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Can you believe it is Week 5 already in the NFL?

Who thought teams like the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers would all have winning records at the quarter mark of the season?

The season has had many surprises: the Philadelphia Eagles and the Carolina Panthers being 1-3; the Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons and the Oakland Raiders at 2-2 and the St. Louis Rams at 0-4.

The Houston Texans and New York Giants are playing under the radar at 3-1.

The Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts are just plain bad.

Lastly, we have the usual teams on top. The Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers are just good.

Here are five underdogs that will win outright in Week 5.

Arizona Cardinals At Minnesota Vikings

Both these teams have been major disappointments. Minnesota is favored despite a worse record, perhaps because they are at home.

Arizona is the better team, though. The Cardinals actually have a passing game: Kevin Kolb has 1,049 yards; Donovan McNabb has 680.

The Cardinals have better receivers; Larry Fitzgerald leads them with 361 yards receiving. The Vikings best receiver, Michael Jenkins, has 144—less than half Fitzgerald’s total.

The Cardinals’ run game has been increasingly better.  That happens to be the only positive of the Vikings offense.

Beanie Wells, now the feature back in Arizona, went over 100 yards last week and is giving the Cardinals a balanced attack.

Philadelphia Eagles At Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills beat the New England Patriots, so why not Philadelphia? Philadelphia has the line by three, but I say the Bills can squeak this one out.

It’s at Buffalo, so that plays to the Bills’ advantage. The Eagles secondary has been struggling, too. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been thriving in the air game, except for an off game last week in their loss to Cincinnati.

Buffalo has a balanced attack as well, as Fred Jackson is running the ball well (369 yards for the season). Stevie Johnson has given Fitzpatrick a solid deep threat.

The Bills defense is also much improved, especially their pass rush.

Cincinnati Bengals At Jacksonville Jaguars

The battle of rookie quarterbacks. Cincinnati is 2-2; Jacksonville is 1-3 and favored.

Cincinnati is the better team, though. Dalton has had a better season and has more offensive weapons than Blaine Gabbert.

Dalton has 868 yards, where Gabbert has 367 on the season.

Both running games are about equal, but the Bengals can air it out more with the versatile A.J. Green, who has had a spectacular rookie season with 19 catches for 312 yards and two touchdowns on the year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers At San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers are favored to win this game at home. They have a hot hand, but Tampa Bay is the better team.

San Francisco has the better defense, but Tampa Bay has the better offense and so far this season, offenses have trumped defenses.

Josh Freeman had a great Monday night game against Indianapolis and has 969 passing yards on the season. The Buccaneers win because they have the better quarterback.

Both teams’ receiving games are up and down; both have solid running games.

Oakland Raiders At Houston Texans

This may be bold, but the Oakland Raiders might win this game despite being on the road and underdogs.

Houston will miss Andre Johnson, so we could see the running game really flourish in this game.

Oakland has the better run game now. Darren McFadden is having a breakout 2011 season with 468 yards and three touchdowns on the year.

Oakland’s passing game isn’t all that bad, especially with rookie speedster Denarius Moore having a breakout 2011 season.

I’d say it comes down to who can run the ball better. If Arian Foster can be effective, he and Matt Schaub may pull it out against the Raiders.

127297039_crop_650x440The Green Bay Packers have been great to start the 2011 season.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers are off to a 4-0 start and tied atop the NFC North division with the Detroit Lions. Here are the winners and losers for the Green Bay Packers at the season’s quarter mark:

The Packers have been great so far this season as it is has been hard not to be impressed with the undefeated start for the team.

However, there has been some hiccups for the team. Injuries, and perhaps the lack of offseason workouts, hurt the defense so they could get the right chemistry.


Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFLthis season.

Rodgers has a league-leading 73.1 completion percentage, 1,325 passing yards, a 12-2 touchdown-interception ratio and a 124.6 passer rating. Not to mention he averages 331 passing yards a game.

On Sunday he set a new NFL record, becoming the first quarterback to throw for 400 yards, pass for four touchdowns and rush for two more.

