SPORTS: NFL 2012 Year in Review filled with highs, lows

JESSY SANDHU
VANCOUVER DESI

Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings (left) returned from injury in 2012 and is a favourite for league MVP. Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Every year the NFL provides us with 21 weeks of escape.  With all that life brings our way, we can always count on 21 Sundays within the year to entertain us.

2012 has been a very memorable year for a number of different reasons.

The biggest story early in the year, as always, was the Super Bowl.  For the Patriots , the 2012 Super Bowl was supposed to be revenge for its 2008 loss.  Instead, Eli Manning’s fourth-quarter heroics gave the Giants their fourth championship and Manning’s second.

Mario Manningham’s fourth-quarter catch goes down as not only one of the best plays of 2012, but also one of the best plays in Super Bowl history.  The loss for New England also reconfirmed that the Patriots still have not won a Super Bowl since Spygate.

Lucky for Patriots fans, the Giants’ chance of making the playoffs are as slim as Tim Tebow completing a pass.

2012 will also be remembered for the draft.  This year’s draft will be responsible for some of the best highlights for the next decade and more importantly league records and maybe some championships.

Andrew Luck and RG3 entered their rookie year with tremendous expectations and did not disappoint.  Luck has taken a 3-13 team to the playoffs and RG3 has led his team to six straight victories and maybe the playoffs.

Unfortunately for the San Fransisico 49ers, the draft also brought Russell Wilson to the Seattle Seahawks.  Wilson has steadily improved throughout the weeks and Wilson and the Seahawks will be contenders for many years to come.

2012 also saw the Commissioner’s office busier than ever.  Along with player suspensions and fines, the Commissioner had to deal with the New Orleans Saints and the Bounty Scandal.

Perhaps the Bounty Scandal was a blessing in disguise for Commissioner Goodell as it may have prepared him for the headaches that would be brought on by the replacement refs.

With each passing week, the replacement referees were disrespected more and more by the players and crucified more and more in the media.

Unfortunately for the NFL, the call that broke the camel’s back came within a game that will end up having huge playoff implications.  Too bad for Goodell that the brutal call in Seattle didn’t happen in a game between the Browns and the Titans.

Instead, the fate of some teams has been altered because the league was unable to get a deal done prior to the season.  I’m pretty sure that Goodell is hoping that this year’s Super Bowl winner doesn’t have to have an asterisk beside its name because of the call in Seattle.  With the way the year has been going, it is quite possible.

The fate of some superstars was also altered this year.  Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson returned from serious injuries and have surprised everybody but themselves.

Coming into the season, Manning and Peterson said all of the right things, but yet there were doubts in the minds of many.

For Peterson, tearing his ACL and MCL may have been a blessing in disguise.  His work ethic was never questioned, but one has to wonder if his training and motivation would have been at the level that it was in the offseason if he wasn’t out there trying to prove that he was fully recovered and would continue to dominate.

He’s topped 200 yards in the past, but it’s highly unlikely that the Green Bay Packers will allow Peterson to break the record against them.  He won’t break Eric Dickerson’s record, but 2012 will go down as one of the best seasons by a running back in NFL history.

Not only did Manning prove that he is fully recovered, he also proved that he is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.  It’s safe to say that it doesn’t matter where Manning plays, he is going to dominate.  He has led his team to a first-round bye and will definitely get a few votes for MVP.

To be solidified as the greatest of all time, however, Manning will need to win at least one ring for John Elway and the Denver Broncos faithful.

This was also another year that had sports radio discussing a player that had no reason to be mentioned.

For those of you sick and tired of hearing about Tim Tebow, there’s only one more season of Tebow mania left.

Tebow’s arrival in New York was Tebow’s only highlight this season.  The season was a disaster for both him and the Jets.

The only positive for Tebow was that he didn’t step on to the field and was unable to add to his stats of incompleted passes and therefore some managers around the league believe that he can still play in the NFL.

After suiting up for a new team next year and proving what most already know, Tebow should be making his way to the CFL by the end of 2013.

For the majority of the season, players, coaches and management are matched up against each other and are divided as they all fight for victories.  But sometimes events take place that bring everyone together and unfortunately the end of 2012 had two events that brought the NFL together.

The tragic ending to the lives of Jovan Belcher, Kasandra Perkins and Jerry Brown brought the Chiefs and Cowboys to their knees, but did bring the league together.

Let’s all pray for a 2013 that brings peace to the Belcher, Perkins, and Brown families.

Happy New Years to all.

Jessy Sandhu is the founder of www.fantasymoves.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @FantasyMoves

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