Photo Credit: Cover32 (featured image), ESPN (team logos)
We are now 10 weeks through the NFL season and each team has had all sorts of ups and downs. Lord knows that there have been plenty of surprising and disappointing players on every team. So here is every team’s most surprising, and disappointing player.
New England Patriots
Surprising: Tight end Martellus Bennett
Rob Gronkowski is the best Tight end in football; there is no question about that. But Gronk started the season off hurt they had to look to Bennett and he excelled. Now that Gronk is back the Patriots are using a two Tight end set and it is working wonders as both Tight ends are doing great. No one expected Bennett to perform this well coming into a system with the best Tight end in the game; and he has proved everyone wrong.
Disappointing: Wide receiver Julian Edelman
Julian Edelman and Tom Brady is always a winning combo right? Wrong. Edelman has racked up just 457 receiving yards and 1 touchdown while starting in 9 out of 10 games this season. He is averaging 50.8 yards per game which is near the bottom of the league. Patriots’ fans should be and are disappointed.
Surprising: Outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander
Who is leading the NFL in sacks right now? Von Miller? Khalil Mack? Everson Griffin? Nope, that title belongs to Bills outside Line Backer Lorenzo Alexander who has racked up 10 sacks. He has looked amazing rushing the quarterback off of the edge this season. He deserves this.
Disappointing: Wide receiver Sammy Watkins
Sammy Watkins was slotted to be the Number 1 receiver on the Bills and a key piece to their offense. He has been anything but that. He hurt himself in week 1 and was placed on IR and hasn’t played since. This forced the team to look to Robert Woods as their no. 1 guy. Talk about a downgrade.
Surprising: Running back Jay Ajayi
Jay Ajayi was set to split carries out of the backfield with veteran Arian Foster. After early season struggles Arian Foster decided to hang up his cleats clearing the way for Ajayi. Ajayi has rushed for 725 yards which is tied with Matt Forte of the New York Jets for 6th in the NFL. He is also tied for 9th in the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 6.
Disappointing: Defensive end Mario Williams
Mario Williams was brought in as a veteran replacement for Olivier Vernon who signed a lucrative 5-year deal with the New York Giants over the offseason. He was also seen as a leader in the locker room for most of the young guys the Dolphins have on the defensive side of the football. He has been a leader in the locker room but not on the field. He has played in every single game this season and has only recorded 9 tackles and a sack and a half. We might slowly be watching the end of one of the most dominant pass rushers of our generation.
New York Jets
Surprising: Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa
Enunwa was drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL draft out of Nebraska. He has been on the Jets practice squad for the past two seasons but was brought up this past season after an impressive Pre-season. With the injury to wide receiver Eric Decker, Enunwa has stepped in and delivered for the Jets. He has 534 receiving yards and 3 Rec. touchdowns. He is second on the team in receiving yards.
Disappointing: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick helped lead the Jets to a 10-6 season last year, which earned him a 1-year deal to be the Jets starting quarterback. He started the season off as the starter was eventually benched after a horrific start to the season, including throwing 6 Interceptions in one game against the Chiefs. He was given his starting job back after Geno Smith tore his ACL but he still leads the league in interceptions.
Surprising: Wide receiver Mike Wallace
Wallace was coming off of the worst season of his career with the Minnesota Vikings last season. He signed a 3-year deal with the Ravens and right out of the gate has been there number one receiver. He has played in every single game this season and has racked up 673 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns.
Disappointing: Wide receiver Kamar Aiken
Kamar Aiken thrived last season when Steve Smith Sr. went down with an injury and finished as the Ravens leading receiver. Baltimore fans gave Aiken high expectations and he has not delivered. He has only racked up 171 receiving yards in 10 games. It will be interesting to see how the Ravens use him in the future.
Surprising: Wide receiver Eli Rogers
Rogers and Sammie Coates have basically split snaps at the second Wide receiver spot in the absence of Martavis Bryant to a 10 game suspension. Rogers was picked up as an undrafted free agent out of Louisville and while splitting snaps has racked up 280 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Pretty good for splitting snaps.
Disappointing: Tight end Ladarius Green
Ladarius Green was given a lucrative 3-year contract and was supposed to be one of the new, big, key pieces in Steelers offense. He has been anything but that. He has been injured for the majority of the season and has only racked up 30 receiving yards. Jesse James has taken over as their primary tight end.
Surprising: Running back Jeremy Hill
Hill had been seen as an inconsistent running back with potential but hadn’t been able to put it all together. This season he has rushed for 561 yards and 6 touchdowns. That’s also while splitting carries with Giovani Bernard. They thought he was going to be good, but they didn’t think he would be this good.
