Tag Archives: 2012 Preview

2012 Preview: New York Giants

The 2012 New York Giants come into this season as Superbowl Champs!  We are all eager to watch them in the home opener against division foe, the Dallas Cowboys.   The Giants organization and their fans should feel really good going into this season.  The main reason they should feel good, is because the Giants aren’t favored to win ANYTHING.  They aren’t favored to repeat as Super Bowl champs.   They are not favored to win their division, and some think they won’t even make the playoffs.   But that suits most fans just fine, because in the Giants two recent Super Bowl wins, they weren’t favored to do any of those things.  A lot of the credit has to go to Coach Tom Coughlin and General Manager Jerry Reese, who have done a great job putting this team together.  They developed an elite QB, an awesome defensive pass rush, and Pro Bowl caliber receivers.   If they do plan on returning to the Super Bowl, it will be difficult since they have one of the most challenging schedules in the league. Also, the Giants acquired TE Martellus Bennett, who blew up to about 300 pounds (according to “reports”).  Good one Jerry!  Here is more on the 2012 New York Giants. Continue reading

2012 Preview: Philadelphia Eagles (Guest Post)

Our Guest Contributor, Langley McGhee, hails from the DMV area (DC, MD & VA).  Fairly new to the sports journalism “arena”, he has been an avid follower of all major sports for most of his life.  As the “go-to guy” on all things sports amongst friends, family and co-workers, he enjoys the ability to connect to fans, near and far, through writing. When not talking or writing about sports, he’s a tech-geek (Systems Administrator) that loves spending time with his son.

Excitement and hope seem to surround the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles. Many NFL analysts, and even Las Vegas oddsmakers, have ranked them among the top five-to-ten teams that may reach the Super Bowl this season.  Andy Reid and company began this offseason by getting back to the basics that once defined Reid’s Eagles tenure. They began with in-house signings to lock up the core of the Eagles players for many seasons to come. A bit of bad news for the Eagles this offseason was the unfortunate injury of one of the best OTs from 2011, LT Jason Peters. He will be replaced by OT Demetress Bell, a solid OL that replaced Peters when he departed the Buffalo Bills for the Eagles. They also strengthened the defense’s coaching staff with the hire of, well-known and respected, Todd Bowles as secondary coach. Then the Eagles went out and, by all accounts, had an outstanding 2012 draft which may produce three news starters to this defense that began to find their groove late last season.  Some impressive front-office moves include promoting player-friendly Howie Roseman to GM over hard-nosed Joe Banner.  While this move may not show dividends immediately, it bodes very well for the future of this franchise. With all this excitement surrounding the 2012 Eagles, what is an Eagles fan to do?   Let the 2011 season guide you to stay humble; because offseason buzz does not always translate to hoisting that ever-elusive Lombardi Trophy at season’s end.  Here is more on the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles. Continue reading

2012 Preview: Dallas Cowboys

Year after year, I and other Dallas Cowboys fans go into the NFL season asking the same questions:  Will this be OUR year?  Will we make it to the playoffs?  Will Tony Romo jump over his many hurdles?  Will the Cowboys break my heart once again?  For America’s Team, 2012 is no different.  As usual, we are loaded with talent.  I say WE, because I’ve been a part of this team since I was 8 years old.  I’m more than a fan, and there are many like me.  We pour ourselves into this team every season, and we are waiting for some kind of payoff.  The 2012 Dallas Cowboys had a very good offseason.  We drafted very well, and we picked up some much-needed help on defense.  Since there is no lockout, we are well rested and banged up players we lost are rehabilitated.  Costly injuries last year made a huge impact on last season.  In a year where other teams are dealing with contract disputes and troubles with the law, it’s been relatively quiet for the Cowboys. I’m not a big fan of Jerry Jones as a GM, or of his incessant need to be the face of my Cowboys.  However, he has done a good job this off season adding the right pieces, and letting go of underused players.  The NFC East will be difficult, but I’m confident that the Cowboys will be in the mix.  Here is more on the 2012 Dallas Cowboys.

