1. Week 1: Welcome to the RGIII Era

  2. In Washington, D.C., Redskins fans welcomed their newest quarterback, Robert Griffin III. In his first-ever NFL game, the highly-touted rookie threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns while not turning over the ball. His 73.1% completion rate was a big part of his 139.9 QB rating. In the first half alone, RGIII's first-half passer rating was a perfect 158.3. That has never happened to a QB in his first-ever half.   
  3. NFL Week 1 Scores: RG3 Outclasses Record-Setting Five Rookies Starting in Week 1
  4. In all, five quarterbacks debuted in the first week.
  5. Week 2: Four wild endings

  6. The second week of the season provided some wild endings. First, the Indianapolis Colts won the game with eight seconds left, as Adam Vinatieri kicked a 53-yard field goal to give Andrew Luck his first NFL win, a 23-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
  7. Adam Vinatieri Hits Winning Field Goal Vikings vs Colts 9-16-2012
  8. The New England Patriots also had a last-second, game-winning field goal attempt. But this time, Stephen Gostkowski's 42-yard attempt sailed wide, and the Arizona Cardinals stunned the home team 20-18.
  9. Cardinals vs. Patriots 2012: Stunning Finish as Kolb Leads Cardinals, Gostkowski Misses Wide Left
  10. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, quarterback Michael Vick ran for a 1-yard touchdown with 1:55 left in the game, as the Eagles downed the Baltimore Ravens 24-23.
  11. Ravens vs. Eagles 2012: Michael Vick Leads Philadelphia Past Baltimore, 24-23, in Physical Slugfest
  12. In New Jersey, it was the wildest 15 minutes you'll see this season. Trailing Tampa Bay 27-19 at the end of the third, the New York Giants kicked a field goal, then scored a touchdown to tie the game with a tick under seven minutes left. The Giants would take the lead, but the Buccaneers scored to tie the game at 34 with two minutes left. With only 90 seconds left on the clock, Giants quarterback Eli Manning hit Hakeem Nicks for an 88-yard strike, followed up by a two-yard touchdown run to give the Giants the win. 
  13. Buccaneers vs. Giants 2012: Eli Manning Overcomes Shaky 1st Half, Throws 510 Yards in Wild 41-34 Win
  14. Week 3: The replacement refs and the straw that broke the camel's back

  15. During the first two weeks of the season, a minor story line was the replacement referees, hired by the NFL after they locked out the regular refs. There was worry during the first few weeks, as the officials' professionalism was questioned, they blew a number of calls, and did got in the way. But until that Sunday night, they didn't completely change the outcome of a game. In the Sunday night game, the referees ruled that a Ravens game-ending field goal was good, giving Baltimore the win over New England. Earlier in the game, they penalized Baltimore coach John Harbaugh for trying to call a time out.
  16. Patriots vs. Ravens End of Game Field Goal
  17. One night later, an even worse call was made. Russell Wilson, the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, attempted a Hail Mary pass with time expiring. Seattle receiver Golden Tate went up for the ball. So did Green Bay's M.D. Jennings. Jennings came down with it. But it didn't look that way to the referees. Well, one referee, who said it was a touchdown. The other said it was a pick. The call was ruled a touchdown, and the Seahawks came away with the win. 
  18. Golden Tate Kinda Catches Game Winning Touchdown Packers Vs Seahawks 9/24/2012
  19. How bad was it? Republicans and Democrats came together, and agreed: The replacement refs had to go.
  20. The referees returned that week to a standing ovation.
  21. NFL Refs Make Triumphant Return to STANDING OVATION
  22. Week 4: Saints fall to 0-4

  23. The New Orleans Saints, favored to win the division and make a deep postseason run, found themselves in an 0-3 hole to start the season. The Saints were coming off "Bountygate," which led to harsh penalties after they were found to have paid players for hurting opponents.  The Saints kept it close against the Green Bay Packers, but despite Drew Brees' 446-yard, three-touchdown performance, New Orleans fell to Green Bay 28-27.