The end of summer means 3 things. The weather gets cooler, the kids are back in school and weekends are filled with pigskin fever. At Taylor Morrison we love football season and we know you do, too. To help get you pumped for watching your favorite gridiron heroes, check out the latest news from teams playing in your neck of the woods.
Oh, and before we forget. Check out these scrumptious game day snack ideas we posted last year during the playoffs. Delish.
All Eyes on Carson Palmer in Phoenix
Living in Phoenix you’re still reeling from the Cardinals’ tragic downfall following last season’s injury to Carson Palmer’s ACL. But #3 is back and poised to have the best season of his career. Rising star John Brown appears ready to make the leap in his 2nd season at wide receiver while Larry Fitzgerald continues to build his legacy.
If the Cards have any hopes of unseating the NFC West Champion Seahawks they’ll need to get it going on the ground as well and Andre Ellington looks like the man for the job. Pound the rock, play great D, there’s a legitimate shot Arizona could get their second crack at bringing home a Lombardi.
Football by the Bay
Super Bowl 50 is coming to San Francisco and the Bay Area is buzzing with excitement. While it may be a stretch to see either the Niners or the Raiders playing in the big game, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the 2015 campaign.
49er fans are waiting on the edge of their seats to see what post Harbaugh football looks like in San Francisco. With a more mature Colin Kaepernick and Carlos Hyde fully embracing his new role as the team’s #1 back, we’ll see plenty of fireworks on offense from the red & gold.
Across the Bay Bridge change is on the horizon for the Raiders. The AFC West will be as tough as ever but David Carr and super rookie Amari Cooper will bring more wins to Oakland than the city has seen in quite some time.
Follow the Hornets in Sacramento
Sacramento State University enjoyed a successful 7-5 record in 2014 and they got off on the right foot in this season’s opener with a convincing 41-20 shellacking of Eastern Oregon. 200 pound QB Daniel Kniffin engineered nearly 500 yards of total offense in the victory.
The going gets tougher next week when the Hornets visit Husky Stadium in Seattle but all signs point to another winning season for Sacramento’s favorite college football team.
Pac-12 Action in Southern California
USC is ranked #8 on the AP Poll, returning key starters such as QB Cody Kessler, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and CB/WR Atoree’ Jackson. Jackson is a unique player, doing double duty on both sides of the ball. He makes game changing plays from the defensive backfield, on special teams or lining up as a wideout. ESPN.com said this squad has the talent to potentially go 15-0 and win the National Championship.
UCLA is equally vaunted, currently boasting a #13 ranking with many analysts predicting a finish in the Top 10. They return most of their dominant defense and only have one true question mark, who will replace Brett Hundley at quarterback?
Down the 5 in San Diego, Bolts fans are ecstatic to hear that Philip Rivers will finish out the rest of his career in aChargers uniform. The jury is still out on RB Melvin Gordon and whether or not he’s got the star power to become an every down back in the NFL, but San Diego seems to find a way to surprise the league and sneak into the playoffs every single season.
Last Chance for Peyton in Denver?
It’s hard to believe it but John Elway has built perhaps the most talented supporting cast to ever line up with Hall-of-Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. As #18 battles the test of time, this could be the end of a championship window for the Broncos.
Every house in Denver will be waiting with baited breath to see if Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware and Malik Jackson are able to put their predicted beating on opposing teams’ quarterbacks.
We’ll also have our eyes on old man Manning’s arm strength!
Touchdowns in Florida
Before Blake Bortles headed off to play for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the UCF Knights were a force to be reckoned with. Last season his successor, Justin Holman, struggled with his accuracy and the run game fizzled with the loss of 1,100 yard rusher Storm Johnson.
In 2015 the buzz has returned to Orlando much in part to an improved and often dominant defense. The Knights should easily win 8 games and compete for the division title.
In Tampa the Buccaneers have hinged all future hopes on #1 pick Jameis Winston. He’s got a big target to throw to in 2nd year receiver Mike Evans and will hopefully get run support from Doug Martin, a player looking to shed his “bust” moniker after a disappointing run following a stellar rookie season. It’s still rebuilding time for Lovie Smith but things could get exciting for Bucs fans in a weak NFC South.
And don’t forget. On Saturdays in Tampa it’s Go Bulls time!
More NFC South Action in Atlanta
It’s been a couple of rough and tumble seasons since the Falcons rolled all the way to the NFC Championship in 2012 but QB Matt Ryan has announced his renewed confidence in the team’s offensive line and a healthy Julio Jones is ready to put up monster numbers in the Georgia Dome.
The real question for the Falcons this season will be in the backfield. Devonta Freeman looked to be the man but Tevin Coleman has been named the starter for week one. We know the offense can throw – but can they run?
We’ll find out soon enough.
Da Bears – Life in Chicago Means Football on Sundays
There are two types of Bears fans – those who still hold out hope for Jay Cutler and those who are ready to move on and roll the QB dice in the draft.
Chicago’s signal caller still shows flashes of brilliance but it’s not hard to do so with stars like Alshon Jeffery lining up on the outside and sure handed Matt Forte rolling out into the flats.
The Bears will score and the Bears will win – the only question is whether they’ll win enough to compete in the always challenging NFC North.
Another Playoff Appearance for Superman in Charlotte?
The Carolina Panthers enter this season with big problems at wide receiver. Rising star Kelvin Benjamin is out with an injury and it’s hard to say who exactly will be Cam Newton’s top target on passing downs.
But Luke Kuechly and the defense are sufficiently overpowering that the Panthers have a real shot at repeating in the NFC South. Now that DeAngelo Williams is with the Steelers it’s up to Jonathan Stewart to prove he’s a reliable every down back.
NC State Could be ACC Dark Horse in Raleigh
There are a lot of reasons to be excited about Wolfpack football in 2015 and it all starts with a fantastic running quarterback named Jacoby Brissett.
NC State will need to find a way to improve their play in the trenches, however, if they harbor any hopes of challenging Florida State, Clemson and Louisville for the crown. Last year their run defense left much to be desired – with luck opposing backs won’t chew up yardage at will.
You Know Texas Loves Their Football
If you’re in Austin you know nothing is more thrilling than spending your Saturday afternoon at a jam packed Texas Memorial Stadium to watch the Longhorns. 100,000+ screaming fans and one of the most highly regarded and historic football programs of all time.
Texas has been in a bit of a funk (for Longhorns standards) over the past five years but Charlie Strong is looking to bring back a legitimate offensive identity, starting in 2015.
And in Houston it’s all about the stellar Texans defense led by the All-World JJ Watt. But this time round he’ll have plenty of help harassing opposing quarterbacks with a healthy Jadeveon Clowney lined up on the other side. Clowney never got a chance to live up to his hype last year due to an early season injury – this year he’ll be part of a defensive squad out to prove that Houston can win without a premier signal caller lining up under center.