Originally posted on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 7/16/13

The NFL preseason is nearly upon us, and there's a lot of unanswered questions. I've taken the liberty of picking out the best, most provocative queries for you to ponder as you wait out the last few weeks until preseason games get under way. Is Tom Brady good enough to get the Patriots back into contention? The Patriots' proverbial window is closing — quickly too. The offense in particular looks nothing like the units the Patriots won Super Bowls with, putting all the pressure of winning on Tom Brady. If the Patriots somehow found a way to win a Super Bowl this time around, we would have to think long and hard about Brady as the greatest quarterback ever. Which hot seat coaches will lose their job? There's a number of head coaches that are entering the season with de-facto ultimatums in place, even if those "do or else" statements were never actually said. Rex Ryan, Mike Munchak, Jim Schwartz, and a handful more absolutely must make their way to the playoffs. Who's the Cinderella team going to be? Every year, or at least nearly every year, a team that was dismissed in the preseason finds its way into the playoffs. Last year, the Colts and Vikings split that role. This year, no team jumps out as that under-the-radar pick, but with some development, some bottom feeders may make their way to the top of the standings. What team falls flat? As with Cinderella teams, there's always a team that completely underwhelms everyone. Last year, the Chiefs were expected to do big things, even compete for an AFC West title, but instead they were making the first overall selection in the NFL draft. My thoughts are that the Ravens and Patriots could be in trouble in a similar, but certainly not as extreme, way. Is there a sophomore slump for last year's quarterback class in-store? Last year's quarterback class was one of the best groups of young guns we've seen in a very long time. Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck were all blockbuster picks. With the weight of their respective franchises on their shoulders, how will they handle their second season at the professional level? Something tells me that Wilson and Luck may have a rough go of it. Griffin, on the other hand, may be able to maintain his rookie stats. [follow]

This article first appeared on This Given Sunday and was syndicated with permission.

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Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

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