I ment to post this sooner but i’ve been very busy all week. Here’s my 3 Studs and 3 Duds for week 1.
Week 1: @ San Diego Chargers
DE Brian Robison – Many people questioned whether Robison could handle a full time role and if he could measure up to Ray Edwards. Well in his first game he did more than that. Where to start? How about how he was Pro Football Focus’s highest rated 4-3 DE for week 1? Or how he torched Chargers RT Jeromey Clary all day Long? Robison finished with a shared sack, forced an INT, had a handful of pressures and ultimately proved he is capable of replacing Edwards on the defensive line.
DE Jared Allen – His interception was impressive and shows why he is so valuable as more than just a pass rusher. Add in a shared sack, couple QB pressures and Allen had himself a very nice day. I heard a lot of “experts” talk about Allen as if he was in a decline because of his age and a down year last year. I didn’t see any slowing down as he came out strong to start the 2011 season.
S Husain Abdullah – I was impressed with Abdullah against the Chargers. He was solid blitzing and in run support all game long, also made some key plays in coverage. One play that stood out was a pass he knocked away from Gates in the endzone to save a touchdown. Seems like he’s improving in the areas he didn’t do well with last year and looks to be a player on the rise
Honorable Mention: Adrian Peterson
DT Letroy Guion – I had some high hopes for this young man in his first start and I almost forgot he was on the field until his 2 offsides penalties on the last series. He was pretty much invisible the entire game. I didn’t expect Guion to play like a pro bowler but I did expect some life out of him. He had 2 QB pressures in 69 plays and seemed like nerves got the best of him in his first NFL start.
Passing Offense – I couldn’t decide whether to pick McNabb, someone from the offensive line, or Bernard Berrian so i’ll lump them all together. Anytime your offense only throws for 39 yards than it’s obvious there is multiple problems. The offensive line ranked near the bottom of week 1 and didn’t provide much time to put the ball down field. Berrian let down once again going without a catch on 2 targets and the passing game never found a rhythm. I expect Musgrave to open the playbook more in week 2 and hopefully the line can hold up long enough for McNabb to be able to make some plays.
S Jamarca Sanford/Tyrell Johnson – I included these 2 together because neither has impressed me. Through 4 pre-season games and 1 regular season game, neither has separated from the other and they have yet to flash much. Johnson had one good open field tackle Sunday but got lost on a play in coverage against Vincent Jackson which would of been a 40 yard touchdown if Rivers didn’t overthrow Jackson. Sanford missed a pair of tackles to keep drives going for the chargers down the stretch. Everyone is still waiting for one of them to take the next step and while Sanford still has the edge, they will continue to rotate in week 2.