Believe it or not, we’re not even a month away from the kickoff of the 2012 – 2013 NFL season.
The schedules have long been set. Draft picks have been signed. Training camps are underway. The Hall of Fame Ceremony has come and gone. Preseason begins this week! Yeah. We’re ready for some football. So now it’s time to look ahead to the regular season. And, here are nine of the biggest questions we can’t wait to get answered when football returns on September 5.
9. Are You Ready for Thursday Night Football?
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With all the offseason news, notes and rumors, we may have forgotten that this upcoming season will have an extra day of football. Whether you forgot or never knew, the NFL will now have games on Thursday nights. For us this is probably one of the greatest things to happen in our lives. For most players it’s like getting another bye week. We don’t see any major problems with Thursday night games but we’ll have to wait and see what the ratings and feedback are at the conclusion of the season.
8. Can The Giants Repeat?
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Regardless of the sport the defending champs are typically the favorites. Because of this, fans ask if the champs will repeat. Unfortunately, we just don’t see that happening with the G men. They got hot at the right time and rode that momentum to a Super Bowl victory. Also, they lost a number of key players during the offseason, like Brandon Jacobs and Mario Manningham. There’s plenty of other teams in the NFC that can, and will, knock the Giants out from the playoffs, even from playoff contention.
7. How Will Returning Players Do?
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There are plenty of players returning to the game after season ending injuries, like AP, Kenny Britt, Greg Jennings. There’s also the return of Randy Moss in San Fran and possibly T.O. in Seattle. Whether these players were injured or sat out last season it’s going to be interesting to see if they’re the same player and if they can contribute to their respective organizations.
6. Will We See a Super HarBowl?
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We saw the brothers Jim and John Harbaugh battle it out last Thanksgiving. Then, their teams, the 49ers and Ravens, went deep into the playoffs. In fact, both teams went to the conference championships. We love additional story-lines in sports, so what better storyline than brothers facing each other in the Super Bowl? Both teams have the talent to do it so it’s completely not out of the question.
5. How Will Andy Reid and the Eagles Deal With the Passing of His Son?
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We’re not trying to make light of the sudden and tragic news regarding the passing of Andy Reid’s eldest son. But, we’re curious, and we’re probably not the only ones, to see how Reid and his team respond to this tragedy. It’s either going to eat them up or motivate them. We’re leaning more towards the motivation. Something this personal can easily spark a team and give them the desire to win. Especially after the disappointing season Philly had last year.
4. What Do The Jets Have in Store With Tim Tebow?
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When Peyton Manning went to Denver many knew that Tim Tebow had to go. However, most of us didn’t see the Jets trading for him. Many speculated Jacksonville, but Tebow is a Jet and now it’s time to see what Rex Ryan and company will do with him. Maybe it’s a tactic to get Mark Sanchez to perform like a franchise QB. Or, and most likely, Tebow is there to help the offense design and execute some interesting plays. No matter how you feel about Tebow he may be the glue that holds this dysfunctional Jets team together both on and off the field.
3. Can Andrew Luck and RGIII Turn the Colts and Skins Around?
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The top two draft picks will undoubtedly be starters for their teams. Both QBs are the future of these teams and expectations are high for both of them. Unfortunately, Luck and RGIII are walking into troubled franchises. Luck will be leading the league’s worst team while RGIII will be leading one of the league’s most dysfunctional. Up until last season, Indy was a solid team and great organization. But they’re rebuilding. In a couple of seasons Luck could restore them to one of the league’s most elite teams. RGIII may be explosive enough to ignite the Redskins but he’s going to a team in a tough division with a wacky head coach and a clueless owner. It could be an uphill battle for RGIII in Washington.
2. How Will The Saints Respond to ‘Bounty Gate’?
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There was probably no other offseason story bigger than the so-called ‘Bounty Gate’. By now we all know the details and aftermath. Now it’s time to see how the Saints will respond. Will they collapse without head coach Sean Payton and defensive captain Jonathan Vilma? Or, will Drew Brees and company use the scandal as driving force? Sometimes teams are most dangerous when they’ve been completely written off and are considered an underdog.
1. Will Peyton Manning Be Peyton Manning in Denver?
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Despite his age, Peyton Manning should still have enough gas in the tank to be one of the league’s top QBs. However, will the neck injury and surgery that caused him to miss last season prevent him from playing like the Hall of Fame QB we saw in Indy? We won’t really know onto he gets out onto the field. But one thing’s for sure. He’s created a lot of excitement in Denver. We’re talking from management to the players to the fans. Even if he’s not 100% his presence and leadership could made the Broncos a tough opponent.
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