Falling short in 2012

Mailbag: 49ers' QB situation, mandatory mouthguards and more

Originally Published: December 4, 2012
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Before the season begins, figuring out surprise teams can be fun.

You start with teams that have easier schedules. Then you see if there are upgrades or improvements at the most important position -- quarterback. John Elway gambled on greatness and signed Peyton Manning, who helped the Denver Broncos clinch the AFC West on Sunday. Rookie quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III have made enough of an impact to make their franchises playoff contenders.

But ...

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