NFL News: Recapping the Latest Buzz Around the League
We will see plenty of debuts made on Sunday, most notably Peyton Manning with the Denver Broncos and Mario Williams playing his first game with the Buffalo Bills. Tim Tebow is also expected to make his debut with the New York Jets on Sunday.
With less than 12 hours until the start of kickoff, here are the most notable storylines around the NFL.
Matt Miselis is an NFL Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com. Follow him on twitter.
After a year absence from the NFL, Randy Moss will make his first start in a San Francisco 49ers uniform against the Green Bay Packers.
This was first reported by ESPN's Josina Anderson on Sunday NFL Countdown.
Moss was among the multiple upgrades that the 49ers made on the offensive side, which includes the additions of Mario Manningham, Brandon Jacobs, and AJ Jenkins.
The 49ers are likely to test the Packers secondary early, which is why Moss will find his opportunities early in this game.
There is no question that the game of the week features the two best NFC teams from the 2011 regular season, and ended their season on a disappointing note.
The San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers bolstered their roster in order to compete at a championship level in 2012.
While the 49ers focused on adding talent around Alex Smith, the Packers were committed to improving its lackluster defense.
We will see many of these additions play a crucial role in Sunday's epic showdown. Who will come out on top?
Prediction: Packers 28 49ers 20
Aaron Rodgers will find success at home against a 49ers defense that showed signs of vulnerability in the preseason.
After an off season that was highlighted by the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, three of the players targeted by commissioner Roger Goodell had their suspensions appealed and ultimately won their case.
How does it impact the Saints moving forward? Defensive end Will Smith has already been activated and will play against the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
How much of an impact will Smith have today? It remains to be seen. However, he has proven to be one of the more dynamic pass rushers in the NFL and significantly improves the Saints chances of creating havoc for Robert Griffin III.
Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III have received the majority of the attention among the rookie quarterbacks who make their debuts this weekend.
However, Robert Wilson could find the most success early on as a member of the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson will begin his NFL career in a crucial divisional match up against the Arizona Cardinals, a team who also experienced quarterback drama this off season.
Wilson was nothing short of impressive in preseason, and clearly convinced Pete Carrol to give the former Wisconsin quarterback the nod to begin the year.
Maurice Jones-Drew is officially a part of the active roster for the Jacksonville Jaguars, although his playing time will be limited in the season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.
Rashard Jennings is set to receive the bulk of the carries for the Jaguars, but Jones-Drew is expected to receive snaps on third downs.
How will Jones-Drew look to begin the 2012 season? Chris Johnson was not the same quality running back after returning from a lockout, and it will be intriguing to see if Jones-Drew shows any effects of fatigue in short yardage situations.
Adrian Peterson has vowed to return for the first game of the 2012 season after tearing his ACL in late December. After undergoing surgery and months of rehab, Peterson finally began taking contact in practice this week, which is an indication that he could see some action.
CBSSports' NFL Insider Jason LaCanfora reported on Twitter that Peterson is expected to see around 10-15 carries a game.
The question that remains to be answered is if the Vikings are potentially making a major mistake in playing Peterson this weekend. Is it worth using Peterson in a very small role to open up the season? The best decision may be to sit him out and allow him to get another full week of practice before the he begins seeing live game action.
Peterson is the biggest asset the franchise has and cannot afford a major setback with his recovery to begin the year.