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Five burning NFL questions soon to be answered

The first Sunday of the NFL season is so close we can taste it. So what are some pressing preseason questions that could be answered as soon as 24 hours from now?

Here are five ...

The Tebowcat -- fact or fiction?

The New York Jets have been surreptitiously practicing Tim Tebow packages for weeks in a bunker at Florham Park. Could it be a smokescreen? Perhaps ... but it's more likely we'll finally get a look at the gameplan Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano worked so hard to keep secret.

Does Peyton Manning still have it?

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We got evidence during the preseason that Manning will still be Manning after sitting out a season, but we won't really know until we see him on the field for four quarters. A primetime matchup against the formidable Pittsburgh Steelers is an instant test.

How will Dick Koetter change A-Town?

We heard all offseason how the Atlanta Falcons have undergone a substantial philosophical makeover on the offensive side of the ball. If they can go on the road and light up a good Kansas City Chiefs defense, the NFC South will officially have a favorite.

What will life be like for the Saints without Sean Payton?

Though we believe the infastructure is properly in place, it will be interesting to see if the New Orleans Saints are a controlled, organized operation with both coach Sean Payton and interim coach Joe Vitt stranded on Bounty Island. Interim to the interim coach Aaron Kromer's decision-by-committee approach on fourth down planted a seed of doubt.

What about the (black-and-white) 800-pound gorilla in the room?

The fill-ins did a respectable job in the season opener on Wednesday, but the real test begins on Sunday. The NFL will have a serious problem on its hands if we have a day of confusion and incompetence from the zebras. Leverage in the standoff between the NFL and officials is at stake.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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