That’s incredible.

Rodgers has the playmaking mentality in him, along with his leadership and clutch performance.

Charles Woodson

Charles Woodson isn’t playing like he is 34 years old.

Yesterday, Woodson had an interception for a touchdown, along with four tackles and a pass defense.

This season, Woodson has played with an energy that won him the Defensive Player of the Year two years ago.

Woodson already has three interceptions, one touchdown, four pass defenses and 14 tackles on the year.

Green Bay Packers Wide Receivers

The Green Bay Packers wide receivers are about as good and young as any team in the NFL this season.

Just about everyone has caught passes from Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers hit nine in his first two games, seven two weeks ago and eight last Sunday.

Greg Jennings has been Rodgers go-to receiver. Jennings has 25 receptions for 366 yards and three touchdowns.

Jordy Nelson has caught 15 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns.

James Jones has nine catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. Donald Drivers has eight grabs for 71 yards and a touchdown.

The youngster Randall Cobb has seven grabs for 148 yards and a touchdown.

Perhaps Rodgers biggest target, Jermichael Finley has 18 catches for 234 yards and three touchdowns. All of his touchdowns came against Chicago.

Green Bay Packers Rush Defense: 

The Green Bay Packers rush defense has been the most solid while the offense isn’t on the field.

They gave up their first 100-yard rushing game last week to theDenver Broncos, allowing 119 yards. In the previous three weeks, they gave up 81, 71 and 13 rushing yards.

On the season, they are giving up 77 yards per game on the ground and averaging 3.7 yards per rush to opposing running backs.

The Packers defense has also recorded seven sacks on the season.


Green Bay Packers Secondary: 

It was a bummer losing Nick Collins for the season due to a neck injury.

The Green Bay Packers secondary has been relatively weak this season, outside of Charles Woodson and Morgan Burnett.

They gave up 265 yards and 384 total yards yesterday. The defense had given up 403.3 yards in the first three games. The Packers rank 28th in the league in yards allowed.

Last year, the Packers gave up 320 yards in six of their first eight games of the season, they only allowed that once in their final eight games. (Green Bay Press Gazette).

Perhaps they start to defend the pass better as the season goes on.

To be honest, the Green Bay Packers linebackers haven’t been that bad. They are getting pressure and blitzing the quarterback, and are attacking the run, but perhaps they should help the secondary stop the pass in the future more.

This linebackers have combined for 4.5 sacks.

Desmond Bishop leads the team in tackles with 36 total tackles.

Clay Matthews is off to a slow start with 14 tackles and just one sack. Matthews has been solid in the pass rush, teams are just blocking him.

The Packers linebackers will only continue to get better. It just takes time.

Green Bay Packers Linebackers: 

To be honest, the Green Bay Packers linebackers haven’t been that bad. They are getting pressure and blitzing the quarterback, and are attacking the run, but perhaps they should help the secondary stop the pass in the future more.

This linebackers have combined for 4.5 sacks.

Desmond Bishop leads the team in tackles with 36 total tackles.

Clay Matthews is off to a slow start with 14 tackles and just one sack. Matthews has been solid in the pass rush, teams are just blocking him.

The Packers linebackers will only continue to get better. It just takes time.


 Aaron Rodgers has been elite this season.

Scott Boehm/Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to another victory and had another monster day Sunday.

Rodgers has continued to show that he is an elite quarterback with his decision-making, playmaking and the leadership he has shown the Packers.

Here are five reasons why Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL right now:

No. 1: His Accuracy

Aaron Rodgers is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the entire NFL. Rodgers has a 73.1 percent completion percentage through the first four games of the season.

That is the best in the entire NFL.

Rodgers doesn’t just throw to one or two guys. Sunday, Rodgers hit eight different receivers. He hit nine in each of the first two games and seven in Week 3.

No. 2: His Playmaking ability

Aaron Rodgers can make big plays out of nothing. A prime example is when the Green Bay Packers trailed Denver 3-0 late in the first quarter.