Disappointing: Wide receiver Tyler Boyd
Boyd was taken in the second round out of Pittsburgh and was projected as the replacement for Mohamed Sanu. He has played in every single game and has only racked up 295 receiving yards. He has still yet to get into the end zone for the first time in his career.
Surprising: Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor
Terrelle Pryor was the starting quarterback on the Oakland Raiders just a few years ago. Now he’s the no. 1 Receiver on the worst team in football; talk about a turn around right? Pryor has racked up 627 receiving yardsand 4 receiving touchdowns. The Browns even came out and said that they are willing to trade everyone on their roster EXCEPT for Terrelle Pryor. The Browns are so bad I don’t even know if I can count that as high praise.
Disappointing: Tight end Gary Barnidge
If I could put the rest of the Browns entire team on here I would but the one person that I think has let down the Browns the most. After making the Pro-Bowl last season Barnidge has high expectations this season. He has done anything but meet them. In 10 games this season Barnidge has posted just 434 receiving yards and 0 touchdowns. At this point last season he had 5 touchdowns. Talk about a let-down.
Surprising: Outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus
When JJ Watt when down with an injury earlier this season the Texans needed several people in their front seven to step up their game and fill in for the three-time defensive player of the year. Mercilus was one of them. He has done just that. He has recorded 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble since Watt’s injury. When Watt returns the edge rushing duo of Mercilus and Watt could be deadly.
Disappointing: Quarterback Brock Osweiler
Brock Osweiler left a winning situation in Denver to sign a massive 6-year contract with the Houston Texans. All Texans fans were very excited after having 4 different starting quarterbacks a year ago they finally have a future guy from under center. Boy were they wrong. Osweiler has posted a 74.1 quarterback rating, while throwing for 1818 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 9 Interceptions. If you think that is worth a 6-year contract; you’re insane (You heard me Bill O’Brien).
Surprising: Running back Demarco Murray
Murray was traded to the Titans for a 4th round draft pick this offseason from the Philadelphia Eagles. Murray had the worst season of his professional career with the Eagles, which resulted in the team trading him after his first year of a 5-year contract with the team. He finished last season with 702 rushing yards. He already, through 10 games this season has 930 rushing yards. No one expected this kind of production of Murray, but it just goes to show that Chip Kelly wasn’t using him right way in Philadelphia.
Disappointing: Right tackle Jack Conklin
The Titans traded up in the most recent NFL draft to select Conklin with the 8th overall pick out of Michigan State. He has started every single game this season but has allowed Marcus Mariota to be sacked 9 times through the first 10 games. That doesn’t sound like a very valuable first round pick.
Surprising: Wide receiver TY Hilton
T. Hilton proved last season that any receiver’s numbers can hurt without his quarterback. After a disappointing 2015 campaign without his quarterback Andrew Luck; T.Y. Hilton has come back surging this season. He has totaled 791 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. The duo of Luck to Hilton is still one of the best in the league.
Disappointing: Tight end Dwayne Allen
Dwayne Allen is Andrew Lucks “favorite red zone target” which he’s proved by targeting Allen 19 times this season in the red zone. What’s funny is Allen only has 2 touchdowns out of those 19 times. For a guy that was signed to a 3-year extension this offseason, that’s not acceptable.
Surprising: Cornerback Jalen Ramsey
Jalen Ramsey was taken by the Jaguars with the 5th overall pick in the most recent NFL draft out of Florida State. The Jaguars had the 32nd ranked pass defense in football last season. They went out and made a lot of moves this offseason to help their defense. Selecting Ramsey was one of them. Ramsey has made 31 tackles with 7 pass-deflections. We could be watching one of the best young corners in football develop right before our eyes.
Disappointing: Wide receiver Allen Robinson
Allen Robinson was the breakout receiver in football from a year ago. Jaguars’ fans and analysts gave him very high expectations for this season. He hasn’t lived up to them really at all. He has totaled 549 receiving yards and just 5 touchdowns through 9 games. At this point last season he had 763 rec. yards and 6 touchdowns.
Kansas City Chiefs
Surprising: Running back Spencer Ware
Spencer Ware was slotted as the back-up running back behind Jamaal Charles at the start of this season. Charles has been recovering from his torn ACL all offseason so Ware had to step in and pick up the work load. Ware has rushed for 572 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns while missing 2 games. He has been great in Charles’ absence.
