greg1

FIVE & FIVE: THE BIGGEST SURPRISES/DISAPPOINTMENTS FROM SUNDAY

We wrap up the 13th Sunday of the NFL season by looking at a handful of players who exceeded expectations and a handful who failed to deliver.

Surprises

Russell Wilson, Seahawks: I know Wilson shouldn't surprise me anymore, but the guy led an unbelievable 97-yard touchdown drive in the final minutes against a great Bears defense on the road and then never let Chicago touch it in overtime. That was the rookie's most impressive effort yet.

Brady Quinn, Chiefs: Jamaal Charles was the key to Kansas City's emotional victory over the Panthers, but Quinn had his best game since — well basically since his Notre Dame days. The much-maligned custodian quarterback completed 83 percent of his passes, threw two touchdowns and didn't turn it over on Sunday. 

Greg McElroy, Jets: Small sample size, I know, but McElroy relieved Mark Sanchez after Sanchez threw three interceptions and ended up playing very well. He completed five of his seven passes and led the game's only touchdown drive. Who knew we'd have a quarterback controversy in New York this year and it wouldn't involve Tim Tebow….

Donnie Avery, Colts: He hadn't scored since Week 1 and had gone over 65 yards only once since Week 2, but Avery had 91 yards and two touchdowns in Indy's dramatic victory over the Lions.

Jacob Tamme, Broncos: He hadn't caught more than six passes or picked up more than 50 yards in a game this season before catching nine for 89, leading all Denver receivers as the Broncos won their seventh straight game.

Disappointments

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins: Against a weak New England pass defense, Tannehill was completely ineffective in a crippling loss to the Patriots, completing only 13 of 29 passes and failing to find the end zone. Rookies will have off days, but this was a big home game for Tannehill, and he fell on his face a little bit.

C.J. Spiller, Bills: This isn't on Spiller, really. The guy played well against Jacksonville. I'm more disappointed in the Bills, who pissed off Spiller fantasy owners again this week by giving Spiller only 14 carries while Fred Jackson ran it 25 times. Ridiculous.

Frank Gore, 49ers: Gore had his worst game of the season Sunday in St. Louis, providing almost no support for Colin Kaepernick as the Niners fell short against their division rival. He had just 58 yards on 23 carries. 

Arian Foster, Texans: Only 53 total yards on 19 touches for Foster against Tennessee. He and the Texans probably don't care because Houston won, but fantasy owners have to be bothered by how much Justin Forsett is cutting into his reps. 

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals: I sympathize with Fitzgerald and his quarterback situation, but he still has to do better than this. The future Hall of Famer had just one 23-yard catch in the loss to the Jets. 

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

reds

FIVE & FIVE: THE BIGGEST SURPRISES/DISAPPOINTMENTS FROM SUNDAY

We wrap up the ninth Sunday of the NFL season by looking at a handful of players who exceeded expectations and a handful who failed to deliver.

Surprises

Andrew Luck, Colts: It's not as though Luck hasn't been killing it in general, but I was still surprised to see the rookie sensation rack up 433 yards while throwing no interceptions against one of the league's best defenses. 

Joique Bell, Lions: Have the Lions found a running back? OK, it was against a bad Jaguars team, but Bell still had a breakout performance with 73 yards and a 5.6 average in a win over Jacksonville.

Adrian Peterson, Vikings: Against that Seahawks defense? Are you kidding me? Peterson, who had 193 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns Sunday, might be the comeback player of the decade.

Isaac Redman, Steelers: The Steelers' rejuvenated running game didn't miss a beat with Redman filling in for the injured Jonathan Dwyer. Redman easily set a new career high with 147 yards on 26 carries. 

Marcel Reese, Raiders: Reese has actually been flying under the radar all season, but he really had a big day as a receiver against the Buccaneers, leading the Raiders with eight catches, 95 yards and a touchdown. 

Disappointments

Eli Manning, Giants: Something's still wrong with Eli, who has completely lost Hakeem Nicks and completed just 10 passes against the Steelers. He hasn't been in a rut like this since 2009, and on Sunday he even fell short with the ball in his hands and a small deficit late in the fourth quarter.

Hakeem Nicks, Giants: Nicks had only a single 10-yard catch on four targets against the Steelers. Victor Cruz needs more support than that. 

Percy Harvin, Vikings: He's been such a force this year, but Harvin disappeared when the Vikings needed him most in Seattle, mustering only 30 yards on six touches in a tough loss within the conference. 

Stevie Johnson, Bills: This is sort of a fantasy disappointment. Johnson was expected to have a big day when the Bills expected to be trailing Houston throughout that game, but he had his second-worst game of the season with just 29 yards on three catches.

Daryl Washington, Cardinals: The Cardinals needed their best pass rusher to have a big day in order to break out of their slump and upset the Packers, but Washington — who had eight sacks in eight games entering Week 9 — wasn't able to do much of anything. 

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

Five & Five: The biggest surprises/disappointments from Sunday

We wrap up the fourth Sunday of the NFL season by looking at a handful of players who exceeded expectations and a handful who failed to deliver.

