As the NFL season approaches, there are many question marks from numerous teams that can have a huge impact on their season. There are a bunch of talented players that were rewarded with huge contracts this off-season that are trying to live in to their legacy. From contract holdouts to some recovering from injuries, we look at five specific players who must ball out this year to prove many doubters wrong.
After a breakout season with Carolina Panthers last season, Norman was looking for a huge payday to remain with the defending NFC champions. He was eventually released and would end up signing with the Washington Redskins. Norman, considered one of the best corners in the game, has been in the headlines recently for numerous comments against the commissioner, Odell Beckham, and more. As he enters his fifth year and a new division, the Redskins will be looking for Norman to help strengthen their secondary as well as the defense. Even though he boost supreme confidence, which is typically back up by great play on the field, Norman will really have to back up his talk by going up against Antonio Brown, AJ Green, and two times against Beckham and Dez Bryant. Norman benefited from Carolina’s zone scheme but he might see more man to man match ups which should be exciting.
Since his arrival to the NFL, Andrew Luck has already been seen as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. After leading the Indianapolis Colts to the playoffs his first three seasons in the NFL, Luck took a step back last season with a couple major injuries which forced him to miss most of the season. Though his numbers have been impressive, Luck has an issue with turning the ball over which has been costly in a number of games. Even with that issue, the Colts still know he is there franchise quarterback as they rewarded him with $140 million dollar contract which makes him the highest paid player in the league. Luck one of the premier quarterbacks in this league but as he enters veteran status, he will have to elevate his play in order to lead to Colts to the Super Bowl. As his division gets stronger, Lucks is in need of an MVP type season to prove the doubters wrong.
After establishing his catch phrase “You like that!” last season, Cousins enters the season with high expectations to help the Redskins win back to back NFC East crowns. Getting his team to the playoffs was a big step at making the Redskins a contender next season. With the division getting stronger as the Cowboys and Giants return healthy, Cousins will have to show up now even bigger. One of his main flaws is playing the road, which has had average at best success. Being in the NFC East, winning on the road is very important so his play away from home will be a huge deciding factor. Cousins has the weapons to make plays but it will come down to how consistent he can be throughout the season.
After winning a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos primarily as a backup last season, Osweiler found himself going south to the Houston Texans. The reigning AFC South champions saw Osweiler as a franchise quarterback that can help revitalize their offense. His big pay now has everyone in Houston thinking he can lead the team to become a contender after their embarrassing playoff defeat last year. Osweiler has the physical tools be become a good quarterback being six foot eight and able to move outside of the pocket. With a number of explosive weapons like Deandre Hopkins and Will Fuller on the outside, he should be able to air it out all over the field. One of Osweiler’s main issues is ball security which was one of the reasons he was benched for Peyton Manning after poor play. The Texans invested a lot in him so bringing a championship to Houston is the only option now.