Disappointing: Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin
Two years ago Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith didn’t threw for 17 touchdowns; not a single one of them to a Chiefs Wide receiver. Last year the Chiefs signed Jeremy Maclin to a 5-year contract in hopes that Smith would have a legitimate receiving threat to throw the ball to. Maclin caught 8 touchdown passes and over 1000 receiving yards. This year Maclin has only caught 2 in 10 games and racked up 347 receiving yards while playing in every game. He has not met his expectations.
Surprising: Wide receiver Michael Crabtree
Michael Crabtree has been one of the best receivers in football this season. After his second career 1000 yard season he has totaled 596 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. He is averaging 86 receiving yards a game; that’s third in the league behind Antonio Brown and Julio Jones. No one expected Crabtree to outplay second year wide out Amari Cooper but he has done just that.
Disappointing: Cornerback Sean Smith
The Raiders had the worst pass defense in football last season. They went out and made a lot of moves this offseason to upgrade their secondary. They signed Defensive backs Sean Smith and Reggie Nelson to Multi-year contracts and drafted safety Karl Joseph. Smith has allowed an average of 77 receiving yards to opposing receivers this season; which is tied for second most in the NFL. He has not made the contribution that the Raiders thought he would make to their secondary.
Surprising: Quarterback Trevor Siemian
There was a major controversy surrounding the defending Super Bowl champions at the beginning of this season; who would replace Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler at quarterback? Paxton Lynch? Mark Sanchez? Nope. 2015 7th round pick Trevor Siemian. Through 9 games this season Siemian has posted a quarterback rating of 85.0, while throwing for 2028 yards, 12 touchdowns and 7 Interceptions. Broncos’ fans thought that this was just a way to keep first round pick Paxton Lynch’s spot warm until he was ready. Now the Broncos have two good, young quarterbacks on their hands.
Disappointing: Tight end Virgil Green
Last year the Broncos offense was based around a strong receiving corps, which included veteran Tight end Owen Daniels. Daniels was let walk in the offseason because the Broncos had a good, young, talented tight end to take his place. Virgil Green was slated for a big season as the Broncos starting tight end, he has not filled up to what he was slated for. Through 10 games this season Green has totaled 211 receiving yards and no touchdowns. Talk about not living up to the hype.
San Diego Chargers
Surprising: Running back Melvin Gordon
Melvin Gordon was taken in the first round in 2015 by the Chargers and was expected to be the lead back and first star running back San Diego had since LT. He was awful in his rookie year. He wasn’t even the lead back to start this season but after Danny Woodhead went down with a torn ACL they were forced to look to Gordon. Gordon has since broken out for 833 rushing yards and 9 rushing touchdowns. He is averaging 83.8 rushing yards and a touchdown per game. He is currently third in the NFL in rushing behind Ezekiel Elliot and Demarco Murray.
Disappointing: Wide receiver Keenan Allen
Keenan Allen had a monster season a year ago before being placed on the season ending IR in week 11 of 2015. He was set for a monster come back season this year and in week 1 he tore his ACL. Allen was the center of Chargers offense before he got hurt and has left the Philip Rivers with a bunch of rookie and second year wide outs who aren’t as reliable. I’m sure that’s why Philip Rivers threw 4 picks in the 4th quarter last week.
Surprising: Running back Ezekiel Elliott
The Cowboys selected Elliot with the 4th overall pick in the most recent NFL draft. He was expected to be part of a three way split in the backfield with Darren McFadden, and Alfred Morris. Darren McFadden went down with an injury at the beginning of the season so Elliott took over the lead back spot. In 11 games he has totaled 1005 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns (2 receiving). He is leading the NFL in rushing just 10 games into his rookie season. We’re going to be talking about this kid for years to come.
Disappointing: Defensive end Cedric Thornton
Cedric Thornton was signed by the Cowboys from the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason and was expected to be the Cowboys leading pass rusher while DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory were out due to suspension at the beginning of the season. He has been the worst pass rusher on the Cowboys roster. Through 10 games he has recorded 7 tackles and a sack and a half. He is last on their defense in both of those categories.
New York Giants
Surprising: Wide receiver Sterling Shepherd
The Giants selected Sterling Shepherd in the second round of the most recent NFL draft out of Oklahoma. Splitting playing time out of the slot with Roger Lewis he has totaled 426 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. He has been one of Eli Manning’s favorite targets and it looks like he will be for a long time.
Disappointing: Tight end Will Tye
The Giants decided that they needed to make a change at Tight end from Larry Donnell last season so they started using rookie Tight end Will Tye more often and worked perfectly. This season…not so much. Tye has played in every single game this season and has only totaled 235 receiving yards and has yet to get into the end zone for the first time this season.
