The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

2014 NFL Preview

On Thursday, Sept. 4, NFL football returned from its seven-month hibernation.

After four weeks of preseason games and several months of training camps, the NFL is finally playing games that matter. To football fans it is like a second Christmas.

So for the first time in a little over seven months, let us talk football.


Conference Favorites

It is déjà vu all over again.

In last season’s Super Bowl the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks routed the AFC Champion Denver Broncos 43-8. Now entering the 2014 – 2015 season it seems that not much has changed from a favorite’s standpoint.

The Seahawks have locked in on the Lombardi trophy once again and the Broncos look to steamroll the AFC. Both teams had excellent off-seasons, adding players while clearing salary cap space.

The Seahawks re-signed star cornerback Richard Sherman to a four year, $56 million deal back in May. This move, among others, solidified that the Seahawks may once again have the best defense in football. Along with

Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch on the offensive side of the ball, it is hard to pick against the Seahawks in just about any game they play.

Intriguingly, the same could be said about the off-season moves made by Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos.

Manning and the Broncos compiled what some experts believe to be the best off-season of any team in the NFL, reloading with free-agent personnel, a savvy draft and a stellar preseason.

The Seahawks showed the Broncos last year that while offense wins games, defense wins championships. Therefore John Elway, the team owner, focused on the Broncos defense this offseason and brought in cornerback Aqib

Talib from the New England Patriots, safety TJ Ward from the Pittsburgh Steelers and defensive end DeMarcus Ware from the Dallas Cowboys to add physicality.


Preseason Power Rankings

Seattle Seahawks- Repeat? Can Seattle become the ninth franchise to win back-to-back Super Bowls? As long as depth issues don’t come into play, right now it’s hard to pick against the defending champion.

Denver Broncos — They have the offense, and after an offseason full of defensive additions, as well as getting Von Miller back from injury, we could possibly see a repeat Super Bowl match-up for the second time in NFL history.

San Francsico 49ers — They are still the deep and talented team they were a year ago (and could be the best team in football if not for suspensions of Aldon Smith and Ray McDonald to start the year). If Colin Kaepernick can continue to grow as an NFL QB, the NFC West should once again be the best and tightest division in football.

New England Patriots — It’s hard not to have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in a preseason Top 5. Ever. Not to mention the Pats have possibly the best secondary in the league despite losing Talib with Devin McCourty and Darrelle Revis.

Green Bay Packers — Having Aaron Rodgers is always a plus, and adding Julius Peppers to linebacker Clay Mathew’s defense may be what the Packers needed to take the next step defensively.

New Orleans Saints — Quarterback Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton still make for one of the best 1-2 offensive combos in the league along with tight end Jimmy Graham.

Cincinnati Bengals — The Bengals will go as Andy Dalton goes. But to back him they have Giovani Bernard in the running game, A.J. Green at receiver and a stout front seven on defense.

Philadelphia Eagles — Nick Foles was an excellent asset to Chip Kelly’s offense last season. With LeSean McCoy in the backfield the offense should be superb.

Indianapolis Colts — With Andrew Luck at QB, Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks the Colts have a lethal passing attack.

Carolina Panthers — The defense is still there, Cam Newton is still there, but there is not a number-one receiver anymore. In order for the Panthers to transition their success from this past season they will need first round draft pick Kelvin Benjamin to become the go-to receiver.


Way Too Early Super Bowl Prediction

A repeat Super Bowl matchup has only happened once before in the 1993 and 1994 Super Bowls when back-to-back champion Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills. I believe we will see a repeat of that scenario this year.

I’ll take Seattle over Denver for the second year in a row.

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About the Contributor
Reese Setzer, Sports Editor

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