Here’s How Jay Z, Michelle Obama, Blue Ivy, and More Celebrated Beyoncé’s Birthday

Labor Day? Who cares. Today is Bey Day.

3 NFL Storylines to Look Out for This Season

The 2016-17 NFL season featured one of the most exciting endings in NFL history. After falling behind 28-3 to the Falcons in the third quarter of Super Bowl 51, the Patriots came storming back to win 34-28 in overtime in improbable fashion. It helped Tom Brady earn his fifth Super Bowl victory, and it solidified the Patriots as the cream of the crop in the NFL. It also robbed Matt Ryan and the Falcons of the chance to win their first Super Bowl ever.

It’s going to be tough for the NFL to top that ending this season, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to try. On Thursday, Sept. 7, the Patriots will host the Chiefs on the NFL’s opening night and jump start what should be another exciting season for NFL fans. As we prepare to dive headfirst into NFL action, we decided to step back for a moment and assess what should be the biggest stories heading into the new NFL year. Here are the three storylines to look out for this season if you are an NFL fan.

Can anyone beat the Patriots?

Tom Brady at training camp.
Image via Getty/Icon Sportswire/Contributor

The Patriots may have won the Super Bowl in February, but that didn’t stop them from making a few major moves during the offseason to get even better than they already were. They worked out a trade with the Saints that netted them speedy wide receiver Brandin Cooks, and they also signed former Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a deal in free agency. Additionally, they’ll get Rob Gronkowski back after he sat the end of last season with a back injury.

The Patriots did suffer a huge setback during the preseason when wide receiver Julian Edelman went down with a season-ending ACL injury. But even without Edelman in the lineup, New England is still the team to beat in the AFC this season. They should be able to cruise to the top of the AFC East and clinch a playoff berth early, and once they’re there, they’ll likely be favored to win all of their postseason games as they head towards another Super Bowl. The Raiders, Steelers, and potentially even the Broncos, Titans, and Ravens could present problems for the Patriots. But they will once again be the team to beat.

Will the Falcons be able to bounce back from their devastating Super Bowl loss?

Matt Ryan and the Falcons take the field before a preseason game.
Image via Getty/Diamond Images/Staff

Historically, teams that lose in the Super Bowl struggle during the following season. Cam Newton and the Panthers made a trip to Super Bowl 50 in February 2016, but after losing to the Broncos, they went just 6-10 last season and finished at the bottom of the AFC South while their division rivals, the Falcons, went to the Super Bowl.

This season, it will be the Falcons trying to overcome a Super Bowl hangover—and it’s not going to be easy for them to do. Unlike the Panthers, the Falcons probably should have won the Super Bowl if not for a big blown lead during the second half of the game. So they’re going to have to shake off whatever negative feelings they have heading into the season and find a way to put Super Bowl LI in the past.

The good news for the Falcons is that they’ve got all of their major weapons back this year. Matt Ryan will still be lining up under center and playing quarterback. Julio Jones will still be presenting matchup nightmares for opposing cornerbacks at the wide receiver position. And Devonta Freeman, who signed a contract in August making him the highest-paid running back in the NFL, will still be running all over the field for the Falcons. Plus, Atlanta will begin playing at their brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which should take their minds off what happened in the Super Bowl.

But still, it’s hard to imagine them not thinking about the Super Bowl loss from time to time, and it could impact them this season. And if they struggle because of it, could you even blame them?

Which rookie quarterback will prove to be the best of the bunch?

DeShone Kizer warms up for the Browns.
Image via Getty/Don Juan Moore/Contributor

There are at least four rookie quarterbacks that could see some playing time this season. DeShone Kizer has already been named the starting QB for the Browns after beating out Brock Osweiler in training camp. But Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who was taken No. 2 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes could play in regular-season games as well.

None of the four are expected to have the kind of impact that then-rookie Dak Prescott had for the Cowboys last season. But then again, no one saw Prescott having the impact he did, so who knows? Maybe Kizer will end up leading the Browns to a 13-3 record and a playoff berth just like Prescott did for Dallas last season!

Er, or maybe not. But chances are, at least one of these rookie QBs is going to make his team’s fan base very happy this season. Which one ultimately has the most success is anyone’s guess, but it’ll be fun to see how productive they are when they finally take the field for their respective teams.

More from Complex

The Hilarious Advice Chris Rock Gave Michelle Obama at Final White House Bash

Chris Rock talks about the hilarious advice he gave Michelle Obama at the final White House bash before some other guy took over.

Drake Will Probably Never Stop Dissing Meek Mill

Though early returns in the beef between Meek Mill and Drake were split, it has become pretty clear that Drizzy won the war. Whether the bars were or are better seems not to matter anymore, because Drake's constant and strategic shots at Meek have put him in the position of power.

Drake kept the hit parade coming on More Life, and despite the battle long having been settled he spent a decent amount of time on the new project poking fun at his rap foe.

