The 2012 NFL season, the 93rd regular season of the National Football League, is set to begin Wednesday, September 5, 2012, and will end with Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, February 3, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Watch NFL games online.
NFL games live stream. By June 2012, the league and the NFL Referees Association had not yet come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, thus failing to resolve a labor dispute. Accordingly, the NFL has locked out the regular NFL game officials, and thus opened the 2012 preseason with replacement referees.
Watch NFL games online. The replacements consist low-level college and high school officials. None will be Division I college referees since the league wants to protect them from union backlash and to let them continue working their scheduled games during the concurrent college football season.
NFL games 2012 live stream. After being locked out, the NFL Referees Association accused the league of planning to lock them out all along rather than negotiate a new contract.
There will be a quarterback controversy in New York. That’s what you sign up for when you bring in Tim Tebow. Tebow himself is not a distraction, but his image and legions of worshipers are. And so are his naysayers. The initial plan seems to be for Tebow to replace Mark Sanchez in the red zone. For the worshipers, that’s not enough. For the naysayers, that’s too much.
Red zone offense has not been the Jets’ problem, though. Getting to the red zone has. That’s why Sanchez’s job security may be in question all season. In truth, no matter what the Jets do at quarterback, they’re going to have issues there: From a passing standpoint, Sanchez is iffy and Tebow is poor.
It’s natural to assume that the Jets will install a Wildcat-heavy offense like the one Tony Sparano ran in Miami. That’s why they traded a fourth-round pick to get Tebow, right? But there’s much more to Sparano’s offense than direct snaps to a running back. Sparano’s passing game, though not particularly complex, will be more demanding than what his predecessor Brian Schottenheimer ran.
The Jets’ success at doing this is the primary reason their opponents completed just 54.2 percent of their passes last season (fourth-lowest percentage in the N.F.L.). In the name of playing fast, Ryan loves to rush the passer with sheer speed, which is why safeties are often involved in the blitzes and exchanges. The hope is that the traditional pass rushers Coples and the ex-Bill Aaron Maybin (a first-round bust who seems to have found a niche as a space-oriented attacker in this scheme) can infuse more natural speed into the system. But expect to see the defensive backs bringing plenty of heat.
One defensive back who is perfect for this system is LaRon Landry. The former Redskin is not always mentally sharp as a pass defender, but he’s an explosive downhill attacker from second and third levels. Hopefully the Jets can feature Landry in plenty of blitzes, though doing so might be tough given that the other new safety, the ex-Dolphin Yeremiah Bell, is a sturdy in-the-box player but not a rangy center fielder. The Jets may decide that they need Landry’s speed back deep.
Of course, when you have Darrelle Revis at cornerback, whoever is at safety only has to worry about half the field. Revis is the league’s only true shutdown corner. There’s not a more valuable defender in the game. Opposite him, Antonio Cromartie always brings big-play potential, but it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. Cromartie’s sloppy mechanics leave him prone to mistakes against good opponents. The Jets begrudgingly live with this because the seventh-year pro compensates with such rare athleticism.