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Six Storylines To Keep An Eye On In Week One Of The NFL 2021 Season

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One of the most exciting weekends of the year is closing in, as the National Football League kicks off its season with the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking on the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night.

It’s been a wild offseason with moves and transactions and unhappy players arriving at camp at the last minute.

There’s a lot of storylines for this Week One, and today we take a look at a couple of them. We’ll also check out some of the players we expect to have a big impact on this weekend’s action.

Dallas at Tampa Bay 9/9/21 Raymond James Stadium

The player to watch in this one clearly is Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, who returns after missing most of last season with injury.

The Bucs return everyone on their offense, which should lead to a challenge for the Cowboys, who had major issues on defense last season.

Sounds like a fun battle between Brady and Prescott could be on the horizon to kickoff the season.

Jacksonville at Houston 9/12/21 NRG Stadium

The Texans had an offseason to forget, and it got to the point Monday where the team named veteran Tyrod Taylor as the team’s starting QB.

This after an offseason of headlines regarding superstar QB Deshaun Watson, who will be on the roster but won’t see any action, the team says.

As for the Jaguars, we will see how new coach Urban Meyer and new QB Trevor Lawrence treat this first game and whether they will have any success.

Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals 9/12/21 Paul Brown Stadium

Last season, Bengals QB Joe Burrow exploded onto the scene and played well until he went down with a season-ending injury.

Burrow said Sunday he’s not worried about the knee injury, and that he’s excited to get back on the field.

As for Minnesota, they could be a dark horse in the NFC North. They’ve added some pieces that could put them right in line with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Time will tell.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills 9/12/21 Highmark Stadium

In what could be the highest – or the lowest – scoring game of the day, the Steelers look to put the end of 2020 behind them as they travel to take on Josh Allen and the Bills.

The Steelers are under the radar after they went 11-0 and then lost four of their last five and were dumped in the Wild Card game by rival Cleveland a season ago.

A lot is expected of Bills QB Josh Allen, and the Steelers’ defense will look to challenge him in this classic opening day affair.

Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs 9/12/21 Arrowhead Stadium

The marquee 4:25pm game Sunday features Patrick Mahomes and the two-time AFC Champion Chiefs taking on the Browns, who nearly pulled off the upset in the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Chiefs earlier this year.

Instead, a couple of late plays pulled off by coach Andy Reid and his offense, including a run by backup QB Chad Henne that helped eventually convert the 1st down that sealed the win, were enough to get by the Browns.

We will see how many strides Cleveland has truly made this offseason, as it’s all talk until they take the field.

Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints 9/12/21 4:25pm

New Orleans will have a new look this year, as Jameis Winston takes over at the QB spot in place of retired legend Drew Brees.

The Packers appear to have made amends with all-world QB Aaron Rodgers, keeping him happy for the time being.

We shall see whether Green Bay’s success will continue in 2021, or whether Winston and the Saints are ready to take over where Brees left off.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

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