The endless wait is over for NFL fans. It’s the kickoff of the season Thursday evening during the first meeting between the Lions and the Chiefs. In five months, the next champions will be crowned on February 11 in Las Vegas. In the meantime, we put the chicken wings on the grill, we take out a cold drink and we immerse ourselves in the football atmosphere with 10 stories to follow this fall.

• Read also: Start of the NFL season: who can shake the Chiefs in the fearsome American Conference?

• Read also: NFL season start: Find out who are the Eagles’ top predators in the National Conference

• Read also: Super Bowl 58: who can prevent the Chiefs from achieving a feat almost 20 years old?

1. Another A-Rod in the Big Apple

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Not too long ago, Alex Rodriguez rocked New York with the Yankees. This time, another A-Rod will attempt to do the same with the Jets. Aaron Rodgers seems full of enthusiasm found with his new flame, he who has been in conflict with the management of the Packers in recent years, before being traded. His mission ? Bring the Jets back to the playoffs, which have been sidelined for the past 12 seasons. No fewer than nine games pit them against teams that were in the playoffs last season. Good luck!

2. A trio of Quebecers

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Quebecers are no longer numerous in the NFL this season, but fortunately there is new blood. With the Falcons, Victoriaville offensive lineman Matthew Bergeron not only earned a spot on the regular roster, but impressed enough to lure the starting left guard. It will be a transition for him, after four seasons as a tackle at Syracuse. Sidy Sow also made his mark with the Patriots. Even if he will not start, he made a good impression as a blocker. Don’t forget about Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste, who will see plenty of action. Antony Auclair and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif do not close the door if the phone rings, but are currently on standby.

3. The return of Damar Hamlin

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Late last campaign, football fans were jittery when Bills safety Damar Hamlin fell on the field, hospitalized in Cincinnati for several days between life and death. He has since recovered to the point that the 25-year-old demonstrated in his team’s first preseason game on August 12 that he could still perform well by making three tackles. He will not be part of the starters, but his return is a victory in itself.

4. Recruits in charge

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Three rookie quarterbacks are guaranteed to have the keys to their offense as Week 1 starters. This has only happened twice before, in 2021 and 2012. Bryce Young with the Panthers, CJ Stroud with the Texans and Anthony Richardson with the Colts inherit this honor. It is not impossible that Clayton Tune, with the Cardinals, join them since the holder Kyler Murray begins the season on the sidelines. More and more young quarterbacks are managing to shine early in their careers, which is putting enormous pressure on those who are slow to develop.

5. Several new pilots

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If you look on the sidelines and see a few head coaches who don’t tell you anything, you’re not fooled. Five new pilots have been hired, including three young people who have their first chance at the controls. Jonathan Gannon (40) was defensive coordinator for the Eagles and he will try to revive the Cardinals. Shane Steichen (38) was also with the Eagles on the offensive end and he will rule the fate of the Colts. DeMeco Ryans (39) retired as a linebacker in 2015 and after leading the 49ers defense, and here he is in charge of the Texans. Among veterans, Frank Reich gets a second chance with the Panthers after his time with the Colts, while the famous offensive guru Sean Payton must resuscitate the Broncos, after 15 years of success with the Saints.

6. Life after Brady

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In a corner, there are admirers of Tom Brady who are in mourning. In the other corner, there are those who have breakfasted, dined and suppered with his successes and who rejoice in his retirement. One thing is certain, the Patriots have gone through difficult times since he left the team in 2020 and now the Buccaneers will in turn discover life without him. Brady is not stepping away from football, however. He will be honored by the Patriots on Sunday in their home opener in Foxborough. He is also a recent addition to the Raiders’ minority ownership group. A return to the game? Nope…

7. Cinderella’s Return

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Speaking of Tom Brady, many have drawn parallels between his unexpected breakout in the early 2000s and Brock Purdy’s with the 49ers as a seventh-round pick last season. Purdy broke it all in six regular season games (1,374 yards, 13 touchdowns, 4 interceptions) in which he maintained a perfect record. He did it again in the first round of the playoffs with three more touchdown passes, but in the conference finals he fell to an elbow injury that required major surgery. He is back on his feet in the starting position. Can her beautiful Cinderella story continue?

8. The last will be the first

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If your favorite team struggled last season, don’t panic! Know that in the last 20 years, no less than 26 teams have risen from last to first place in their division in one fell swoop in one season. Last year, the Jaguars succeeded in this smoking blow. Are you still not reassured? Know that it is now 33 years in a row that at least four teams get their ticket to the playoffs after missing their qualification the previous year. A year ago, the Jaguars, Dolphins, Chargers, Ravens, Seahawks, Vikings and Giants took the plunge.

9. Year 2 for Deshaun Watson

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Deshaun Watson made his controversial debut for the Browns last season after an 11-game suspension for numerous allegations of inappropriate behavior towards women. The experience was inconclusive: he posted a 3-3 record in addition to completing only 58.2% of his passes. He must imperatively relaunch his career and the franchise that has invested so much in him. Echoes from Cleveland point to a more controlled and confident center, but that remains to be seen now that he is enjoying a full season.

ten. Rule Changes


The NFL hasn’t shaken the temple columns when it comes to the cost of its rule changes, but there are some changes worth noting. Among these, note that each unsuccessful attempt at a fourth down-conversion will be automatically examined by the officials. In the event of a conversion judged to be successful, the coaches will have to continue to “challenge” the decision. Among other changes, a tripping penalty will now be worth 15 fewer yards to the offending team, down from 10. Players are also free to wear number 0.


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Source : macrofab

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