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Most Surprising Players Thus Far in 2011
After watching some highlights of the Bears Panthers game this weekend, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the guys that have rejuvenated their careers this year and look better than ever.
The first guy that comes to mind is Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers. He seemingly fell off the map for the past two seasons not producing very good numbers at all. This year he already has 24 catches for 530 yards and 2 TD's. That's over 22 ypc if you're keeping track. This may be because of the emergence of rookie QB Cam Newton, but Smith looks like a pro bowl player once again.
Matt Forte: Not that's he's went anywhere, but these numbers are worth showing. Through four games he has 634 combined yards rushing and receiving and 2 TD's. He's accounted for nearly 60% of the Bears offensive production, and makes $945,250 this season. Compare that to Chris Johnson's combined 301 yards and $30 million guaranteed contract. Doesn't seem to make much sense to me.
Matt Hasselback: the resurgence of this man is the biggest surprise of the season in my opinion and why the Titans are 3-1. He's thrown for over over 1,150 yards, 8 TD's, and a QB rating of over 104. These are amazing numbers for a guy in his mid 30's that Seattle and everyone else thought was washed up. Way to go Matt!
Now let's go to the obvious pick, rookie Cam Newton. He's made rookie mistakes, which are to be expected, but he's thrown for a rookie record 1,386 yard, 5 TD's and 5 INT's. He's also rushed for 4 more TD's so far this season. He looks mature well beyond his years and has this Panthers team competing in every game each week.
There have been many guys that have stepped up this year, but these are the guys that stick out the most to me. Let me know if you think someone else should have been on this list!