Each team enters the 2012 season with much transition surrounding its franchise. And with change comes questions—lots of questions.
However, most will have their eyes on the quarterback battle between Washington rookie phenom Robert Griffin III and Saints All-Pro Drew Brees; two dissimilar signal-callers who both carry the entire weight of their respective franchises on their shoulders.
The Redskins traded the farm for the rights to take Griffin with the No. 2 overall pick in this past April's draft.
While most rookies are afforded time to acclimate to the professional ranks—especially at the quarterback position—Griffin is expected to have a Cam Newton-like effect in the nation's capital.
The Saints were the talk of the NFL offseason as Bountygate dominated the headlines. Several key players received suspensions for their parts, most notably defensive leader Jonathan Vilma and head coach Sean Payton.
But Brees is back, along with most of the offense. It will be interesting to see how the turmoil will affect the team this season. That all starts on Sunday.
Here is one bold prediction for each team going into Sunday's season opener.
RGIII Shines in Debut, Tallies 300 Total Yards and 3 Touchdowns
An NFL debut can have a crippling effect on one's psyche, especially with as much pressure as Griffin must feel right now as the potential savior in Washington.
But shootouts tend to put offensive players at ease. High-scoring games allow their minds to settle into comfort zones and remind them that football is just a game, one which they have been playing all of their lives.
Sunday's matchup with the Saints has "high-scoring affair" written all over it, and no Redskin will benefit from that more than Griffin.
The expectations are high, and Griffin will feel it from the start, but opening against a Saints defense that will be without Vilma and defensive end Will Smith will allow Griffin to be at ease early and often.
Brees Throws for 400 Yards and 3 Touchdowns in Back-to-Back Season Openers
In last year's season-opening 42-34 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Brees managed to outclass Aaron Rodgers by throwing for 419 yards and three touchdowns. Expect the Saints quarterback to see those numbers again on Sunday.
New Orleans wants to put the offseason in the rear-view mirror. There is no better way to do that than to have its leader pick up where he left off last season by chucking the pigskin all over the field.
Washington's pass defense settles in around the middle of the pack, but the Saints feature the best air attack in the NFL. With this game potentially being a shootout, Brees will have plenty of opportunity to stuff the stats on Sunday.
Besides, Brees isn't going to let a rookie come in and hog all the spotlight, is he?