Rodgers nailed a 50-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson that shifted the momentum. The Packers did not look back.

Look at these stats: Rodgers became the first NFL player ever to surpass 400 passing yards (408 total) while throwing four passing touchdowns and rushing for two more.

Don’t count out these stats either: he completed 76 percent of his passes, had a 134.5 passer rating and averaged a whopping 10.7 passing yards per completion.

Rodgers also gets things done when the Packers need them most. Rodgers and the Packers were 9-of-13 on third down and 5-of-6 in the red zone. That is efficiency at its finest.

On the season, Rodgers has 1,325 passing yards, a 12-2 touchdown-interception ratio and a 124.6 passer rating. He averages 331 passing yards a game.

That is an elite quarterback and the reason why Green Bay is tied atop the NFC North with the Detroit Lions.

No. 3: His Rushing Ability

Aaron Rodgers isn’t just a passer. Rodgers can run the ball, too. He showed that yesterday, with his two rushing touchdowns and nine carries for 36 yards.

But it’s not just about touchdowns. Rodgers can get it done when no receivers are open. His scrambling ability and mobility are partly why the Packers are 4-0.

When Rodgers can move outside the pocket, and avoid defenders, he has more time to find and hit his receivers for big plays.

In the last two years, Rodgers has rushed for over 300 yards. This year he has 53 yards and two touchdowns.

Rodgers will certainly need that mobility when the Packers play the Detroit Lions.

No. 4: His Clutch Performance

There may not be a more clutch quarterback than Aaron Rodgers right now in the NFL.

Rodgers is 32-20 in his career as the Packers quarterback in the regular season and 4-1 in the playoffs.

Rodgers and Green Bay have won their past ten games.

This season, Rodgers has showed why he can be clutch.

Against New Orleans in the season opener, Rodgers propelled Green Bay off to an early start, and they never gave up the lead.

Against Carolina, Green Bay was down 13-7 at halftime. They outscored the Panthers 24-10 in the second half.

Against Chicago in Week 3, Green Bay never trailed, but the Bears nearly came back. Rodgers put the team on his back and helped run out the clock late in the game.

Then, this last week against Denver, Rodgers shifted the momentum when the Packers trailed 3-0 late in the first quarter with his 50-yard touchdown pass. The Packers didn’t look back, but then when Denver pulled to within 21-17 late in the second quarter, Rodgers led another touchdown drive. In the second half, he put the game out of reach.

No. 5: He is Scary Good

Aaron Rodgers possesses a confidence in his arm that is why the Green Bay Packers are 4-0. Rodgers is cool and calm when he steps into the huddle and under center.

Rodgers wants to win and is driven to compete at the highest level every game.

He zips passes into his receivers, avoids sacks, thrives under pressure and is an accurate passer.

His decision-making and leadership are what the Packers need. Rodgers is not outspoken. He shows up to work and gets the job done.

Rodgers certainly isn’t going anywhere and will be in green and gold for a long time.

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 20:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos throws a towel to a fan as he exits the field after a pre-season game against the Buffalo Bills at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 20, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Bro

 Tebow’s been average this preseason, and will have to step it up final two preseason games to have a future in Denver. Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Tim Tebow has been criticized, and jumped on all preseason long. The media has been against him, and the world has rooted against him – all except Bronco fans, Tebow fans, and Gator fans. Yet, Tebow hasn’t given up. Tebow has remained humble, and fueled to get stronger and better.

This preseason, in all fairness, Tebow has not been all that bad. Here are the grades for Tebow’s performances at the halfway point of the preseason:

Week One vs Dallas: 

Tebow was 6 for 7 for 91 yards, and ran the ball twice for 15 yards. Tebow threw no touchdowns, no interceptions. Tebow’s best play was a 43 yard pass to Matt Willis, and picked up a third down to David Anderson.

Tebow had his ups and downs. Compared to Orton, Tebow took more risks. Orton went 2-6, Brady Quinn went 8 for 14, and threw a touchdown. Quinn was best out the three.

