Top 10 NFL Storylines to Follow for the 2019 Season

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Alex Kurpeski

The 2019 NFL season is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing campaigns in recent memory, with several household names now suiting up in unfamiliar colors. With all eyes on these players on their new teams, we have a brand new set of storylines to follow throughout this season, as with these players (Odell Beckham Jr, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell to name just a few) drama is bound to follow. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at this season’s most juicy plotlines.

That’s Mr. Big Chest to you..

Oh Antonio Brown, what is there to be said about you that hasn’t already been angrily typed into a messageboard on reddit? Brown has burnt just about every bridge imaginable this offseason, so all eyes will be on him this fall as he sets out to prove everyone wrong (or something like that, to be honest I have no idea what motivates this dude anymore) by displaying his elite talent in a setting outside of Pittsburgh. Alongside other colorful characters like Vontaze Burfict (who tried to murder Mr. Big Chest during a game once or twice) and Richie Incognito (the guy is a straight up psychopath) expect year two of the Jon Gruden show in Oakland to be eventful, if anything.

Is it true that you got super fat in Miami?

Le’Veon Bell has not had a great start to the season, landing with the Jets for a smaller contract than he might have hoped for, hearing his name in trade rumors before even suiting up for the team, and also being robbed of 500K in jewelry (woof). Bitter Steeler fans, disgruntled fantasy owners who drafted him last season, and anti-player empowerment party members will be rooting against Bell, while those who missed his presence in the league and supported his holdout cause will be in his corner for the upcoming season. Regardless of how he performs on the field in 2019, we will almost certainly be hearing a lot about Bell (and his rap career which always seems to pop up, almost never for a good reason) this fall.

So can you catch things with both hands..or are you only capable of using one of those at a time?

When the Browns swung for the fences in trading for Odell Beckham, I was impressed by their moxy, as it takes a bold front office to take on the talents of quite possibly the most talented athlete on the planet in exchange for a first round pick (used on a nose tackle), a third round pick (used on something, I don’t know off the top of my head so forgive me), and a safety who looked like a lost puppy whenever he stepped on the field (Jabrill “Spoicy Boy” Peppers). While much has been made of the “beef” between OBJ and his new head coach Freddie Kitchens, I see Beckham meshing well with the rest of the team this fall once he becomes acquainted. This storyline might become even better if Beckham is a disaster in Cleveland (can you imagine what Colin Cowherd would have to say about this?) and given his 5 year contract, it is a storyline that we can look forward to for the next several years.

Is Tanking for Tua really the best slogan we can use to justify our terrible record?

Tua Tagovailoa is one of the most dazzling quarterback prospects we have seen in a while, with a rocket arm and enough mobility to make for some highlight reel rollout throws. Some team is going to convince itself that Tua is a franchise savior worth punting away the entire 2019 campaign for, but just what team will be the one to make this assessment? Well at the top of the list you’ve got to have teams like the Bengals, Titans, and Buccaneers who all have dubious talents penciled in as their starters for the season (actually add the Cardinals in there too, you can’t rule those guys out to just draft a new QB every year). Likewise, there are teams like the Dolphins, Ravens, and Bills that may very well be motivated to hit restart at the position if their current young quarterbacks fail to develop this year. Either Way, it will be interesting to see who ends up biting the dust down the stretch in order to get a crack at Tagovailoa next spring.

So you’re trying to tell me Tom Brady is just gonna win another one of these things?

How do people keep doubting this man? Every year somebody decides to pick against Brady and the Pats, yet every year we see that smirk being interviewed after the AFC Championship game. Perhaps this will be the year that someone dethrones the Patriots in the AFC, after all the conference features some unbelievable talents, including MVP candidates like Patrick Mahomes and Andrew Luck. However, until I see someone actually beat Brady in a playoff game, I will continue to have faith in his dominance over this league as a Super Bowl mainstay.

How can you top a no-look pass Pattycakes?

Speaking of Mahomes, we must wonder how he will follow up his spectacular MVP performance in 2018. Will he somehow top the gaudy numbers (and ridiculous highlights) from his first season as the starter? Or might we see our new favorite superstar crumble under the heavy spotlight that has been placed upon him, especially with indefinite suspension looming for his top receiver from last season Tyreek Hill. Let’s see if Mahomes can overcome the Madden Curse in 2019. I know I’ll be rooting for him.

That was better Eli but this time let’s try throwing to the guy in the blue jersey

How far can the Giants take this charade that Eli Manning is still a serviceable starter in the NFL? It’s getting outrageous, and the end may never be in sight as the team now has a shiny new body (Daniel Jones) that they can transplant Eli’s consciousness into (Get Out style) so that he can be quarterback for life in New York. This situation is going to blow up at some point, as fans in New York have grown bitter following another offseason of unpopular decision making by general manager Dave Gettleman.

Are you really hurt or is this just a way to cover up that interception?

Have you guys ever played the drinking game where you take a sip every time something happens in an NFL game? Well if you have ever played with Big Ben Roethlisberger categories (such as throwing boneheaded interceptions, making a mean face, or waddling off the field, pretending to be injured in order to play off a bad throw) then I would really like to avoid seeing any pictures of your liver anytime soon. Now that Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are out of town, Roethlisberger will have to step up to the plate in a big way in order to silence critics of his play in recent years. After inking a massive extension for the next couple of seasons, it’s time for Big Ben to prove that he is still a top tier QB in the league.

So Todd’s knee is f*cked but we have him on a great plan..

What in the world is good with Todd Gurley? The man went from world beater to hobbling invalid in a matter of weeks with little to no explanation as to why or what was wrong with him. Following the Rams selection of running back Darrell Henderson in round 3 of this past NFL Draft, many believe that Gurley’s best days are behind him, and he may not last much longer in the league with his degenerative left knee condition. It would be sad to see such a bright career cut short, as few running backs were as dominant as Gurley was at his peak. I’m somewhat optimistic that something can be done to keep Gurley in the league for the next few seasons, but at the same time I am extremely concerned for the health of his knees.

Oh no not another one of those…

An NFL lockout is on the horizon, so buckle down football fans because this could be a rough stretch for us. With several controversial topics set to be negotiated for, it would not be surprising to see the lockout last well into the start of the 2020 season if it indeed occurs. It would be a real bummer for something like this to happen, but we can only hope that the NFLPA and the league are able to come to a compromise before next season starts.

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