Gridiron Roundtable: What One Player has Come Out and Played Better Than Expected This Season?

Russ Loede – Jason Campbell – Journeyman back-up Todd Collins outperformed the former Auburn Tiger ’05 1st round selection last season! You can make a case that Campbell is an MVP candidate and has outplayed every QB because he has yet to turn the ball over! He also has beaten four legitimate teams, including two NFC East rivals back-to-back away from home. Entering the ’08 campaign on a team clearly chosen to finish last in the division, one whom many considered him to be a laughable bust and not NFL-starting material (insert: Old Spice Commercial) – who’s laughing NOW!?!?

Tony Derbigny – Michael Turner – I liked him and drafted him in my fantasy league, but i believe he has exceeded everyone’s expectations, even my own.

Steven Rhodes – Santana Moss – Moss is on pace to at least match his best season (2005 – 84 receptions, 1,483 yards, 9 TD’s) as he currently has in five games 27 receptions, 421 yards and 3 TD’s. I think part of his improvement is because of staying healthy and the improved play of quarterback Jason Campbell.

Tim Hiller – Reggie Bush – He has electrified everyone with his home-run hitting ability. We knew it was there, but now he’s doing it on a regular basis.

Wendy Bubp – Jake Delhomme – Jake Delhomme went down in the third game of the season against Atlanta, and subsequently was IR’ed with a career-threatening elbow injury… not many would have wagered that he would win the NFC Offensive Player of the Week the following year… against Atlanta.

Al Gordon – Brett Favre – I think Brett Favre has played much better than anyone could have expected to this point. He leads the league with a 110 passer rating and only 4 picks so far. Not bad for 39 and being thrown into the fire.

Jeff Sack – Kyle Orton – For a team that has little stability behind center maybe since the late ’80’s Orton has shown he could be that guy.

Mike Loede – Jay Cutler – With his NFL career in doubt earlier this year with the news of his battle with diabetes, I would say Jay Cutler, QB Denver, has played above expectations.

Cole Pepper – Trent Edwards
– The one player who has made the biggest difference this year is Bills quarterback Trent Edwards. The only game the Bills have lost, he was knocked out in the first quarter. With Edwards, the Bills are the favorite in the AFC East. Without him, they’re an also-ran in the mediocre AFC.

Jonny Ward – Reggie Bush – For a player who was the number one overrated player of 2007 on a couple of different sports websites, to now be an explosive threat that teams have to plan against is pretty impressive.

Jean-Paul Bergeaux – Reggie Bush – He underachieved last season, and was not expected to have much of an impact this year, but he has been making plays and keeping the Saints in games they shouldn’t have been in.

Chad Cribbins – Kyle Orton – His ratings and command of the offense seems much improved due to the ongoing faith in him from his coach.

Bernard Shuford – Matt Ryan – As a rookie on a team with nothing but problems, he has been a shining ray of light. His capability to call and execute the correct play has given Atlanta hope and success where there previously was none.

Jeremy Fuchs – Kurt Warner – He’s leading his team into contention, and putting up huge numbers doing so, becoming a viable fantasy option as well.

Eric Cook – Kyle Orton – No one, including myself, expected him to be 8th in passing yards with a completion percentage of 87.6, 7 TDs and 4 INTs, behind an offensive line with a lot of question marks.

Landis Andrews – Jason Campbell – – Jason Campbell was expected be the only NFC East quarterback left out of the postseason. But after a few weeks he put Washington in the conversation of “the best team in the league.” Oh, what a difference a week makes.

Jerie O’Conner – Trent Edwards
– His team was 4-0 this year going into the Arizona Cardinals game in which he got injured and his team was badly beaten as a result.

Joseph Clifton – Jason Campbell – He is working in a new offense for the 7th season in a row dating back to college. He has yet to turn the ball over, and he is making great reads and delivering the ball well. He has lead the Redskins to a shocking 4-1 start.

David Quinn – Kerry Collins – who’d have thought he’d lead the Titans to an undefeated record after Vince Young went down to injury. He’s not doing anything that spectacular but the fact they’ve won four straight and he will most likely be named starter even after Young is healthy speaks volumes for his performance this year.

Shawn McAllister – Michael Turner – Once over shadowed as a backup to L.T. he has emereged as the leading rusher in the NFC and has the Falcons in second place.

Jesse Rios – Matt Forte – Anyone who watched Matt Forte at Tulane knew he was NFL ready. From being called a rookie that plays like a veteran in training camps to his all around running back skills, Forte has begun to show he can handle an NFL load. IF he can maintain this all season, we all will know who’s this year’s ROY.

Enjoyed this post?
Subscribe to NFL Gridiron Gab via RSS Feed or E-mail and receive daily news updates from us!

Submit to Digg  Stumble This Story  Share on Twitter  Post on Facebook  Post on MySpace  Add to  Bark It Up  Submit to Reddit  Fave on Technorati

Comments are closed.