Tebow didn’t get the best protection. Tebow ran all over the pocket, made a few bad throws, and missed some throws. Tebow looked rushed, and hurried most of the time.

Grade: C. Tebow’s performance was average. He only missed one throw, which was to an open receiver, but it happens. Not every quarterback is going to make every throw.

Week Two vs. Buffalo: 

Tebow was third string and played only in the fourth quarter against the Bills. Quinn continues to impress. Tebow has a lot to do to win this back up job.

Tebow was 1 for 2 and ten yards. Tebow also had one rush for seven yards.

Tebow didn’t really get a good chance to show his stuff. Is it a sign that the coaches might be losing hope on Tebow?

Grade: C. You cannot really grade a guy who only threw two passes.

Total Grade for Tebow at the Halfway Point: 

Total grade for the first two preseason games: C. Tebow’s been nothing but average. Good, but not great. Not poor.

Tebow has displayed he can throw the ball, and that he is a mobile to move around the pocket, and to get downfield if the plays do not develop or if no one is open. Tebow’s accuracy is his biggest thing to work on.

For Tebow, there is always the next two games, and Tebow must show why he deserves to be a member of the Denver Broncos.

In the next two games, starting with this weekend, Fox said this, “Kyle has had 19 passes, Brady’s had 30 and Tim’s had nine,” Fox said. “So in fairness to Tim, we need to get that total up whether that’s this week or next week.” (Tim Tebow Zone).

That is a good sign for Timmy. Now Tebow just needs to go out there and show why he can battle with Quinn for the back up job.

Tebow certainly has the ability, the strength, the will, the hard work, and is a leader in that locker room.

If I am the coaches, I recognize what Tebow brings to the team. Tebow is nothing but positive energy. Yes, Tebow brings a lot talk from the media, but he will always be a team first guy.

Tebow is more inconsistent than anything. Tebow has a lot to improve upon, whether it is his mechanics, accuracy, or throwing ability. While many think, you can’t improve on Tebow’s mechanics, and make him a better passer, Tebow must let that not faze him. Tebow must keep his faith in God first, and in his football ability. Tebow has it in him in.

John Fox believes in Tebow, and that he will improve. “I think he’s got a bright future in this game. He’s playing maybe the hardest position I know in the NFL there is to play, and maybe in all of sports. He’s progressing fine…. Everybody in this building has high regard for Tim Tebow, and Tim’s doing just fine. There’s no update on where his ranking is at this point by any official.” (

Fox is letting Tebow fight Quinn for the back up role as of now. That is good, and Tebow can’t let this opportunity to show why deserves it to slip away from him.

Always remember, Tebow plays the game unlike any other. Tebow takes violent hits, Tebow gives it his all and leaves it all on the field and that’s all that matter. As fans, remember to be patient with Tebow, it’s only his second year. There is plenty of time to grow.


GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners looks to throw the ball against the Connecticut Huskies during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

 The Sooners are the favorite in the Big 12, then the competiton drops off.  Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Big XII lost a key member this season, Nebraska. They had been to the Big XII championship game the last two seasons. The conference also lost Colorado to the Pac-12 as well.

Now, the Big XII is left with ten teams. Three are in the top ten in the preseason rankings, and five total in the top 25. Oklahoma is number one, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M are 8 and 9 respectively, Missouri is no. 21 and  Texas is no. 24. However, outside of Oklahoma, all have questions. Oklahoma is the most experienced team in the Big XII by far.

Let’s take a look at the Big XII competition this season and why outside of Oklahoma, everyone is overrated.

Oklahoma State is ranked no. 8 to start the season and return quarterback Brandon Weeden, and wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Last season, Weeden put up 4,277 yards, 34 touchdowns to 13 interceptions, and had a 66.9 competition percentage. Blackmon 111 receptions for 1,782 yards, and 20 touchdowns. The Cowboys are a threat to the Sooners in the Big 12, but lost some key offensive playmakers. Running Kendall Hunter moved on to the NFL, and offensive coordinator Dana Holgerson moved onto West Virginia.

