The 2011 NFL season consisted of three quarterbacks passing for more than 5,000 yards, huge tight ends creating more match-up problems than ever, and too many roughing the passer penalties called.
Rules changes have played a fairly significant part in changing the pro football landscape.
However, don't expect those adjustments to be the reason for minimal change in the spirit of the league's game play in 2012.
Defense winning championships seems to be a thing of the past. Having a solid running game will only get you so far in today's NFL, too.
It seems the formula for success today is less physicality, an efficient passing attack, and a bend-but-don't break defense. See: the 2011 New England Patriots.
Fans will argue that all the nitpick calls, pass-happy offenses, and scolding of "illegal hits" ruins the integrity of the game.