2012 NFL season
NFL players may have had an offseason in 2012 but fans and the media never stopped talking about pro football. From the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal to Peyton Manning leaving the Indianapolis Colts, 2012 was an NFL offseason like no other. The drama will only intensify once the 2012 NFL regular season kicks off.
Take a closer look at the top 5 NFL storylines going into the 2012 season.
5. Tim Tebow's role with the New York Jets
Tim Tebow is my favorite NFL player who doesn't have an affiliation with the New Orleans Saints. Now that he is with the Jets, Tebow fans are wondering what his role will be this season. Early indications are that Tebow will play special teams in the 2012 NFL season. The real question is whether or not Tebow will play quarterback in 2012.
4. Can the San Francisco 49ers repeat success?
As a Saints fan, I saw firsthand how great the 49ers were last year. The odd thing about the 49ers though is that their recipe for NFL success includes defense and running the ball. This is not how most teams will win games in the 2012 season. Will the 49ers dominate the NFL once again in 2012 or will this season prove that 2011 was just a fluke?
3. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III
I haven't seen two NFL rookie quarterbacks get this much attention since Eli Manning and Philip Rivers in 2004. The Colts and Washington Redskins have named Luck and Griffin, respectively, the starters for the 2012 season. Their growing pains should be tough in 2012 although Cam Newton proved a rookie quarterback can play well.
2. Peyton Manning's comeback
After defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs, I thought Tebow would be the Denver Broncos starting quarterback for the next 10 seasons. But when Peyton Manning became available in 2012, John Elway wasted little time in signing the ex-Colt. NFL fans can't wait to see how Manning has recovered from his injured neck.
1. Will suspensions hurt New Orleans Saints?
Going into the 2012 NFL season, the Saints are coping with five suspensions. Although a TRO may allow Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith to play this year, New Orleans is sure to be without Joe Vitt, Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton for all or part of this season. If the Saints overcome these odds and win Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans, it would be the most incredible story in NFL history.
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of the New Orleans Saints. Patrick's favorite Saints season was 2009 when New Orleans won Super Bowl 44. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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