Big Surprises and Huge Disappointments
Surprises so far this season
1. New Orleans Saints
No one really thought that the Saints were going to even be a decent team. But they have shocked everyone thus far. They are leading the very good NFC South and turning alot of heads. I have to admit when they started 2-0, I thought "hey, that's great but it was against the Browns and Packers...nothing speacial". But when they came back to the Superdome and smashed the heavily favored Falcons, I started to think they were for real. Like I said earlier, I don't think they are going to make the playoffs because of their remaining schedule, but I hope they prove me wrong.
2. Drew Brees
Coming off of a season-ending shoulder surgery(even though it happened in the last game of the season) alot of teams didn't think that he would be able to throw at the beginning of the season. That is the reason why the Miami Dolphins took Culpepper over Brees. But not only is he throwing the ball, he's playing at a Pro Bowl level. If he keeps up on his current pace, he will end up with 4,325 passing yards. Yeah, that's alot.
3. Michael Vick throwing???
Yes, it's true. Mike Vick is finally proving everyone wrong and passing more. You know, being a Hokie fan, I have known what he is capable of. He is the most lethal weapon in the NFL, not many players can pass for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000, which is what he is on pace for. He has probably had the the best back-to-back games of his career. First throwing for 4 touchdowns against the Steelers and getting the overtime win, then tossing 3 more scores against my Bengals. So lets recap this....first 5 games, 3 TDs and 3 INTs, last two games, 7 TDs and 2 INTs. He is someone to look at for a possible MVP honors...look out Peyton and Donovan. Because he's coming.
4. Rex Grossman
Coming into this season, Rex Grossman has played in a total of 8 games. Now he has been in the league for 4 years, that's obviously not a good thing. To add more fuel to the fire, he was out played in the Pre-season by Brian Griese. So to put it nicely, alot of Bears fans were calling for Griese to get the start. But Lovie Smith decided to go with Grossman and it's a good thing he did because Grossman has been brilliant all year(except against Arizona). He has the deep ball to Bernard Berrian covered and if he can stay consistant then he could be hoisting up the Lombardi trophy this year.
The Huge Disappointments so far
1. The Pittsburgh Steelers
Defending Superbowl champs, one of the best young quarterbacks in the game, absolute devastating defense, great coach and what does that get you? A 2-5 season. I thought that they would have a slight decline because of the loss of Bettis and Randel El, but damn. The blame can't be put on Ben Roethlisberger, I mean he had an off-season that no one should be put through. First the motorcycle accident that nearly took his life, then the emergency appendectomy, the concussion. I don't think he was quite ready and his stats definetley support that, 6 TDs 11 INTs. But the defense hasn't been that great, I mean sure they are ranked #6 in total yards per game but they are allowing 21 points per game. When you are only getting 22 per game it doesn't leave much for mistakes and that is their main problem. Turnovers are a bitch.
2. Miami Dolphins/Daunte Culpepper
Sports Illustrated's pick to go to the Superbowl this year, signed a Pro Bowl quarterback, hasn't really turned out to well. And if you ask Davey, he'll tell you that's an understatement. Culpepper rushed his recovery after completely blowing out his knee last season. He could throw, sure, but when it comes to being the mobile quarterback that he is, it wasn't there. I mean he can't even escape to the outside without getting sacked or rushing his throw and throwing a pick. So the Dolphins are reduced to using Joey Harrington, the same Joey Harrington that was cut by the Detroit Lions. Ronnie Brown hasn't been that bad this year but he is definitley not where he was expected to be. The offensive line is completely worthless this year. They only have 1 good receiver and they don't throw to Randy McMichael who is very good. Defense is actually playing pretty good, only knock on them is they are getting up there in age and they are giving up 20 points a game.
3. Edgerrin James
He was supposed to lead the Cardinals this season to maybe a playoff birth, get 1,300 yards rushing and make it to another Pro Bowl. Nope, instead he has has a rushing average of 2.8 and only 3 TDs. He did break one record this year that is pretty impressive. Most rushing attempts for the fewest amount of yards, 36 att 55 yds. He racked up that beauty against the Bears. I can't only blame Edge though, the Cardinals offensive line is horrible. They are all overweight, slow and lazy. But still, he has not played like advertised.
4. Shaun Alexander
He is the defending MVP, cover boy for Madden 07 and he got the honor of being my #1 pick. So far this season he has played in just 3 games and even in those three games he has yet to rush for 100 yards. He broke a bone in his foot against the NYG in week 3 and hasn't played since. The same guy who broke the record for rushing touchdowns in a season last year has 2...yes,just 2 TDs. Hopefully for the Seahawks and my fantasy team when he does come back(whenever that is) he is old Alexander. Damn Madden Curse!!!