The Cowboys were sixth overall in total offense, with 520 yards a game, and 355 passing yards to 174 rushing yards. Their running game countered their passing game last season. Teams had to prepare both for their passing and running games. Sophomores Joseph Randle, and Jeremy Smith will be the men receiving handoffs from Weeden. Randle saw some playing time last year, as he had 452 rushing yards, and 437 receiving  yards.

In 2011, with a new offensive coordinator, how will Weeden and Blackmon’s chemistry be, and how will running game compliment the passing game? Teams will focus more on shutting down and doubling Blackmon, and the Cowboys will have to figure out how to work around that to be a real competition to the Sooners.

Next up, the Texas A&M Aggies come into 2011 highly ranked and with high expectations. The Aggies didn’t finish out the 2010 season, like they had hoped losing 41-24 to LSU in the Cotton Bowl.

This season, the Aggies have had to deal with negotiations that might send them to the SEC, might this make the Aggies lose some focus on there Big 12 opponents in 2011?

The Aggies also have a lot of questions on offense, and lost big time linebacker Von Miller to the NFL as well. Ryan Tannehill had a huge second half in 2010, having 1,638 passing yards, and 13 touchdowns to six interceptions. The Aggies return running back Cyrus Gray, and wide receiver Jeff Fuller, but their biggest question is their offensive line. The offensive line gave up 35 sacks last year, that number will have to go down for the Aggies to have a successful season in 2010?

So why might this team be overrated? The Aggies have big expectations to live up to, could fall to the pressure. There defense won’t be the same without Miller, and the offensive line will be telling point to protect Tannehill in pocket for the Aggies to be successful.

The Missouri Tigers are no. 21 and lost big time quarterback Blaine Gabbert. You might ask, why might the Tigers be ranked?

The reason the Tigers are overrated? New quarterback James Franklin, their secondary has questions, and their schedule is hard. Franklin has a good receiving core to throw to, but doesn’t have any game experience. Yes, the Tigers secondary was a key in upsetting Oklahoma last year, but are relatively young with exception of a few juniors and seniors. The schedule doesn’t get easy either. The Aggies travel to Oklahoma, to Arizona State, and to Texas A&M

Lastly, Texas is the last ranked Big XII team. They are no. 24, but have some serious questions, and begins with the quarterback. Garrett Gilbert is likely starter, but struggled last season, throwing 17 interceptions to 10 touchdowns. Gilbert is competing with Connor Wood and Case McCoy for starting job. Defense will also be a huge for the Longhorns. They lost to Iowa State last year, and got drubbed by UCLA, 34-12.

For the rest of the conference, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor, and Texas Tech, work still needs to be done to be top notch competitors for the conference title.

So, Oklahoma are the favorites in the Big XII, then anything can happen. As for Oklahoma, they are the favorite because of quarterback Landry Jones, a star studded receiving core, and a defense that is older and improved. The Sooners also return 18 starters. There biggest question may be replacing running back DeMarco Murray.

In the Big XII, there’s no longer a championship game so whoever wins the season standings will represent the conference in the BCS. It’s all or nothing for Oklahoma.

The Michigan Wolverines have a new head coach that has already done wonders on the recruiting trail for 2012. Brady Hoke has gotten 22 recruits to commit to the Maize and Blue. None bigger was Kyle Kalis, whom Hoke stole from Ohio State, who is a OG and OT.

The Wolverines list includes: Kalis, Terry Richardson, CB, Royce Jenkins-Stone, MLB, Joe Bolden, LB, Chris Wormley, DE, Devin Funchess, TE, James Ross, MLB, Jarrod Wilson, S, Mario Ojemudia, DE, Erik Magnuson, OT, Blake Bars, OT, Ben Braden, OT, Pharoah Brown, DE, Matt Godin, DT, Tom Strobel, DE, Caleb Stacey, OG, Kaleb Ringer, MLB, A.J. Williams, TE, Anthony Standifer, CB, Allen Grant, S/WR, Sione Houma, FB and Jeremy Clark, S.

