NFL 2015 Preview for Beginners - September 2015

Seven months after a terrible playcall that cost the Seahawks a Superbowl victory, the NFL is finally back in all its dumb, bombastic, awesome glory. The off-season was actually far from boring without a snap of Football being played - mostly thanks to Tom Brady and his merry band of ball-deflating cronies – but I’ll get into that later. Here are the biggest stories about the upcoming season explained for very casual fans or complete beginners.

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l-r Jameis Winston, Commissioner Roger Goodell, Marcus Mariota 
THE MARCUS MARIOTA – JAMEIS WINSTON RIVALRY

Mariota and Winston were rival quarterbacks for the Oregon Ducks and the Florida State Seminoles, respectively. In last years draft the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked Winston as the first overall pick, with Mariota going second to the Tennessee Titans. Both won a Heisman Trophy during their college careers. This is kinda where the comparison stops. Mariota is the type of humble, soft spoken, hardworking player that give most pundits and fans a boner the size of Tim Tebow. He is also incredibly boring. Jameis Winston is the complete opposite. He’s loud, charming and confident, but during his college years he had a talent to get himself into trouble. Some of that could easily be dismissed as ‘dumb teenager being a dumb teenager’, but there absolutely were some serious concerns.

The NFL wouldn’t be it’s overdramatic, pompous self if it wouldn’t exploit this thing to the fullest, so ‘coincidentally’ both players faced off against each other in the opening game of the season.

Things went a little bit better for Mariota than they did for Winston.

Mariota threw a recordsetting four touchdown passes in his NFL debut. Winston’s first throw of the game was intercepted and promptly taken right to his own endzone. There’s a tiny silver lining around this - the only other QB that had his first throw picked and returned for a touchdown was a guy called Brett Favre, and he went on to have a reasonable career. I was trying to find a way to slip in a joke about dickpics, but you know, sexual harassment is not really a fun topic when talking about Winston. Mariota did his perfect ‘it was a team effort’ post game press talk, but no one in Nashville would have minded if he would have stood on top of Nissan Stadium pissing down on the crowds below while proclaiming ‘ I AM A GOLDEN GOD’.

Obviously this is just one game, and anything can happen from now on. But you can be sure of one thing - anytime a talking head will mention either one of these guys’ name, the other name will follow soon. They’re like Cheech & Chong without the weed basically.

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WHAT IS DEFLATEGATE?

Ok, this is a long and incredibly stupefying story, but I’ll do my best to give you a short summary so you’ll know what people are talking about. I’ll give away the main thing to take away from this: in the end everyone came out looking like terrible people.

In last years conference final, the Indianapolis Colts intercepted a pass from New England Patriots’ Tom Brady. Even if you never seen a football game in your life you probably know this guy – married to a supermodel, 4 Super Bowl rings, ridiculously good looking, and has a tendency to get dumb haircuts. Also, everyone outside of the greater Boston area kinda thinks he’s an asshole. Anyhow, the Colts realized the ball they intercepted was too soft, which gives the thrower an advantage because he can get a better grip on the ball. An official investigation was started by the NFL, and things went downhill fast. The Patriots denied at first, and then were quick to sacrifice two material managers who ‘acted on their own’.

Tom Brady maintained he had absolutely no knowledge of this ball tangling (- Haha) which absolutely no one believed, even Patriots fans in their heart of hearts. Besides Brady being known as extremely meticulous about his preparation, he has these balls in his hands on every offensive snap, so there was simply no way he didn’t notice. There was talk about him texting with the material guys about it, but by an absolute coincidence Brady destroyed his phone just before they could check. I keep all my old phones in a drawer somewhere or give them away, but that’s apparently not what you do when you are a multimillionaire athlete. In Brady’s defense– I have no possible naked selfies that Gisele Bündchen might have sent my on my phone.

After the NFL’s standard completely random punishment process, Brady was suspended for four games, which was then overturned by an actual judge because of some reasons I can’t even remember. You know, let’s just leave it at this. This whole story is stupid, and I don’t know why I am writing about this instead of my usual very important stories about 400 euro pairs of jeans.

Bottom line – Tom Brady cheated in a game that they absolutely dominated already, and he got away with it because the NFL is incompetent and the Patriots are basically the dark empire. If you really want to get into it, I recommend you read this great piece on ESPN.

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PEYTON MANNING

Peyton Manning is widely considered to be one of the best quarterbacks that ever played. He only won the Super Bowl once though, while his considerably less talented younger brother won two with the New York Giants. So the older Peyton is still playing at 39 trying to at least get another one. Granted, he is still good, but the decline visible after him taking the Denver Broncos to the finals two years ago - which he hopelessly lost to the Seahawks - is  little heart-breaking to watch. It’s partly Shakespearean tragedy and partly Captain Ahab on a football field. That he was not very good in last night’s game does not bode well, but I really hope he can still make one beautiful final stand. It would be a shame to see a player like him go out like a wet candle.

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Aaron Rodgers takes Movember a little bit too seriously.
WHO ARE THE CONTENDERS TO WIN IT ALL?

Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots

Let’s get the obvious choices out of the way first with last year’s Super Bowl contenders. Both teams are still good and are expected to make a run at the title.

Like mentioned above, Tom Brady’s suspension is overturned, and they ripped through the Steelers’ defense in the opening game last Thursday. Because they are the Patriots and are cartoon villains, that win was again not without accusations of cheating, but they looked great.

The Seahawks gave human snooze button (Seriously, try and read that link without wanting to jam a fork in your eye) Russell Wilson a huge contract in the off season, but are still fighting with one of their best defensive players Kam Chancellor over his. Partly because of his absence they lost their opening game last night, but that will probably all work out, even though they will visit the contender below next week.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers have hit the quarterback jackpot twice in a row with Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Last year Rodgers was voted the most valuable player in the league, and he is in the prime of his career. He was an incredible Seahawks comeback and a terrible mistake by his own team recovering an onside kick away from making it to the Super Bowl last year, and has a good chance to do it again. Unfortunately Jordy Nelson, his prime receiver, is out for the season with a torn ACL, but in theory Rodgers should be able to make something happen even if throwing the ball to a team of Mr Potatoheads. If he doesn't make it this year he will probably still have fun making instagram videos with his beautiful girlfriend, and sleeping on a pile of money.

Indianapolis Colts

They have labrador puppy Andrew Luck on quarterback, who is such a polite guy that he congratulates defenders who just violently threw him to the ground. He is also very good, and has taken his team one step further in the playoffs each consecutive year he has been in the league.

Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys

Solid teams, decent to great quarterbacks. It’s a possibility if the cards fall right for them.

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WHAT IS THE WORST TEAM IN THE LEAGUE?

The Washington Redskins.

They have a racist teamname. An owner that rivals Kim Jong-Il for tone deaf megalomania. A quarterback that they gave away 3 years of prime draftpicks for, who is now benched and will likely never play again because if he gets injured they have to pay him over 16 million dollar next year (Seriously. NFL contracts are weird). They just lost DeSean Jackson, the best receiver, in their first game. They are an absolute dysfunctional mess. They are also the team I support and own multiple jerseys of.

Have a great season!

Originally Appeared on Man Got Style