The NFL’s first game, set to take place on the New Jersey shore of Long Island, will be played at sea and not in the field, but that won’t stop it from being a big deal.
With the 2018 Super Bowl scheduled to take the New York City coastline on Feb. 7, the league has been busy crafting the blueprint for what to expect.
Here are a few of the big storylines to watch:1.
Who’s going to play on the field?
The field will be a big part of the game plan.
The Patriots are the clear favorites, but there are several other teams who have shown interest.
That includes the Steelers, who have a contract with former Bills quarterback Geno Smith to play against them on Sept. 9, 2018.
The Patriots will also be the first team to field a full team in 2018, with the Chargers and Raiders joining them in 2018.
They will play each other in their home opener on Sept, 15, 2018, and play each of their home games against each other on Sept., 24, 2018 and Oct. 4, 2018 at the New Orleans Saints.
The Raiders have a two-year deal with Smith, who was traded to the New England Patriots in July 2018.
He has two seasons left on his deal, but is still seeking a new team.
If he does not sign a new deal with the Raiders by then, he would likely be on the open market for the 2019 season.
The Steelers will be the only team to have a full roster, but they will have to wait until the season to announce it.
They were able to announce their first preseason game in May, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leading a Steelers squad that beat the Falcons.
The Titans will not be able to field any of their starters.
They are expected to have to cut a couple of guys, including running back Isaiah Pead, who will be in his fourth season with Tennessee.
The Jaguars will be playing in the same stadium that the Patriots are playing in, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and will be using the same sideline as the Patriots.
But they will be fielding their own players, with veteran safety Jairus Byrd the only one in the Jaguars’ secondary.
The Dolphins have a similar situation with their starting defensive back, Brent Grimes, who had a strong preseason.
The Bills will be making their second appearance at the Superdomes in a decade, having played there in 2019.
They have a strong contingent of players, including defensive end Joey Bosa, who is on a one-year, $1 million deal with Buffalo.
But it won’t be long before the Bills are back on the gridiron again, and Bosa has already expressed interest in returning.
The Ravens will be facing a lot of competition, having lost their starting quarterback in the draft and are looking for a quarterback of their own.
They already have former New England quarterback Tom Brady and former Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the roster.
The Jets and Falcons are the only other teams to have multiple starters in their starting lineup.
The Falcons have quarterback Matt Ryan, while the Jets have Matt Moore, who led the Jets to the NFC East title in 2018 and also threw two touchdown passes.
The Dolphins have not yet announced their 2018 roster, and their quarterback is expected to be a free agent in the offseason.
They also have some question marks on defense, with safety Reshad Jones (groin) and cornerback Dee Milliner (shoulder) expected to miss the entire season.
They are one of the NFL’s best teams in terms of offense, but their lack of a true star quarterback will likely cost them in the game against the Patriots in New Jersey.