It was on from the jump, with the opening track flipping Meek's most prominent attack on Drake into a diss of his own. “How you let the kid fighting ghostwriting rumors turn you to a ghost?” was a parting shot on “Free Smoke,” making light of the accusation that Drake wasn't responsible for his own lyrics. It's a brilliant spin, turning what should be a major loss of credibility into another point in the battle.

Meek probably would have preferred Drake stop right there, but he saved more extensive shots for the back half of More Life. On “Lose You,” Drake explained that he follows his rival a lot closer than you might think:

All you did was write the book on garbage ass Rollies 

Ego stroking, picture posting 

Claiming that you'd do it for motivational purposes only, but you just had to show me 

See I know because I study you closely, I know when somebody lying

That attention to detail helps explain why Drake has been able to keep Meek on the losing side of this battle and drag it out for years, despite early concerns.

On “Can't Have Everything,” Drake wanted to remind the listeners once again that he knew he won the battle. “Tried to serve me a cheesesteak, I gave them back a clean plate,” is an obvious barb at the Philadelphia native, and Drake feels a certain level of responsibility for Meek's drop in popularity since they began to go head-to-head.

Even Meek's affiliates and superiors aren't safe from the wreckage. He might've looped in Rick Ross on “Can't Have Everything” in a continued effort to taunt Meek. “Tell your big homie I'm all for going there again,” says Drake, “He ain't even die and I ball with his inheritance.” This comes just a day after Rick Ross dropped his own album, Rather You Than Me, and claimed on “Triple Platinum” that he “had a phone call with Drake so we could fix the madness,” an obvious allusion to the Meek Mill battle.

After all the obvious attacks, “Can't Have Everything” closes with an outro from Drake's mother, Sandi Graham, that alludes to Michelle Obama's infamous line at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, “When they go low, we go high.” Whether that's Drake using irony for dramatic effect or signaling that he's done with dissing Meek altogether, it was a clever way to turn the page and move on to other subjects in the album's final tracks.

Every time it feels like this battle should be done with, Drake wants reaffirm his status as the top two. The early reactions to the new project are mostly positive, so maybe Drake can focus on that win rather than trying to keep winning a beef that has already been decided.

More from Complex

7 Things You Probably Missed on Your First Listen of ‘More Life’

Today was the day. Drake finally rolled out his More Life playlist on the 39th episode of OVO Sound Radio, nearly five months after he announced it. The big unveiling, of course, caused the Twittersphere to freak out, with fans live tweeting their immediate reactions to all 22 tracks. Because there was so much to take in—from the samples to the bars to slew of guest appearances—there’s a chance fans might’ve missed some of the project’s key moments during the first listen. We don’t blame you: Attention to detail can prove to be difficult when you’re freaking out from excitement.

Before you revisit More Life (and we know you will), be sure to keep your eye out for these highlights.

  • Drake reaffirmed his obsession with U.K. grime by enlisting two of the genre’s biggest names: Giggs (“No Long Talk” and “KMT”) and Skepta (“Skepta interlude”).
  • He gave several shout outs to his once-rumored love interest Jennifer Lopez. In the playlist’s opening track, “Free Smoke,” Drizzy rapped set social media ablaze by rapping, “I drunk text J-Lo/Old number, so it bounce back.” He also sampled the singer’s 1999 hit “If You Had My Love” on “Teenage Fever.”
  • One of the most-talked about tracks on More Life was the Kanye West-assisted “Glow.” Obviously, any Yeezy feature is going to generate buzz, but it seemed many listeners were more moved by the sample at the end. For those unfamiliar with 1970s funk, the familiar tune is from Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Devotion.” 
  • More Life is basically a rap world all-star game, with some of hip-hop’s biggest names making major contributions. And while everyone will be talking about the Kanye West-assisted standout “Glow,” don’t sleep on the two Young Thug features on “Sacrifices” and “Ice Melts.” The collab was pretty much a forgone conclusion after the Atlanta rapper joined Drizzy on his European Boy Meets World Tour. OVO acolyte PartyNextDoor comes in at a close second for most underrated guest spot on the bouncy “Since Way Back.”
  • No one has a pulse on new music quite like Drake, and he proved it once again on More Life. And while previously obscure artists like Giggs and Jorja Smith take center stage on the playlist, pay close attention to Black Coffee, the South African house DJ whose contribution on “Get it Together” is a More Life highlight.
  • What would a Drake offering be without a voicemail from a close somebody in which real emotions are laid bare. On More Life, that clip comes courtesy of mama Aubrey Graham herself, who laments her son’s recent aggressive tone in response to his beef with Meek Mill. Oh, and her Michelle Obama quote—“When others go low, we go high,”—is a More Life mic drop moment.
  • More Life’s closing track, the infectious “Do Not Disturb”, is a classic Drake outro, in which he reminisces about his days as a an ambitious Toronto upstart, and promises new music when he raps “I’ll Be back in 2018 to give you the summary.”

 

More from Complex