What’s the deal with the upcoming 2012 NFL sesaon?
With the induction of the Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson , Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin , Willie Roaf into the NFL Hall of Fame and the first punt in the exhibition Hall of Fame game between the Arizona Cardinals/New Orleans Saints the NFL season starts anew! This is the time of year where every fan has the fantasy (that’s another story) that their favorite team is in the running for that final game in Superdome under the big lights for Super Bowl XLVII, this is even if reality means your team is really in line for the top prospects from the upcoming meat market infusion known as the draft than hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. But all that matters as much as who won Super Bowl XLVI (sorry New York Giant fans) cause the new season brings renewed faith especially in Indianapolis, Minnesota, St. Louis, and Tampa Bay. But delusion notwithstanding what are some of the hot points for the 2012 NFL season and which team as the greatest chance of catching lighting in a bottle (que the Giant faithful) like the New York G-men did last year?
Let’s start with mainstays – AFC –New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. All aforementioned teams have the points of success; 1) Leadership from both head coach and stellar play from their respective quarterbacks, 2) Bend but don’t break to outstanding play from the defensive side of the ball, and 3) The team culture that provides the continuity that keeps them in the hunt for the Lombardi year in, year out. On the NFC side – Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints have provided over the last several years striking consistency for the same reasons mentioned for the AFC squads to the tune of Green Bay thriving despite the pigskin switch from Packer greats, Holmgren & Favre to McCarthy & Rodgers. This will stand true as well for the New Orleans Saints who will be able to withstand the recent smear of the bounty gate incidents culminating the loss of players and coaches throughout the upcoming season.
Which leads to the next slate of what ifs, will the offense or defense lead the seasonal hot buttons this year? What players will light it up like a young guns Cam Newton and Von Miller or come in consistently like QB’s-Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers – RB’s –Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice and Michael Turner – Wide outs-Calvin Johnson, Wes Welker and Victor Cruz or on defense like Jared Allen, London Fletcher, and Kyle Arrington? Will mercurial wide outs Terrell Owens and Randy Moss return to NFL be write up feel good stories of redemption or predicable falls of ‘I told you so’? Will the fans of Indianapolis and Washington forget the woebegone times of last year, return to glory days of yore with NFL draft picks 1-2 of (Luck-1-Indy & Griffin III-2-Washington) or will the pressure of restoration bury the rookies? Will the hot seat teams- New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, etc be able to keep from imploding in route to the bayou? Is all back to normal now, that the dust has settled from last year’s collective bargaining agreement or are there issues still brewing for the commissioner’s office to address? It’s all up in the air which is the beauty in all these questions, your player, your team, your league can do this year if any, why not now? Release the proverbial hounds its kick off time!