Surprising: Wide receiver Jamison Crowder
Jamison Crowder was taken in the 4th round of 2015 NFL draft by the Redskins. He didn’t do much last season but this year he has been Kirk Cousins Favorite Wide receiver so far this season. He is the team’s leading receiver with 534 Rec. yards and 5 touchdowns. He is averaging 79.4 receiving yards a game.
Disappointing: Running back Matt Jones
Matt Jones started off this season as the Redskins starting Running back and had a good first few games this season. After week 5 he slowly started to decline and eventually had his spot taken by rookie Running back Robert Kelly. Since week 7 he has received just three carries for 10 rushing yards. His career in Washington could be coming to an end.
Surprising: Quarterback Carson Wentz
The Eagles traded up to get the Number 2 overall pick in the most recent NFL draft from the Cleveland Browns in order to select quarterback Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State. He was slated to be the Eagles third string quarterback at the start of the season. But after they traded quarterback Sam Bradford to the Vikings for a 1st round pick head coach Doug Pederson named Wentz the starter. In 9 games this season Wentz has totaled 2121 passing yards with 9 touchdowns and 5 Interceptions. He has been the leader of the Eagles and looks to be the future guy from under center in Philadelphia.
Disappointing: Wide receiver Nelson Agholor
The Eagles selected wide receiver Nelson Agholor out of USC with the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft. After totaling 253 receiving yards and 1 touchdown in his rookie season Agholor was expected to thrive in Doug Pederson’s new offense. That has not happened. Agholor has totaled 264 receiving yards and 1 touchdown through 9 games. He also holds the league lead in drops with 11; which is ahead of the next guy by 5.
Surprising: Defensive end Kerry Hyder
If I asked you who is leading the Lions in sacks right now I would be willing to bet, you would say Ezekiel Ansah right? You would be wrong. Second year undrafted Defensive End Kerry Hyder leads the Lions with 7 sacks on the season. He is also tied for second in the NFL in quarterback hurries with Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.
Disappointing: Tight end Eric Ebron
Eric Ebron was slated to get a lot more targets in the red zone after Calvin Johnson retired last season. He has gotten the targets (when he’s been on the field) but he has only caught one touchdown in 8 games this season. He is tied for the league lead in drops for tight ends with Will Tye of the Giants.
Surprising: Quarterback Sam Bradford
The Vikings thought that they were set for the season until the starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater tore his ACL before the season started. The Vikings made a trade for Sam Bradford with the Philadelphia Eagles for a first round pick. Bradford didn’t start the first game of the season because he was learning the offense but in 8 games this season he has totaled 2022 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions.
Disappointing: Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell
The Vikings selected Treadwell with the 23rd overall pick in the most recent NFL draft in hopes that they would have a new no. 1 receiver. In 9 games he has had one reception for 15 yards. If that isn’t disappointing I don’t know what is.
Green Bay Packers
Surprising: Wide receiver Davante Adams
Adams had a very strong end to last season as Jordy Nelson was out with a torn ACL. He has continued his strong finish into this season as he has been one of Aaron Rodgers favorite targets this season. He has totaled 621 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns through 9 games.
Disappointing: Wide receiver Randall Cobb
In the past two seasons Randall Cobb has been one of the best receivers in football and one of Aaron Rodgers favorite targets. This season however Cobb has totaled 433 receiving yards and just 3 touchdowns. He has been replaced basically by the most surprising player on the team as mentioned in the paragraph above.
Surprising: Running back Jordan Howard
Jordan Howard was set to be the second string running back on the bears behind Jeremy Langford. Langford got hurt in week 3 and Howard stepped in and took advantage of the opportunity. He was named the starter in week 4 and has racked up 605 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. He looks to be the feature back in the Bears’ offense.
Disappointing: Wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey
Jeffrey ended his 2015 campaign strong and was expected to be the Bears number one targeted receiver this season. He was, he just isn’t putting up the numbers of a no. 1 receiver. He had racked up 630 receiving yards but just one touchdown. Then last week he was suspended by the NFL for breaking the league’s substance abuse policy. The suspension was just icing on top of the cake for a disappointing season.
Surprising: Outside linebacker Vic Beasley Jr.
Vic Beasley was taken in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft by the Falcons and did not have a very good rookie season and has really stepped it up this season. Through 9 games Beasley has totaled 24 tackles, 4 Forced Fumbles and 9.5 sacks, which is second in the league. His improved play was expected but no one could’ve expected this.
