History is not on the side of the
Despite losing some key players, the Seahawks still have a top-shelf defense. Their offensive line isn't as good as last season, though, and punishing runner
Then there's this statistic, which should catch the eye of Seattle quarterback
Still, the Seahawks did a masterful job of tuning out distractions last season, and ended it by raising the Lombardi Trophy.
They answered all the challenges in front of them. Now, with the season beginning Thursday when Seattle plays host to Green Bay, comes a whole new crop of NFL questions:
NFC, definitely. Besides Seattle, the powerhouse contenders are San Francisco, New Orleans, Green Bay, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Manning looks as sharp as ever, but for his offense to really roll, it's essential to have receiver
On paper, the defensive moves they've made are impressive.
Which quarterback is primed for a statistical slide?
Philadelphia's Nick Foles. In just 10 starts last season, he had 27 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. The
How much longer can the
They're definitely tempting fate. Brady is 37 and was sacked 40 times last season, the most since his first full season as a starter. He's not getting any more elusive, and New England didn't help him by trading
Which is the league's most lopsided team?
Dallas. Explosive offense. Defense that has already imploded.
Which rookie quarterback will make the biggest impact in his first season?
Most captivating soap opera?
The Manziel saga.
In each of the last 11 seasons, at least one team has gone from worst to first in its division in consecutive seasons. Who will do that this year?
The candidates are Buffalo, Cleveland, Houston and Oakland in the AFC, and Washington, Minnesota, Tampa Bay and St. Louis in the NFC. Washington has the best chance, because the NFC East is the most fluid division, but Tampa Bay is the best of those teams. The
Can last season's comeback player of the year come back even further?
That's the challenge for San Diego quarterback
St. Louis. The All-Pro outside linebacker will miss both games against the
With Smith out and All-Pro teammate
Yes. Rookie inside linebacker Chris Borland, a third-round pick from Wisconsin, has looked particularly impressive. The absence of Bowman opens the door for him.
After missing the playoffs in four of the last five seasons, can the
The odds are against them. Their offensive line is lousy, and quarterback
Can Pittsburgh pull it together?
Who's the in-vogue pick as the NFL's surprise team?
Who will be the real surprise teams?
Indianapolis and Arizona.
At the start of the 2013 season, you correctly selected Seattle over Denver in the Super Bowl. What's this year's pick?
Seattle over Indianapolis.