August 28, 2012

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Top 5 Things to Look Forward to in the NFL in 2012

By: Matt Bowen

The 2012 NFL season is set to kick off in just a few short weeks and this season promises to be nothing less than fantastic.

While every team has their own storylines to follow, a few stick out and will shape the NFL landscape in 2012.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the upcoming headlines of the 2012 NFL season.

The New York Jets' QB situation will continue to be a storyline all season long.

No. 5: Randy Moss Returns to the NFL

Love him or hate him, Randy Moss is one of the most polarizing wide receivers in NFL history.  Now a member of the San Francisco 49ers after taking a season off, Moss is just another reason to believe that the Niners will be serious Super Bowl contenders this season. Their defense became the most feared in the NFL in 2011 as it was their offense that fans were skeptical of. Niners fans should have nothing but smiles on their faces because the organization boosted their offense with the likes of Moss this offseason. Everyone knows that he can be downright awesome when he wants to be and all signs indicate that he wants to be. Keep an eye on Moss.

No. 4: The New York Jets Quarterback Carousel

The New York Jets had a more than interesting offseason. After signing quarterback Mark Sanchez to a healthy extension, the team traded for Tim Tebow. Everybody expected a circus and they won’t be disappointed. The debate on who should start for the J-E-T-S, Jets!, Jets!, Jets! won’t end until one of the contenders is unable to answer the bell. One thing is for certain, Tebow will score at least 12 touchdowns on the ground this year.

No. 3: The Carolina Panthers are a Super Bowl Sleeper

Believe it or not, the Carolina Panthers are a deep Super Bowl sleeper this season. Behind quarterback Cam Newton and wide receiver Steve Smith, the Panthers are explosive on offense. Don’t forget that they have a 1-2 punch in running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, too. Combined with an improved defense and the belief that offensive lineman Ryan Kalil has instilled in the team, the Panthers will be for real. Kalil recently took out a full-page ad in the local newspaper stating that the Panthers would win the Super Bowl this season. Gotta love it.

No. 2: Peyton Manning’s Return from Injury

Future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning is now a member of the Denver Broncos, but fans shouldn’t expect anything but the usual from him this season. Yes, he’s had multiple neck surgeries, but even at 85 percent, Manning is better than 90 percent of NFL quarterbacks. Manning is a true competitor that wants to do nothing less than to prove his doubters wrong.

No. 1: The Highly Anticipated Debuts of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III

Whose better, Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III? Who cares, these kids are pure excitement on a field. Drafted No. 1 and 2 overall in the 2012 NFL draft, these guys are the two most anticipated quarterbacks to enter the NFL since Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf in 1998. Not only are fans of the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins in for a treat, but the entire league is in for something special. These guys will simply dominate the headlines this season, get used to it.

July 25, 2012

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NFL Training Camps Get Underway this Week

By: Matt Bowen

NFL fans, the best time of the year is finally here—the 2012 NFL season kicks off with training camps this week. While it may not seem too exciting just yet, it means that the season is a quick five weeks away. Fans get to see their favorite franchise launch their newest campaign this week when training camps get underway after a most interesting NFL offseason.

The 2012 NFL season will begin the Andrew Luck era for the Indianapolis Colts.

The league received two future star quarterbacks with the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the 2012 NFL draft. Andrew Luck went to the Indianapolis Colts with the first pick and Robert Griffin III went to the Washington Redskins at No. 2. Fans should watch every snap these guys take this year as they’ll do nothing but amaze people throughout their careers.

This year also brings new hope to many franchises, as seven teams have new head coaches this year.  Of those teams, the St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers look vastly improved on paper from their woeful 2011 seasons. The Rams brought in Jeff Fisher to coach and he traded the No. 2 overall pick to the Redskins and turned that one pick into six. Fisher deserves credit for strengthening his team through the draft and developing from within.

As for the Buccaneers, the team did a fine job in both free agency and the draft. The team signed wide receiver Vincent Jackson and offensive lineman Carl Nicks this offseason. That duo will help quarterback Josh Freeman tremendously this year. The team also hired Greg Schiano, former coach at Rutgers University, who has quickly created a positive culture that seems destined for winning.   The team made a splash at the tail-end of Round 1 of the 2012 NFL draft when they drafted Doug Martin out of Boise State University. This kid will be an instant overnight success in the NFL.

The New York Giants look to defend their Super Bowl XLVI championship this year, but will have their hands full. In reality, the NFL is so equal in talent across the league that most teams have a legit shot to win it all in 2012. It may be hard to believe, but at least one team in the NFL has gone from worst to first in their division since 2003 and 13 teams in total. This gives all fans hope as every division seems up for grabs this season.

Regardless of who wins it all, it will be fun to watch. With training camps taking flight this week, buckle up and enjoy the ride.