Here are five prospects that haven’t committed yet and could be leaning Blue for 2012:

Prospect No.1: S Yuri Wright 

Yuri Wright, a safety, is 6’2″ and 180 pounds from Don Bosco Prep School in New Jersey, and is the No. 3 cornerback in the class of 2012, according to Yahoo Sports. Wright is high on the Wolverines list. As a junior, Wright had 45 tackles and six interceptions, two he returned for touchdowns. Wright has had 19 offers from Division I universities. He is a great runner in the field and a four star athlete.

In June, Wright said his top five were Michigan, Notre Dame, Colorado, Rutgers and Georgia.

Wright has good height, hips and length at the cornerback position. He also shows good bursts.

Prospect No.2: DT Aziz Shittu 

Aziz Shittu, DT, is a four star player at his position out of Buhach County High School in California. Shittu is 6’3″ and 275 pounds. He may need to add weight in college, but can be dominant in the trenches on the defensive side of the ball. Shittu is athletic, explosive and has good size, but his techniques and moves may need some work. He is ranked ninth positionally.

GoBlueWolverine magazine said that Shittu has serious interest in Michigan as the class of 2012 is almost full.

Prospect No.3: OG Joshua Garnett 

Joshua Garnett, offensive guard, is 6’5″ and 275 out of Puyallup High School. Garnett is ranked eighth positionally and is a five star athlete, according to Garnett is a big lineman who is strong, and uses that as a great run blocker. He plays guard, but could easily play the tackle position with his size and strength. He may need to add body mass to play guard in college.

Garnett has medium interest in Michigan, and has been offered a scholarship by Michigan.

Prospect No.4: S Elijah Shumate

Elijah Shumate, safety, from Don Bosco H.S. in New Jersey, has shown high interest in Michigan as well. Shumate was offered a scholarship by the Wolverines, and is a four star athlete and ranked fifth positionally. Shumate’s closing speed, size and tackling ability are his strengths, and he needs to work on his coverage awareness. At Don Bosco, he lines up as an outside linebacker, but can line up in the slot. Shumate is physical and takes good blocks at the line of scrimmage. He would be a good outside linebacker or safety.

 Prospect No.5: WR Jordan Payton 
The Wolverines are looking at two wide receivers, Payton and Amara Darboh. Payton is a four star receiver from Westlake Village, CA who is 6’2″, and 205 pounds, and has medium interest in the Wolverines.

Payton had 61 catches for 907 yards and 10 touchdowns while missing two games in 2010.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - AUGUST 12: Mark Ingram # 28 of the New Orleans Saints runs into the end zone for a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during their pre season game at Louisiana Superdome on August 12, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sea

 Mark Ingram, Saints looked great in his preseason debut.

Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The NFL preseason is off, and the rookies are ready to show coaches, scouts, and general managers why they were drafted, and signed. Some rookies are off to faster starts than most, and are have coaches eyes on how they might contribute to the 2011 regular season.

Which of the rookies shined the most during Week One of preseason?

Well, here are ten rookies who showed promise:


2 of 12


Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints

Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner, and guided Alabama to the 2009 BCS title, had a more quiet 2010 season, and his draft stock dropped a little. Ingram was the first running back chosen in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Last weekend, Ingram got to take the NFL field for the first time. It may be the preseason, but Ingram left his mark. Ingram showed off his power by breaking tackles in the win against the 49ers the same way he did in the SEC while at Alabama.

Ingram scored his first touchdown against the 49ers, where he bounced a defender, and spun to score. Ingram carried the ball six times for 23 yards.

Ingram will be one of many Saints running backs this season. The Saints also have Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory, and Darren Sproles. We have to wonder how Sean Payton will use the power that Ingram brings to the field.

Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers

Cobb showed Packer fans the explosiveness he had at Kentucky.

Randall Cobb was a second round draft pick out of Kentucky for the Green Bay Packers. Cobb fits the Packers perfectly. Cobb has a mix of explosive speed, good hands, and the ability to make yards after the catch.