Disappointing: Defensive tackle Courtney Upshaw
The Falcons signed Courtney Upshaw this past offseason and he was expected to be one of the forced on the Falcons defensive line. Upshaw has only been healthy for 2 games this season and has made 8 tackles. The Defensive line has been fine without him but his inability to stay healthy has been disappointing to say the least.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Surprising: Tight end Cameron Brate
Cameron Brate was slotted to be the back-up Tight end behind Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Seferian-Jenkins was cut due to off field issues, forcing Brate into a starting role. He has been great as the Bucs starter, he has totaled 375 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns through 9 games. Considering that he was forced into a starting role his numbers have been surprisingly great.
Disappointing: Running back Doug Martin
Doug Martin is coming off of the best season of his professional career as he finished second in the NFL in rushing behind Adrian Peterson. He was expected to put up similar numbers behind a new and improved Bucs offensive line. He has not put up anywhere close to the numbers he put up last season at this point. He was injured in week 2 and made his return last week and only put up 30 rushing yards.
New Orleans Saints
Surprising: Wide receiver Michael Thomas
The Saints selected Michael Thomas in the second round of the most recent NFL draft out of Ohio State. He was not expected to be the team’s No.2 Receiver because of Willie Snead. Thomas seized his opportunity when Snead got hurt in week 4 and hasn’t looked back. He has totaled 681 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns through 9 games.
Disappointing : Safety Jairus Byrd
Jairus Byrd was supposed to lead a very young and inexperienced Saints secondary and he has been anything but that. Through 10 games this season Byrd has posted a stat line of 34 tackles/0 Interceptions/ and just 2 pass deflections. The Saints gave Byrd a lucrative deal 3 years ago and have yet to see it pay off.
Surprising : Safety Tre Boston
Boston took over the starting strong safety spot this season and has been very impressive throughout this season. Through 10 games he has recorded 23 tackles 2 forced fumbles and an interception. He has been the most consistent member of the Panthers secondary.
Disappointing : Safety Kurt Coleman
After Josh Norman left in free agency and Charles Tillman retired Kurt Coleman was the only big piece of the Panthers secondary left and he has not played like the Kurt Coleman from last season. Coleman has totaled 38 tackles and 2 interceptions through 10 games. He has allowed an average of 79 receiving yards to opposing receivers this season. Panthers’ fans expected better from Coleman before the season began.
NFC West Seattle Seahawks
Surprising: Tight end Jimmy Graham
Jimmy Graham had a very disappointing first season in Seattle; topping off horrific numbers with a season ending knee injury. He has come back stronger than ever and is starting to look like the Jimmy Graham of old. He has totaled 593 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. He’s on pace for his first 1000-yard season as a Seahawk.
Disappointing: Defensive end Michael Bennett
Michael Bennett had a break-out season last year, leading the Seahawks with 10 sacks. He has been injured for the majority of this season and has not been able help the Seahawks somewhat weak pass-rush. He hasn’t been able put up any kind of numbers that Seahawks fans thought he would put up. It has been disappointing.
Surprising: Running back David Johnson
David Johnson had one of the best late season runs I have ever seen. But no one could have ever expected that he would be playing this well. Through 9 games he has totaled 760 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns. For the most part he has been the only consistent piece of the Cardinals struggling offense.
Disappointing: Wide receiver Michael Floyd
Does anyone else remember last season when Michael Floyd was a must have receiver on your fantasy football team down the stretch? Those days appear to be over. Michael Floyd has been the most disappointing receiver not just on the Cardinals but you could make a case for the NFL as well. Through 9 games he has just totaled 358 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. I don’t think anyone saw these kinds of numbers coming from Floyd.
Los Angeles Rams
Surprising: Wide receiver Kenny Britt
Kenny Britt was seen as the No.2 Receiver in one of the worst receiving corps in football. He has since emerged as the true no. 1 receiver on the Rams. Through 9 games he has totaled 693 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns.
Disappointing: Running back Todd Gurley
Todd Gurley established himself as one of the best young Running backs in football in his rookie season. The problem with that is that NFL defenses are now stacking the box with more men so that he can’t hurt them. Through 9 games this season he has totaled 515 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Not anywhere close to the numbers he put up last season at this point.
San Francisco 49ers
Surprising: Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley
Jeremy Kerley has emerged as the no. 1 receiver on the 49ers (Those are words I never thought I would say). Through 8 games he has totaled 424 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. That’s average compared to the rest of the league but it’s as good as it gets when it comes to the 49ers.
Disappointing: Wide receiver Torrey Smith
The 49ers are still waiting for Torrey Smith to be the Torrey Smith he was in Baltimore, but it just simply doesn’t seem like that is going to happen. Through 9 games this season he has totaled 242 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. The 49ers had a chance to trade him at the deadline but couldn’t do it. He has been very disappointing since leaving Baltimore.