5 intriguing storylines for the 2019 NFL season

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MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 22: A detailed view of NFL footballs with the 100 seasons logo on them before the start of the game between the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars at Hard Rock Stadium on August 22, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The NFL’s 100th season kicks off Thursday night at 7:20 p.m. when the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers on NBC (KXAN).

With every level of football back in action, let’s take a look at some interesting storylines entering the 2019 NFL season.

With a talented roster, can the Cowboys put it all together?

The Cowboys signed key pieces, Ezekiel Elliott, Jaylon Smith and La’el Collins, to long-term deals to anchor the franchise for years to come. Now, can those talented pieces take Dallas into Super Bowl contention? The defense will be better than it has been in years, and new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore can create a dynamic offense behind a healthy offensive line and top-tier weapons at running back and receiver.

It will be a battle between Philadelphia and Dallas for the NFC East crown.

What will happen to Houston without a real general manager?

The Houston Texans are currently operating without a true general manager — leading to some interesting personnel decisions this offseason. The Texans sent former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney to Seattle for a 2020 third round pick, Jacob Martin and Barkevious Mingo. Houston also traded a hefty package to Miami for offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil and receiver Kenny Stills.

The Texans needed to address the offensive line to protect quarterback Deshaun Watson, but did they do enough? With the addition of Tunsil and first round draft pick Tytus Howard, Watson could take his place as one of the league’s best quarterbacks behind an explosive offense.

Can Tom Brady take the Patriots back to the Super Bowl?

The 42-year-old quarterback gets older and the results stay the same, helping New England win another Super Bowl last year. The Patriots are expected to be elite again this season with a revamped defense that should be vastly improved.

Brady still has plenty of options with receiver Julian Edelman and second-year running back Sony Michel.

After falling short in the championship round, will the Chiefs and Saints take the next step?

One play. One play separated the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs from playing for the Super Bowl. After devastating outcomes in the NFC and AFC Championship games, how will these two franchises respond? Normally, a NFL runner-up doesn’t fare well in the following season.

However, both of these teams can light up a scoreboard on offense. As for the defense…well, let’s just wait and see.

What’s going to happen between Antonio Brown and the Raiders?

News broke Thursday morning that Oakland wide receiver Antonio Brown might be suspended after an argument over a team fine with general manager Mike Mayock. Brown has created quite the media stir this offseason after being traded by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Between frostbite on his foot to a helmet rebellion, the Jon Gruden’s Raiders aren’t lacking for unnecessary attention. Brown is still one of the best wide receivers in the league, but how much will Oakland be willing to handle when it comes to off the field issues?

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