterson and cuts down on the turnovers.
7) Will Los Angeles finally acquire an NFL team? It will be interesting to see how San Diego, Oakland, and Jacksonville’s progress and read their news clippings this season to give us a hint as to which team may end up in the country’s second largest media market.
6) Can Michael “Mr. Redemption” Vick and the “Dream Team” live up to the hype? With good coaching, three of the top ten defensive backs in the NFL, and the dynamic Vick expectation in Philly have never been higher.
5) Will the NFL and stadiums league be able to curb violence and disorderly conduct this season? In recent years fans have shown us why the word is a derivative of fanatic. Security being beefed up, more of a police presence in the parking lots, and curtailed alcohol sales would be a start?
4) Can Gary Kubiak and Matt Shaub win a playoff game? After years of 8-8 teams Wade Philips needs to elevate the team’s defense to anything near that of its very good offense. With Manning hurt anything less than 10-6 should have Kubiak on the hot seat.
3) Will the Jets validate Rex Ryan’s talk? The loudmouth coach of the Jets needs to get to and win a Super Bowl. They have the backing of the fan base and the city. Anything less than an appearance in Indianapolis will be considered disappointing.
2) Will Peyton Manning return this season? One of the handful of faces in the NFL of the past decade and one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL has career threatening injury which has ended his 227 consecutive game streak. If he comes back this season we will know him about and his future. If he does not, the Colts franchise is doomed.
1) Will the Packers repeat? There is no reason to believe Aaron Rogers will not be able to continue his torrid pace with his receiving core intact and the return of Jermichael Finley. Combine that with a star studded defense and the home field of Lambeau and the Pack look like a decided favorite to come out of the NFC.