Johnny Football will return
Let’s see. Brian Hoyer has looked pretty ordinary so far in the preseason and during the year’s first two games, completing just half of his passes. Josh Gordon is still suspended for the year. You don’t have much hope of a playoff spot. And the fans only want one thing.
To watch Johnny Football.
We can’t be the only “unbiased” followers who also want to see Money Manziel behind center. He’s actually performed decently well throughout the preseason, avoiding big hits, and running around for touchdowns. What he doesn’t have in experience he makes up for in moxie and leadership. He’s a sideline clipboard-holder for now, and probably will be for at least the first four weeks. But once we hit October, don’t be surprised to see Money out making moves.
Hoyer won the job for now, but we get the feeling this QB competition is far from over and will probably be pretty flexible all year.
9 of 10
A race for the Heisman
Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Florida State’s Jameis Winston are two of college football’s most electrifying players. They play quarterback, on great teams, in high-profile systems, and both will be lacing ’em up on Sundays before too long. Winston proved it last year when he won this stage’s biggest individual award while leading the Seminoles to a national championship: The Heisman ingredients here are strong.
Winston started slow in Florida State’s uncomfortably close win over Oklahoma State, throwing two picks. However, he showed that clutch gene again, leading his squad back and winning with a 28-yard touchdown in the second half as well as 370 yards passing. Mariota, however, had no such problems against South Dakota, piling up 267 total yards and four touchdowns in an easy 49-point win for the No. 3-ranked Ducks.
Earlier this summer, Bovada.lv released their Heisman odds and it wasn’t surprising to see Winston (at 9/2 odds) and Mariota (6/1) leading the way. With Braxton Miller now out for the season after shoulder surgery, there’s really only one other player who could get in the way: Georgia’s Todd Gurley, a 14/1 favorite coming off a school-record 293 all-purpose yards against Clemson (including a 100-yard kickoff return). But unless Gurley plays like that all season, it’s going to come down to Mariota and Winston.
10 of 10
That’s all it took for all of us to forget about how good Aaron Rodgers is. He missed seven games last season with a collarbone injury and suddenly, it was omg Manning! Brady is a beast! Drew Brees is a machine! … Oh yeah, Rodgers is cool, too.
Rodgers is arguably the best player in football, and when we heard that the players had rated him just the 11th-best player in the league right now — and some of the responses to that were just downright mind-boggling — we didn’t know what to say. When was the last time something like this happened to the best player in a sport? Ten years, perhaps. After “pushing” Shaq out of Los Angeles and then piloting the Lakers to the lottery in 2005, Kobe Bryant got only a Third Team All-NBA nod, which was a disgrace at the time.
Rodgers’ reputation didn’t plummet nearly that far, but it is arguable he’s an even greater QB than Bryant is a basketball player. Rodgers is the league’s most deadly accurate quarterback. He instantly makes Green Bay a title contender. He never throws picks. He leads by example, playing hurt and without regard for his body. And he can run, too, even if you wouldn’t exactly label him a duel-threat signal-caller.
The return of the NFL’s ultimate field general will be just one of a number of moments you can expect to see happen this fall. From Heisman races to wild card races, everything in sports is heating up right now even as the weather gets colder.
It’s going to be a fun fall season for sports fans. Here are some Sports Moments You Can Expect to See This Fall.
Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney