Pardon me for my lists, but I was thinking the other day about a few guys who I had expected to have nice seasons this year and for whatever the reason, haven't come through so far. Conversely, I wondered who have been the biggest surprises?
Now I have limited my list to the guys I follow the most, offensive skill position players (and believe it or not I haven't yet dabbled in fantasy football. so sue me). Sorry, I'm not going to get into defensive players. They are harder to analyze unless you really know what your talking about and again, I am a Ram fan so what the hell do I know about defense?
So anyway, relative to expectations and results who has been this season's biggest disappointments and surprises at the skill positions?
First my take on the biggest disappointment to date at the running back position: I think there are few candidates for this.
- Carolina has played well this season and their dual threat of Foster and Stephen Davis have been adequate, but Foster's been banged up and only carried the ball 75 times for less than 300 yards and Davis is averaging only 3 yards a carry with just under 500 yards. Now Davis does have 12 touchdowns but the only scoring that has really caught my attention was done by the Panther cheerleaders.
- Ahman Green's season has been a downer, complete with a season ending injury and Priest Holmes wasn't even the best back on his own team before he got hurt.
- Or how about the Jet's Curtis Martin who after his 1697 yard performance last year gave hope to the over 31 club. He's 32 years old now and his 3.4 yard per carry average is looking geriatric this year. I'm 33 and it kills me to think that if I was a running back in the NFL (work with me here) my career would essentially be over. It's incredible how 32 and older is seen as ancient for RB's in the NFL. I guess the pounding they take over 10 years in the league really does wear them down. To be fair to Martin, his line sucks.
- Another guy having a down year is Corey Dillon. He also has been a bit gimpy and his 441 yards and 3.5 yards-per carry mirrors the Pats season so far: very average. It's causing Belichik to look more like your friendly neighborhood serial killer every day. Keep up the great work Corey!
- And with the contract he signed Lamont Jordan really should be giving us more than a couple of good games and a 3.8 yard per carry average (after all it was the yard-per carry average last year that got him the contract). He's a big guy, he should carry guys at least 4 yards after he's hit. He's shown signs of coming to life with an increased workload so we'll see how the rest of the season goes.
- But for me, the award goes to your favorite inmate and mine: Jamal Lewis. Congratulations Jamal, you've just won a compilation cd of Joe Theismann's greatest suck-up comments about you. ----Jamal has a paltry 480 yards and and 3 yard per-carry average. What's that you say? The Ravens can't throw the ball and everybody is loading up on the run? Umm....and that's different from other years how? Yeah Lewis missed training camp and had his mind on other things in the offseason (namely how to keep the only other guy bigger than him from making him his beeatch) but what about all that talk of him really getting his head straight and how he realized how important football was to him? A lot of people were saying if he made a run at the single season rushing mark with an impending prison sentence always on his mind then just think what he could do without that burden. Hey it's contract time though right? Got to be careful. Careful you don't run yourself out of the league.
--Here's the thing: I'm not a Raven fan even though I lived in Baltimore for about a year, but I do like Lewis. He was fun to watch when he ran over people and occasionally around guys. I remember thinking a couple of years ago, "how do you stop this guy?" Apparently a few strip searches and jumpsuit wardrobe do the trick.
Coming next: RB surprises