Fantasy Football Studs:  Tony Romo is a Fantasy Football stud!  That’s right, I said it.  I’m not going to bore you with his stats, but he is top 10 in yards and touchdowns.  People should not let their hatred of Romo or the Cowboys sway them from drafting him (or any other Cowboy for that matter).  Another is TE Jason Witten.  He has consistently been one of the best TEs in the league–definitely the best in this division. WRs Dez Bryant and Miles Austin are capable of putting up great numbers for a fantasy team.  The running game will be effective behind the running tandem of DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones, who have home run hitter ability.  Like I said we are stacked with talent!  Lastly, the Cowboys defense is a much improved unit that will shut down offenses and score points. Continue reading

Sunday in the Skybox: NFC East

The National Football Conference-Eastern Division (NFC East) will wrap up our Sunday in the Skybox team by team 2012 Preview.  This division (composed of the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Redskins) is the division WE love the most!  For our newer readers, I am a Redskins fan and D is a Cowboys fan.  While we are often a house divided when it comes to football games on Sunday, we certainly both weren’t jumping up and down about our division foes, the NY Giants winning yet another Superbowl.  Still-we must give credit where credit is due.  The Giants went on an amazing run in 2011.  Congrats to them and their fans.  We highlight the Giants, their special 2011 run, and all they have in store for 2012 as our last team by team 2012 Preview.   As of late, the Giants have been the most successful (Superbowls 2 in 4 years) of the division.  However, overall the team with the most Lombardi Trophies is the Dallas Cowboys (that was tough to type!).

Bad Blood in this Division:  The bad blood in this division is what makes it one of the most exciting in the NFL.  None of the teams like or respect each other.  Fans of the respective teams will not give any love on the talents of players on the other teams.  Redskins fans hate Tony Romo, Cowboys fans hate Michael Vick.  And the rivalries in this division are not a joke!  Especially not to us.  As a Cowboys fan, it seems as if every other team in the entire division claims us as a rival.  Because of tradition, the city in which I live, and my lady–I hate the Washington Redskins.  I consider the Cowboys vs Redskins rivalries the most significant.  However nowadays, fans of other teams and around the league see this rivalry as a dying one.  With the Mike Vick era and the Donovan McNabb era that preceded, the Eagles vs Cowboys rivalries have turned into true battles.  The Giants have crushed the very real playoff hopes of Cowboys fans and Eagles fans plenty of times.  Every year is a nail biter.  Continue reading

2012 Preview: Kansas City Chiefs

The 2012 Kansas City Chiefs are certainly glad that last season is over.  They had high hopes after a playoff appearance the year before.  But injuries to several players early in the season, took the wind out of the Chiefs’ sails.  It cost Todd Haley his head coaching job, but made way for defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel to be the new coach.  Where Haley lost the respect of his players, Crennel became the player’s choice as their new coach. With a new season here, the Chiefs are looking forward to the return of key players to help them compete in a tough division.  They have also added some new additions  to help them.  With questions at quarterback, it remains to be seen whether a defensive minded coach like Crennel can put he right personnel in place or a dynamic offense.  Something that he was unable to do consistently when he was the head coach of the Browns.  Here is more on the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs.

Fantasy Football Studs:   The defensive unit will be very effective, especially with presence of LB Tamba Hali and new draftee nose tackle Dontari Poe.  The secondary is also very strong and are counting on the return of safety Eric Berry, who was lost to injury last year.  Another stud is WR Dwayne Bowe, who has been the most prolific receiver in Chiefs history.  The Chiefs are also hoping that running backs Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis develop that one-two punch that most teams are running.  Both RBs are coming off injury plagued seasons, with Charles getting knocked out for the season in Week 2 last year.

Area of Strength:  The Kansas City defense is the area of strength for the Chiefs.  Led by Tamba Hali and the tutelage of coach Crennel, the Chiefs hope to return to the playoffs.   Hali led the team with 12 sacks.  The Chiefs drafted Dontari Poe in hopes that he will help the team stop the run, which they struggled with last year.  Returning from injury is Pro Bowler Eric Berry, who is the leader of the secondary, which includes corners Brandon Flowers, free agent Stanford Routt, and fellow safety, Kendrick Lewis.  This unit will be the catalyst for this team.

Area of Weakness:  Quarterback Matt Cassel hasn’t played a full season since the Chiefs got him in a trade 4 seasons ago.  Last year, he only managed just 9 games and about 1700 passing yards.  Don’t get me wrong, when Cassel is healthy and has time, he can pick you apart and find the open receiver.  He’s got a good running game with good receivers.  But Cassel has yet to put together  the magic season when he took over for an injured Tom Brady in New England.  However, Cassel does have security in knowing that he has at least a full season to show that this is his team.  His backup is Brady Quinn, and no offense to Quinn, but Cassel’s job is secure for this season.  No sure that will help the Chiefs.  A healthy, upright Matt Cassel is what Kansas City needs to have a good season.

