With the Baltimore Ravens winning Super Bowl XLVII over the San Francisco 49ers 34-31, the NFL season has offiically come to an end, and Ravens Joe Flacco and Ray Lewis finally got their rings. With it, the 2012-13 season of the NFL brought in some interesting twists and turns as the free-agency system has finally matured and transformed the NFL into a season of instability and chaos. The inclusion of the 2011 rookies also helped as they have created a NFL, a mixture of the old guard and the new.
- A is for Andy Dalton. Cincinnati Bengals Andy Dalton may have the Donovan McNabb curse. For the second time in the playoffs, he once again fell flat with the Houston Texans.
- Y is for Young Guns. Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck, Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III, Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson and San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick all changed their teams for the better. At least for this season. They all have potential to become elite quarterbacks in their own right in the future.
- A is for Adrian Peterson. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has always been a a workhorse for the team like the St. Louis Rams Steven Jackson. But this season he proved himself more than ever.
- P is for Peyton Manning. Even though he’s not with the Indianapolis Colts anymore, he is still an elite quarterback who makes something out of nothing. While he’s with the Denver Broncos, he’s going to keep the team competitive, if not better. He’s already taken advantage of Demaryius Thomas, Denver’s equivalent to Reggie Wayne.
- R is for Rex Ryan. For the most part this season, he stayed out of the news this year. Surprisingly. No more supposed Super Bowl parades, and the quarterback controversy between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow was kept to a minimum. However, there was some questionable choices during the mid-season involving his roster of injured quarterbacks.
- R is for Read-Option. With the Wildcat formation going the way of the Tim Tebow comes the resurrection of the read-option in the NFL. This is not a long-term gimmick for the NFL as the Super Bowl showed, but it has served well this season.
- E is for Elite. The New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers earned their spots in the playoffs. Again. With both Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay and Tom Brady of New England, both quarterbacks are performing at a high standard.
- S is for Second Tier. The Atlanta Falcons, the Baltimore Ravens, the Houston Texans, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Seattle Seahawks all earned their spots in the playoffs this season as well. These teams don’t have elite quarterbacks, but they are excellent as a team. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco did rise above when it counted against New England Patriots Tom Brady….
- D is for Defense. Like in previous seasons, stout defenses win games when the games remain tight. The Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers have proven that.
- F is for Fundamental. Those teams who planned ahead finally got their due — the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks.
- A is for Andrew Luck. Well, the Indianapolis Colts got their Andrew Luck, a quarterback that is decisively better in the long-term than Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III in my opinion. However, he buckled under the Baltimore Ravens defense and rookie jitters.
- R is for Robert Griffin III. Robert Griffin III has proven himself to be Washington Redskins’ franchise quarterback. But with him participating in the Wild Card game against the Seattle Seahawks with an injured knee was a bad idea transformed into a worse idea.
- C is for Coaches. This was a dismal season to be an NFL coach. The firings of coaches from some teams, like the Cleveland Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs, was expected. These teams don’t have a record of keeping coaches — and keeping their teams in competitive shape.
- H is for Harbaugh. The Harbaugh brothers are remarkably intelligent, and neither of them particularly cater the media.
- J is for Joe Flacco. Despite winning the Super Bowl, in my opinion, he is still a second-tier quarterback. He is lucky to have a stiff defense helping him when he needs it most.
This season was indeed intriguing as the elite fell to some of the second-tier teams. Now onto next season…
- Niners have better chance than Ravens to be back (miamiherald.com)
- Flacco caps postseason run with MVP honors (espn.go.com)
- Ravens are Super Bowl winners, cementing place in history (baltimorebeatdown.com)
- Niners Have Better Chance Than Ravens to Be Back (abcnews.go.com)