The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

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Computer science should be accessible for all and integrated with both the humanities and social sciences.
Opinion: Computer science education needs a major update
Grace Metz, Editor-In-Chief • May 19, 2024
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The Senior Music Award Ceremony took place on May 7, 2024.
Music department honors graduating seniors
Ava Vogel, Staff Writer • May 18, 2024
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Coach Vincenzo talks with player Landon Vanderwarker during a game.
How Coach Vincenzo’s character shaped not only the Hayes Basketball program, but the community and players alike
Josie Morrow, Views/Entertainment Section Editor • May 17, 2024
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Engineers work on the Voyager 2 probe. The Voyager probes have now been in space for nearly 50 years.
Opinion: What the Voyagers odysseys mean
Brody Counts, Staff Writer • May 17, 2024
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Next years Hayes Talisman editorial board (Left-Right): Natalie Heckert, Abby Stahl, Izzy Kelly, Dre Nelson, Mia Saksa and Ava Vogel.
Meet our new 2024-2025 editorial board
Grace Metz, Editor-In-Chief • May 15, 2024
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NFL 2023 Preview: League is back for 104th year

After months of anticipation, football is back with storylines galore.
Photo credit: wallpaperflare
NFL set to kick off 104th season, starting with Lions vs. Chiefs on Thursday Night Football.

The NFL off-season is a long, grueling seven months void of the beautifully violent game called football. Back in February, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 in Super Bowl LVII. As confetti rained in the Arizona desert, Patrick Mahomes lifted the Lombardi trophy for the second time in his third Super Bowl appearance.
The Eagles put in a valiant effort, but a late clock-killing drive by the Chiefs and a failed last-second hail mary attempt by Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was the last act of the 2022-2023 NFL season, as Kansas City continued their run of dominance.
Mercifully, the off-season is coming to an end and football is almost here. Soon, temperatures will drop, leaves will fall, and football will be on from 1 to midnight every Sunday.
With all this excitement it’s time to look into both the American and National Football Conferences at who could make waves in the league this season.


For the past couple of years now, the Chiefs, Bills and Bengals have been the rulers of their respective divisions and the cream of the crop in the AFC. Each team is led by a quarterback considered top three in the league and backed by a defense that has had continuity and reliability for several seasons.
The tier underneath them is more populated, stuffed full of teams looking to take the next step and become perennial contenders.
The Chargers have a star-studded offense led by young quarterback Justin Herbert who, upon being drafted, was thrust into debates against 2020 draft classmate Joe Burrow. While a few seasons in the league have proved that there is a noticeable gap between them, Herbert has proved to be a top-10 range quarterback and is in early MVP talks.
Paired with Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler, the Chargers offense looks to be reliable in many aspects. The problem? The defense is as effective as a screen door on a submarine.
Finishing 20th in yards allowed and 21st in points allowed, the Charger’s defense is what holds them back from making any serious contention, especially considering they’re in the same division as the Chiefs.
The Ravens look to be a formidable opponent for the Bengals in the north, but injuries have plagued their roster in recent seasons, especially in the case of quarterback Lamar Jackson who hasn’t finished the season the past two years.
The Ravens also feature an Odell Beckham Jr. who hasn’t been seen since tearing his ACL 18 months ago in the Super Bowl, running back J.K. Dobbins, who has struggled with injuries ever since joining the league, and tight end Mark Andrews have sustained a preseason injury that left him out of practice for multiple weeks.
The Ravens could be dangerous, but it’s unclear whether they can be trusted, especially considering they’re one to four against the Bengals in matchups where Joe Burrow is healthy.
In the East, there are a couple more compelling arguments in the Dolphins and the Jets.
The Jets have many exciting players on both sides of the ball. Maybe the surprise team of last year, the most notable thing the Jets lacked was elite quarterback play as Zach Wilson just wasn’t able to prove his worth as the franchise quarterback in New York.
Over the offseason, the Jets decided to make the ultimate splash and bring in quarterback Aaron Rodgers from the Packers after a disgruntled few years in Green Bay. Rodgers comes to the Big Apple accompanied by trusted former teammates like Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard, joining the likes of Breece Hall and standout receiver Garrett Wilson. Oh, and they signed star running back Dalvin Cook, who’s coming off a 1000 yard season in Minnesota.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes all these pieces to mesh, but if they do and are complemented by what Jets cornerback DJ Reed has described as a “historic defense”, the Jets could make waves in year one of the Rodgers Era.
Their division rivals the Miami Dolphins will be fighting for that ground too. With one of the hottest stars to the season in 2022, the Dolphins looked like AFC contenders before fizzling out due to injuries and inconsistent play.
The jury is still out on where Tua Tagouvailoa stands in the NFL hierarchy of quarterbacks, but if he can at least avoid injury long enough to help distribute in a star-studded offense, the Dolphins could challenge the Bills. An already solid defense added Jalen Ramsey and El Apple this offseason, so any improvement in the offense could pay dividends.
The Chiefs, Bengals, and Bills are still in the elite class of the conference, but if any of these teams are able to put it together, they won’t be untouchable for long.


