Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman
becomes a punter for emergency purposes. (Bill Kostroun/AP)
When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell talked incessantly about safety this offseason, we're pretty sure he didn't have this in mind. Within the first few minutes Sunday, three NFL teams had given up safeties of the two-point variety.
The Tennessee Titans got the ball rolling on their first play of the season. Running back Darius Reynaud picked up the Pittsburgh Steelers' opening kickoff right at the goal line, thinking that he could move back into the end zone and get a touchback. But since he touched the ball before it crossed the plane of the goal line, Reynaud put his team 2-0 in the hole.
Then, with 8:38 left in the first quarter of the New York Jets-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman got a bad snap and kicked the ball out of the end zone. That put the Jets up, 2-0, which was interesting for a team whose starting quarterback didn't seem to know where the back of the end zone was in the preseason.
Then, Kansas City Chiefs
punter Dustin Colquitt
had a punt blocked from his own 25-yard line. The punt rolled out of the back of the end zone in Jacksonville's EverBank Field, and we had our third safety of the day in very short order. There were just 13 in the entire 2012 NFL season.