BY JOEY MERKEL
Congrats to any football team that has a starting quarterback over 35 years old. If you do, you have a winning record and may be on your way to an undefeated season or a most valuable player award.
With a little over half of the regular season games played in the NFL, it’s time to take a look at which players are sizzling and which guys are drowning.
This year, the “graybeards” are ruling the year. After being bench before week two, Jeff Garcia is back in the saddle and has helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 6-3 start. Gus Frerotte took over the 0-2 Vikings and is 5-2 in seven starts this season. However, most of the attribution is going to number 28, Adrian Peterson.
J-E-T-S, Bret, Bret, Bret! New York likes its decision to trade for Bret Favre more and more each week. Though he leads the league with 12 interceptions, every week Favre shows the will and determination to bring his team back or stay on top.
The Tennessee Titans don’t seem to have a need for Vince Young anymore. With 35-year-old Kerry Collins at the helm, who needs a player who last year was one of the most explosive and dynamic players in the game. With a solid passing game and a dominant two-back system, the Titans are the only undefeated team left in the league at 9-0.
A third MVP award? At 37? With the way Kurt Warner is playing, he’s making a strong bid to win the award for the first time since (year). Warner, who beat out former University of Southern California standout and Heisman trophy award winner Matt Leinart for the starting job, has been playing like the Warner that we got used to seeing during his years in St. Louis when we watched the “Greatest Show on Turf.”
But look out oldies, because there are a couple new kids on the block. You think your 6-3 record is impressive? Try doing it with a rookie quarterback. Is it a fluke? Doesn’t look like it. Matt Ryan, the third overall pick in the 2008 draft, has led the Atlanta Falcons to a 6-3 start and is currently sitting in second place in the Natinal Football Conference south division
The last time a rookie quarterback started week one since Kyle Boller for the Baltimore Ravens. With the way he turned out it’s not surprising that teams waited five years before doing it again.
You would think that the Ravens had learned their lesson. But after Boller went down with a season-ending injury, and Troy Smith lost 20 pounds due to a tonsil infection, the Ravens were forced to throw rookie Joe Flacco, the 18th overall pick of the draft, into the fire. And would you believe that after a 2-3 start, Flacco has led the Ravens on a four-game win streak.
Theses guys are probably the main candidates for Offensive Rookie of the Year with close followers in Chris Johnson, Desean Jackson and Matt Forte.
My candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year you probably have not even heard of if you don’t follow football closely. In the latest draft, this player was passed over 248 times and almost went undrafted.
Chris Horton, a safety for the Washington Redskins, has played tremendous when he has had the opportunity. He has over 40 tackles, three interceptions and a sack. So far this year, he has the highest value of any defensive player in the league, especially for where he was drafted.
Joseph Addai would like to apologize to all of those who thought that 2009 was the year that he would show people he was an elite back.
Through nine games Addai has only carried the ball for 282 yards. And granted he didn’t play two of the games, but for a player of his caliber, averaging forty yards a game is unacceptable.
Keep reading this year for picks, standings and Super Bowl predictions.
MVP: Kurt Warner, QB
Off. ROY: Matt Ryan, QB
Def ROY: Chris Horton, S