In the opposite conference, there is less contention in the middle with more attention on the heavyweights.
The Eagles look to have possibly the most complete roster in the league. The 49ers have been Super Bowl contenders for half a decade now. The Vikings have MVP favorite Justin Jefferson as a receiver and took the NFC North by storm last year.
The only thing these teams have left to do is prove that they’re not just a flash in the pan like so many great teams before. The Rams had one year of contention and are now five bad games away from blowing up their roster. The Buccaneers won a SuperBowl and were full of dysfunction in the remaining two seasons of Tom Brady’s tenure.
There’s concern for each of the three division winners that kept their team intact.
San Francisco boasts the most decorated defense in the league, but have Brock Purdy under center after trading Jimmy Garrappolo and Trey Lance, Purdy was the third option at QB last year, but thanks to injury, was the signal caller for the late season tear that led the 49ers into the NFC championship
It remains to be seen whether Purdy can be consistent for a 17-game season in The Bay, and as the playoffs went on he looked more like a rookie that was drafted with the last pick. If the Niners want to make the jump and finally win a Super Bowl in the 21st century, Purdy will need to improve his accuracy and prove that he can be the franchise quarterback.
In Philadelphia, the only thing the Eagles have to do is to live up to last year. Jalen Hurts is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the league and the Eagles’ defense was dominant for stretches of last year. No concerns for this club, just expectations.
For the Vikings, there is much of both. Minnesota had extreme ups and downs last year, winning the division and beating teams like the Dolphins and the Bills, but they also had resounding losses and lost in the wildcard round to New York.
On one hand, Kirk Cousins goes under the radar as one of the better quarterbacks in the league and is equipped with Justin Jefferson. On the other hand, the defense in Minnesota was below average last year and has undergone a light rebuild in the offseason.
The Vikings have somewhat stumbled into championship expectations and failure to meet them could result in the end of the Kirk Cousins era in Minnesota.

Anything can happen, but by February the Super Bowl should feature the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Bengals have gone toe to toe with every other contender in the Joe Burrow era and this year’s roster is likely the greatest in franchise history. They have the talent on both sides of the ball and have been to the AFC championship every year that Burrow has been healthy. They will have to go through the Chiefs, but with a retooled offensive line and a healthy secondary, they will have the caliber to knock them off.
The Eagles added depth to running back and defensive spots on an already great roster, and have the most straightforward path to the Super Bowl. Classic matchups come from games where the best play the best, and this game would provide just that.
So much of the NFL is unpredictable, but it’s always fun to take a glance at how the season could play out. Whatever happens, it’s good to have a game that means so much to so many back on for fans to enjoy.

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About the Contributor
Carter Sims
Carter Sims, Managing Editor
Carter Sims (he/him) is a senior and a member of the basketball and tennis teams. This is his third year on staff. He is a loyal sports fan and enjoys watching games and coaching youth basketball at camps and skill clinics in Delaware in his free time.
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