Surprises

Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins: Um, obviously. The four-year veteran has never had more than 615 yards in a single season. Sunday, he 253 in one game against the Cardinals.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins: Um, obviously. Courtesy Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post, here are the top eight most prolific single-game passing performances in Dolphins' history: Marino, Marino, Marino, Marino, Marino, Tannehill, Marino.

Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans: CJ2K always does this right when everyone's writing him off. After compiling just 45 yards in his first three games, Johnson quadrupled that total with a 141-yard effort against a very good Houston defense. Fantasy owners are now confused as hell.

Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins: Morris has been the league's best rookie back thus far, but nobody thought he'd average 5.4 yards per carry in a 100-yard performance against the league's top-rated run defense in Tampa.

Everson Griffen, Minnesota Vikings: The third-year USC product had just four sacks his first two seasons, but he had a breakout game against the Lions, putting up two sacks, three quarterback hits and three tackles in Minnesota's surprising victory.

Disappointments

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions: Sure, he had an injury scare, but Johnson dropped a touchdown passes and was only able to make five catches despite being targeted 12 times. The Lions need more from the game's best wide receiver. Much more.

Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders: It wasn't easy with his team trailing like that, but Oakland's best offensive player was a tremendous disappointment for the third time in four weeks Sunday. He looked to be turning a corner with a 113-yard performance in Week 3, but fell flat on his face with just 34 yards on 13 carries against the Broncos.

Stevie Johnson, Buffalo Bills: After scoring in each of Buffalo's first three games, Johnson failed to find the end zone and caught just two passes for 23 yards in the Bills' loss to New England.

Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles: Obviously he's still hurt, and fortunately his disappearing act Sunday night didn't hurt the Eagles in the win column, but fantasy owners had to be crushed to see the usually consistent and reliable Maclin catch just one seven-yard pass against the Giants.

Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills: He makes this list for the second time in four weeks. Williams has been the by far the league's most disappointing player through one month. He failed to do anything of significance against the Patriots and has just 1.5 sacks and nine tackles a quarter of the way through his first year with the Bills. They paid the man like $6 billion to help fix a mediocre defense, and yet they had one of their worst performances in franchise history Sunday.

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

rg33

Five & Five: The biggest surprises/disappointments from Sunday

We wrap up the first NFL Sunday of 2012 by looking at a handful of players who exceeded expectations and a handful who failed to deliver in their season-opening efforts.

Surprises

1. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins: I'd be shocked to see anyone but Griffin win offensive player of the week honors, which is remarkable considering it was his NFL debut and it was in New Orleans. It took Peyton Manning 35 games to post a passer rating as high as the 139.9 mark RG3 put up in a victorious performance against the Saints.

2. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets: I could actually put the entire Jets team here, but Sanchez stood out the most. Where the hell did that come from? I mean, 19-of-27, 266 yards, three touchdowns, one pick and no sacks given up? He's had some sneaky good performances here and there, but that might have been the best performance of his career thus far.

3. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots: The 2011 third-round pick had 152 yards on 23 touches against the Titans, exploding in his third career start. In that offense, the powerful and explosive Ridley could be in store for a huge year.

4. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings: I had my doubts about Peterson bouncing back from a blown out knee in only eight months, but he looked to be 100 percent with an 84-yard, two-touchdown performance in an overtime victory over the Jaguars. What's truly amazing about his quick recovery and return to form is that he's no spring chicken anymore. It requires a lot of mental fortitude to hit holes like that under such circumstances, and that's what separates guys like Peterson from every other running back on the planet.

5. Kurt Coleman, Philadelphia Eagles: The oft-criticized Philly secondary recorded four interceptions in the opener, saving the struggling offense. Two of those picks went to Coleman, who has shown glimpses of having big-play ability. The 24-year-old also had four passes defensed in a superb opening performance.

Disappointments

1. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts: I hate to rag on a guy for failing to deliver in his first NFL game, but guys like Cam Newton and Robert Griffin are setting the bar so high and Luck is supposed to be better than both of those guys. What's surprising is that he didn't even face that much pressure against the Bears, but he still tossed three picks and had some real wild tosses in a blowout loss.

2. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers: It pains me to think that Williams makes nearly $9 million per year, because he just doesn't display the consistency required of a top back. That said, Williams gets only part of the blame here because the Panthers made no effort to establish a balanced attack in Tampa. Williams had minus-one yard on six total carries in a tough loss. Cam Newton needs more support than that.

3. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns: Richardson's been compared to Adrian Peterson, but the rookie No. 3 overall pick certainly didn't arrive on the scene in the same fashion as AP. The Alabama product had just 39 yards on 19 carries, which indicates that either his knee isn't fully recovered from surgery last month or he just isn't ready for prime time. 

4. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles: I have no idea what he was thinking on some of those passes, and what scares me most is that I'm not sure even Vick himself knows what was going through his head. And it could have been a hell of a lot worse. Vick threw four interceptions against Cleveland, and the Eagles won despite him. That's very discouraging.

5. Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills: The Bills were supposed to wreak havoc up front this season, but their stacked defensive line is off to a quiet start. Williams, who signed a six-year, $96-million deal with Buffalo in the offseason, had just one tackle and was held sack-less in the opener against the Jets. In fact, no one on that D was able to get to Mark Sanchez.

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

Quantcast