The term “triplets” is not exactly a household term when it comes to the NFL – but you may know the dealings behind the word. “Triplets” is basically the buzz word for a teams top QB, RB, and WR. You may have heard it during the 90’s glory days of the Cowboys, when their “triplets” were QB Troy Akiman, RB Emmitt Smith, and WR Michael Irvin.
Those three (along with some other great players on those rosters) took the Cowboys to three Super Bowl wins. The Colts “triplets” in their runs was QB Peyton Manning, RB Edgerrin James, and WR Marvin Harrison. Of course they only got one Super Bowl, and James was already gone when they won it, but he was a big part of helping that team be very good for a long time.
Today we’re gonna take a look at today’s AFC version of “triplets” and see what teams are the best when it comes to the QB-RB-WR combo.
Buffalo – QB Troy Edwards, RB Marshawn Lynch, WR Terrell Owens
NY Jets – QB Mark Sanchez, RB Thomas Jones, WR Jerricho Cotchery
New England – QB Tom Brady, RB Sammy Morris, WR Randy Moss
Miami – QB Chad Pennington, RB Ronnie Brown, WR Ted Ginn Jr.
Cincinnati – QB Carson Palmer, RB Cedric Benson, WR Chad Ocho-Cinco
Baltimore – QB Joe Flacco, RB Willis McGahee, WR Derrick Mason
Pittsbugh – QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Willie Parker, WR Santonio Holmes
Cleveland – QB Brady Quinn, RB Jamal Lewis, WR Braylon Edwards
Tennessee – QB Kerry Collins, RB Chris Johnson, WR Justin Gage
Houston – QB Matt Schaub, RB Steve Slaton, WR Andre Johnson
Indianapolis – QB Peyton Manning, RB Joseph Addai, WR Reggie Wayne
Jacksonville – QB David Garrard, RB Maurice Jones-Drew, WR Torry Holt
Oakland – QB JaMarcus Russell, RB Darren McFadden, WR Darius Hayward-Bey
Kansas City – QB Matt Cassel, RB Larry Johnson, WR Dwayne Bowe
Denver – QB Chris Simms, RB Knowshon Moreno, WR Brandon Marshall
San Diego – QB Philip Rivers, RB LaDainian Tomlinson, WR Vincent Jackson
Here’s our list of the top to bottom “triplet” threesome in the AFC
1. San Diego – Rivers is becoming a top-notch QB, L.T. has something to prove and is a former MVP, and Jackson is coming off his best season with over 1,000 yards receiving. This is the best team in the AFC West top to bottom, and they could be a sleeper in the AFC in 2009.
2. Indianapolis – A lot of this rides on Addai, and if he can stay healthy and come back with another big year like two seasons ago. Wayne is a Pro Bowl WR, and Manning is one of the top three QB’s in the game today. Will be interesting to see how the offense changes with Tom Moore gone.
3. Houston – Go ahead and laugh, but if Steve Slaton can follow up his 1282 yard rookie season with 9 TD’s on the ground with another big year, the Texans can challenge in the AFC South. Schaub threw 15 TD’s and could have a big 2009, and Johnson may be the most underrated player in the AFC.
4. New England – Despite not having a big name at running back, Sammy Morris is good enough, and Brady will look to come off his major injury and try to go right back to the record breaking season he and WR Moss had in 2008. Odds have them as the favorite to win the AFC and Super Bowl this year.
5. Pittsburgh – Ben Roethlisberger has two Super Bowls in five years, and Willie Parker can have big games if given enough carries. Holmes is coming off a Super Bowl MVP award, and could be ready to be the #1 wide out for Hines Ward.
6. Buffalo – The addition of Terrell Owens has the Bills thinking playoffs in 2009. Edwards was lights out till a concussion in week five vs the Cardinals, and Lynch will have to miss the first three game after being suspended. This trio has the making of being very good.
7. Miami – Pennington was the “Comeback Player of the Year” in 08, and proved he’s got gas left in the tank. Ronnie Brown adds another element in the “wildcat” formation and running game, and coming into this third season, Ginn Jr. looks like he can flourish as the teams #1 wide out.
8. Baltimore – This ranking will depend a lot on Flacco, who has to have a good second season as the teams starter. McGahee wasn’t even the leading rusher last year, but early thoughts are he’ll carry the ball more. Mason is a solid vet, and can still make the tough catches.
9. Cincinnati – Carson Palmer is trying to comeback off his injury which forced him to miss most of the 08 season. Cedric Benson is going to get the chance to be the feature back after ending the 08 season string, and if Ocho-Cinco can be focused and get back to being the top WR, this can be an interesting trio.
10. Tennessee – Chris Johnson says he wants to be the leagues MVP, and he showed in 2008 he’s got that talent. Collins is a vet that can make some plays, and Gage is tryng to come back after ending the year less than 100 percent.
11. Kansas City – Can Cassel be the same QB he was in New England? He’ll have every chance to be a star with the Chiefs, and with the help of Johnson running the ball, he can develop into a top AFC thrower. Bowe is looking to follow up on his 1000+ yard season in 08, and he’ll be counted on more with Tony Gonzalez gone.
12. Jacksonville – Jones-Drew will be the main ball carrier with Fred Taylor in New England, and David Garrard is looking to rebound after a sub-par 2008. Holt is out to prove he’s got gas left in the tank, and he’ll have every shot to be the #1 WR on the squad.
13. Cleveland – Two years ago the Browns offense was lethal with Derek Anderson throwing to Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow, but last season they were not too good, and Quinn took over and should be the starter in 09. Lewis is going to have his 1,000 yards, but the biggest question is Quinn, and what to expect from Edwards.
14. Oakland – Seems that the Raiders are trying to build this threesome with a piece each year. First it was Russell, then McFadden, and now this year it’s Heyward-Bey. These three have a ways to go to be good, and right now a good year from McFadden can take some pressure off of Russell, who continues to seem to struggle.
15. New York Jets – It appears despite Kellen Clemens having more snaps as a starter, the team is going to give Sanchez every shot to start. Jones has issues with his contract, but should be there when it counts and was the leading rusher in the AFC last year. Cotchery really came on, and looks like a good young WR.
16. Denver – Looks as if the Broncos are in full rebuild mode, and with the QB spot unsettled, the RB spot up in the air, and Marshall wanting a new deal, it really looks like this could be a 6-7 win season at best for new coach McDaniels and the horses.