2012 Marquee Matchups:  Its going to be a difficult year with the schedule the Chiefs have this season.  Right out the gate, they have Atlanta in Week 1, Buffalo, Week 2, New Orleans, Week 3, and Baltimore, Week 5.  In Weeks 10 and 11, the Chiefs take on Pittsburg and Cincinnati back to back.

All Things Kansas City Chiefs:  There are several ways to keep up with 2012 Kansas City Chiefs.  Here are a few.

Blogs:  Arrowhead Pride http://www.arrowheadpride.com/ ; Arrowhead Addict http://arrowheadaddict.com/ ; Chiefs Command http://chiefscommand.com/nfl/top-nfl-rivalries-2012

Apps: Chiefs Mobile for iPhone (by Locker Partner) and  Arrowhead Addict for iPhone (by Notice Software)

Fan Clubs:   The official fan club for the Kansas City Chiefs can be found on www.chiefs.com under fan zone. 

2012 Preview: San Diego Chargers

The 2012 San Diego Chargers will start the season like normal: with Norv Turner on the hot seat.  It’s amazing that Norv still has a job after being at the helm of a team that has so much talent and nothing to show for it.  You have to admit that Turner has been very effective with offenses over the years, but he just can’t get the Chargers to cross the bridge to the Super Bowl.  And last season was sub par to say the least.  They struggled in just about every game.  There All Pro caliber quarterback was the biggest culprit in the struggle, since he developed a nasty habit of throwing interceptions.  Going into this year, they are down a couple of vital weapons to their past successes.  Vincent Jackson, who finally got his way by kicking and screaming his way into free agency, signed with Tampa Bay.  Jackson was a 1000 yard receiver who was a big target.  The Chargers also lost Mike Tolbert to the Panthers.  Tolbert was a goal line beast who was good for double-digit TDs.  They were still able to keep some important pieces, and they were also able to procure the services of other important players through free agency.  The Chargers will have a tall order to compete in the division.  Norv Turner will be in his normal position:  in the hot seat.

Fantasy Football Studs:   Philip Rivers had a bad season last year.  But a bad season for Rivers doesn’t equate to what other QBs might do.  He still had 4624 passing yards and 27 TDs.  Not bad, but not his usual.  Also included in the abnormality was the 20 INTs.  But you still have to consider Rivers a stud.  Another stud is TE Antonio Gates, who has been the forgotten man because of injuries.  Gates, however, is coming back healthy and revitalized.  Receivers Malcom Floyd and newly acquired Robert Meachem will play big roles as well in this revamped passing game.  Lastly, RB Ryan Mathews will play a huge role, especially after his 1000 yard season in 2011.  He will be the primary back, even with the presence of free agent Ronnie Brown.

Area of Strength:  Even with the struggles of Philip Rivers and the Charger offense last season, the passing game will still be the strength of the team.  Rivers will most likely throw for over 4000 yards.  He’s got good receivers that will stretch the field and move the chains.  Antonio Gates will re-emerge as a top tight end, as long as he stays healthy.  Malcom Floyd will be the main man, and Robert Meachem will finally have the kind of season that everyone expected from him when he was drafted by the Saints.  Also, running back Ryan Mathews will also be a big part of the passing game.  This passing game will rebound from last years woes.

 Area of Weakness:  The defense will be the part of the Chargers that will be a definite weakness.  It is an old unit and getting older by the minute.  LBs Takeo Spikes and Shaun Phillips are the leaders along with Quentin Jammer and Atari Bigby in the secondary.  These players were good in their day but they lack fresh legs.  Last season, the Chargers uncharacteristically jumped out to a 4-1 start before the bye.  After the bye, they lost 6 straight games, and their opponents racked up an average of 28 points.  That will not be good this year, especially with the arrival of Peyton Manning in the division.

2012 Marquee Matchups:  The Chargers have a tough schedule this season, highlighted by matchups with the Falcons in Week 3, and the Saints in Week 5.  After their Week 7 bye, they take on some division foes, but they have a tough 4 week stretch in Weeks 12 through 15, taking on the Ravens, Bengals, Steelers, and Panthers.

All Things San Diego Chargers: There are several ways to keep up with the  2012 San Diego Chargers.  Here are a few we like.

Blogs:  Bolts from the Blue http://www.boltsfromtheblue.com/ ; Bolt Hype http://www.bolthype.com/ ; Bolt Beat http://boltbeat.com/

Apps: San Diego Chargers for iPhone (by San Diego Chargers)  

Fan Clubs:   The official fan club for the San Diego Chargers can be found on www.chargers.com under fan zone. 

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