Thursday, January 04, 2007

2006 NFL Surprises

Biggest 2006 surprises (both good and bad) offensively for me in NFL


Damon Huard- his quality of play saved the Chiefs season. You could still make a credible argument that return of Trent Green brought the level of QB play down in the latter part of the season. Green's probably the right choice but besides Larry Johnson (and a whole lot of luck in the last week of the season), Damon Huard is the reason the Chiefs are in the playoffs.

Philip Rivers - He sure has tailed off to end the season (and that could doom them in the playoffs if he doesn't pull his head out) but 3000+ yards, 22 TDs, and a QB rating of 92 in his first year starting is certainly more than the Chargers could have asked for.

Tony Romo - Overhyped? Absolutely. His last couple of games especially have brought the Romo legend back to earth. I wouldn't be surprised if Carrie Underwood dumps his ass now. But you can't deny he played well for at least 5 games. His performance in those games gave the Cowboys enough victories to make the playoffs. He's a first year starter and we all know Bledsoe wouldn't have done any better.

Vince Young - I don't think he deserved the Offensive Rookie of the Year award (he had a passer rating of 66.7 , threw more interceptions than TDs, and completed just barely over 51% of his passes! How can you call that offensive excellence? Saints receiver, Marques Colston was the man in my opinion) ---but he definitely made a huge and somewhat surprising impact as a rookie QB. He's going to be overhyped just like Mike Vick was his first few years but if he continues to do what he did this year he'll do what Vick hasn't been able to: make significant improvement and win key games.

J.P. Losman, Steve McNair, & Chad Pennington --None of these guys were spectacular, but they had solid seasons and kept their teams in games every week. It's not a surprise that they have the talent (in McNair and Pennington's case they have had decent seasons before) but considering the situation and prior season each guy had coming into this year, their performances were still a bit unexpected for me.

Ben Roethlisberger - Talk about bad karma. First he almost killed himself then he went ahead and killed the Steeler's season. I'm not sure which hurt more, his mortorcycle crash or the Steeler's first 8 games. Both were a wreck.

Matt Hasselbeck - I know he's been hurt this season but when he has played he really hasn't played that well. Damn my Rams for not taking advantage of a down year for the Seahawks.

Other quarterbacks who while not surprising to me but who were most definitely disappointing surprises for their own teams include:
Charlie Frye, Rex Grossman, Brad Johnson, Jake Plummer, Eli Manning, David Carr, Jake Delhomme, & Mark Brunell.


Frank Gore- Holy crap Gore was a load to bring down this year. He just rambled all season long. I had no idea he was that good.

Travis Henry- Showed us that he wasn't done yet

Ladell Betts - He got over 1000 yards, and averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Clinton Portis has got some competition next year.

Maurice Jones-Drew- I'm not surprised he was good ( I said in the preseason that he would open a lot of eyes) but his 5.7 yards per carry was a bit eye popping.

Jerious Norwood - Another guy who surprised me with his excellent play. He broke a lot of long ones (6.4 yards per carry).

Edgerrin James - Sure he made it to 1159 yards. And it only took him 337 carries to do it (3.7 avg.) Terribly disappointing season for him and the Cards.

Shaun Alexander - After last season's awesomeness, he was pretty uninspiring even when healthy (3.6 yards per carry).


Marques Colston - phenomenal season for an unheralded rookie. Give him the three games back that he lost due to injury and he would have made it pretty tough for voters to still give the ORY award to glamour boy Vince Young.

Mike Furrey - 1000 yard receiver. Huh? Great year for a dude that has bounced back and forth between defensive back and receiver.

Kevin Curtis - I thought the Rams would incorporate Curtis a whole lot more this season. Alas, they rarely threw it his way and they squandered a valuable weapon. They may lose him in free agency next year.

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