The 2011-2012 NFL Regular Season kicks off Thursday September 8 with the Saints visiting the Packers. Let’s take a look at a few of the top stories around the league leading up to week #1.
2011 NFL Rule Changes
Kickoffs will be moved from the 30 yard line up to the 35 yard line. Expect to see a ton of touchbacks. While this rule change is expected to reduce the excitement it is also expected to reduce injuries as well.
All replay reviews of scoring plays during the entire game can now be initiated by the official in the replay booth.
The NFL is adding game day testing for performance enhancing substances.
Peyton Manning missed the pre-season with a neck injury and is doubtful for week #1 when the Colts visit the Texans. Kerry Collins will get the start at QB for the Colts if Peyton can’t go (and it looks like he won’t). Currently the Texans are a -9 point favorite over the Colts at 5 Dimes Online Sportsbook.
31 year old Bengal’s QB Carson Palmer has decided to retire. He wanted to be released or traded from the Bengal’s but neither happened so he opted to retire. Rookie QB Andy Dalton (2nd round draft pick) will get the start at QB for the Bengals. Dalton did not look good in the pre-season. It is only the pre-season but it looks like it is going to be a long year for the Bengals.
Matt Hasselback is now the QB for the Tennessee Titans. Seattle acquired former Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson and he will get the nod in week #1 over Charlie Whitehurst. Did they actually watch Tarvaris play in Minnesota? Even the weak NFC West division won’t be enough to help the Seahawks this season.
Kolb in the Desert
Former Eagles QB Kevin Colb will be the starting QB in Arizona this season. With the re-signing of Larry Fitzgerald (1 year deal) and the acquisition of TE Todd Heap look for Kolb to continue his success for the Cardinals.
Dolphins Acquire Reggie Bush
The Miami Dolphins acquired Reggie Bush from the Saints in the offseason. However, the Dolphins will be without RB’s Ronnie Brown (Eagles) and Ricky Williams (Ravens).
Redskins End The Suspense
Redskins coach Shannahan ended the suspense with the announcement of his week #1 starting QB – Rex Grossman. Grossman beat out John Beck for the starting job. Does it really matter who starts for the Skins?
McNabb On The Move Again
After a dreadful season in Washington last year QB Donovan McNabb will give it another go this season for the Vikings. McNabb says he feels more comfortable in the Vikings system. It should be interesting to see if McNabb has anything left or not.
Jaguars Release QB David Garrard
The Jacksonville Jaguars have released QB David Garrard and named Luc McKown their week #1 starting QB. Oh boy! At least the Jag’s have a solid defence. Or not.
#1 Overall Pick Auburn QB Cam Newton in Tough
Carolina Panthers rookie QB Cam Newton will be in tough this season because he plays for the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are coming off a woeful 2-14 season and will be in tough again this year. Don’t expect any miracles from Cam Newton this season.