Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 8:38 AM
No doubt it will be music to everyone's ears this evening when you hear the thud of that opening kickoff in the Hall of Fame Game between the New Orleans Saints and the Arizona Cardinals -remember there was no Hall of Fame Game last year following the lockout and so no wonder so many folks on TV, in the newspapers and right here on the internet have been bubbling over just waitin' for the start of this pigskin season.
We'll have plenty to say about the NFL's preseason opener in tomorrow's Jim Sez editions plus we'll have preseason 2012 News & Notes all summer long right here, so don't miss out!
In this edition we'll tackle some NFL-related subjects under the "Fact-or-Fiction" heading, so let's get rolling as we talk all things NY Giants, Andrew Luck vs. Robert Griffin III, Tim Tebow (what else!) and playoff repeaters ...
FACT OR FICTION ...
The defending Super Bowl New York Giants should be the favorites to win it all this year:
Now that's pure FICTION!
True, the Giants got hot at the right time last year -heck, even QB Eli Manning said as much this past week when quizzed by media members -and were hardly the best team in the NFL last year before reeling off playoff wins against Atlanta, Green Bay and San Francisco and than wrapping up a glorious post-season with a Super Bowl triumph over favored New England.
If you check out this year's Super Bowl Odds to Win it All, you'll notice the Jints have eight teams ahead of them with shorter odds (including NFC East rival Philadelphia which is posted as a 9-to-1 dog this year as opposed to the Giants 15-to-1 odds ranking).
You could make the case for the Giants being a bit undervalued while having a quarter of the league's teams sporting those shorter Super Bowl odds but you and yours truly could reel off five or six names -easy -of teams that should be shorter-odds favorites starting right with those Super Bowl losers from New England.
FACT OR FICTION
Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck will have a better overall rookie campaign than Heisman Trophy winner QB Robert Griffin III (Washington):
Now that's a FACT.
Yes, everyone knows that the numero uno selection in this past year's draft will be operating with a seemingly brand-new roster with the Colts while Griffin III has a slew of positives on his side including a two-time winning head coach Mike Shanahan calling the shots in the nation's capital, but no matter!
Luck is the more polished pocket passer plus he will show NFL defenses that he's deadly accurate on those always-popular "slants" and "outs" that produce 8, 9 and 10-yard gains. Maybe Griffin will have "his moments" for this year's Redskins -and don't dismiss him as one of the league's top handful of impact players -but when the dust finally settles on the 2012 season it will be Luck that has the bigger "wow factor" even if the Colts wind up meeting expectations with only 5 or 6 wins.
FACT OR FICTION
New York Jets' backup QB Tim Tebow will be a key ingredient for this AFC East squad.
We say FACT based on what we now are -finally -hearing coming out of Jets camp and that is the now 250-pound Tebow will be a major presence in goal-line and short-yardage situations.
Heck, when everyone was falling all over themselves to criticize the Jets' trade for Tebow a couple of months back, we here at Jim Sez believed that the J-E-T-S did have a plan in place and that was for him to "move the pile" in such above-named situations and to make some "jump passes" out of the various formations as well.
Consider the fact the Jets -despite their hard/tough reputation -are not an overly physical offensive unit and so Tebow cranking out the key short-yardage plays will be essential to this team's success and you better believe he'll play a big part in many games this year and you can bank on the fact there will be some plays reviewed by replay to see if Tebow "got it" or "didn't get in" the end zone on sneaks right down by the enemy goal line.
FACT OR FICTION
Most of last year's 12 playoff teams will be back in this year's post-season:
Okay, so you're checking out all the summertime NFL publications and most folks are playing it safe with their divisional champs and wild card teams but sure as the sun rises each morning about half of the teams that made it to the playoff party last year won't get there this time around.
Keep in mind that the following list shows which 2010 playoff teams didn't quite make the post-season cut in 2011:
The Chicago Bears, the Indianapolis Colts, the Kansas City Chiefs, the New York Jets, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Seattle Seahawks all failed to make last year's post-season roster and so that's six of the 12 teams or exactly 50 percent of 'em that didn't get into last year's post-season wars.
Gut feeling it will be much of the same here: Half of last year's playoff teams will make it back; the other half won't. Just don't pin us down for the specific teams right this very minute, okay?
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are gearing up for a big-time NFL Preseason run all summer long and we'll get you started with the Side & Totals Winners of this Sunday's Hall of Fame Game in Canton between the Saints versus the Cardinals. Folks, it promises to be a very lucrative summer time of pigskin fun for Jim and his clients and so don't miss out on all the profits beginning this weekend.
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