Coaches in Green Bay are drooling over Cobb’s skill set and talent. Perhaps just what the Packers need since they had Desmond Howard in the 1990s.

Saturday against Cleveland, Coach McCarthy got to see firsthand Cobb at his finest. Cobb caught three passes for 60 yards, one of which was for 28 yards. Cobb also returned two kickoffs for 58 yards.

Cobb has gotten the playbook down well for missing the offseason due to the lockout, and is mentally in the right football mind.

Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots

Stevan Ridley, a running back out of LSU made his mark for the New England Patriots last Thursday night. The Patriots filled with running backs, are always looking for that back who can provide a bang, and Ridley did just that. Shane Vereen was injured and Ridley stepped in and made the most of it.

Ridley, the third round pick, scored three touchdowns against the Jaguars. Two on the ground and one in the air. Ridley rushed for 64 yards on 16 carries. Ridley caught seven passes for 47 yards.

One of his touchdowns, Ridley had quick feet and scored from one yard out. Ridley, may be projected to be third down back, and Belichick said he played hard against the Jaguars.

Ridley is only 5’11” and 225 pounds, but can produce contact runs, and the Patriots definitely got the most out of him in their first preseason game.

Dwayne Harris, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Dwayne Harris, wide receiver out of East Carolina, went out big in his preseason debut for the Cowboys against the Broncos. The sixth round draft pick caught five passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns, one of which that set up the winning two point conversion.

Tony Romo may have a new secret weapon to throw to when Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and Jason Witten are covered.

Harris’ biggest catch came early in the fourth quarter that was an initial five yard catch, but turned it into a 76 yard touchdown. Jason Garrett was happy.

Darryl Gamble, ILB, San Diego Chargers

Darryl Gamble, ILB out of Georgia, turned heads for the San Diego Chargers in their opening preseason game.

Gamble was an undrafted free agent and had six tackles, two for a loss, and one for a sack in the Chargers loss to the Seahawks. Gamble was also hurt in the game.

The blog couldn’t have summed it up any better. Gamble could have a similar impact like Frank Zombo had on the Packers last year

Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, and first overall draft pick, played for the Carolina Panthers in their Week One preseason game Saturday, and helped lead the Panthers to the win.

Newton went 8 for 19 in the game passing for 134 yards. Newton had zero touchdowns or interceptions.

Newton has been wowing at Panthers training camp, or that’s the way head coach Ron Rivera addressed Newton. Newton’s running ability has gave him a second threat to use against opposing defenses.

Today, the Panthers told that Newton is still No.2 on the depth chart to Jimmy Clausen. Newton is competing against Clausen, and Derek Anderson.

Denarius Moore, WR, Oakland Raiders

Head coach Hue Jackson said Denarius Moore, “wowed,” in practice dominating practice, and quarterback Jason Campbell described him as another Jacoby Ford. Moore is a fifth round draft pick out of Tennessee.

Moore is a shorter receiver at six foot, and 195 pounds for NFL receivers but has the speed to get past cornerbacks.

Moore caught three passes for 37 yards in Oakland‘s first preseason game. Moore averaged 12.3 yards a catch.

Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans

Jake Locker may not be the starting quarterback come September, but the future holds brightly for this kid. Locker, drafted eight overall by Tennessee, came in the game as a the backup to Matt Hasselbeck against the Vikings.

Locker connected on seven of ten passes for 89 yards and a touchdown. Locker’s touchdown pass was a 45 yard toss to Yamon Figurs.

Locker will get to learn from the veteran Hasselbeck, who has gone to the Super Bowl in his career as a NFL quarterback.

Marcell Dareus, DT, Buffalo Bills

Marcell Dareus, the third overall draft pick by the Buffalo Bills, was described as a “man among beasts,” by radio host Joe Buscaglia of Buffalo.

Dareus has a great work ethic, and the Bills are hoping he and Shawne Merriman can revamp a defense that struggled a year ago.

Dareus had a solid first preseason game, recording a sack.

Lance Kendricks, TE, St. Louis Rams

Lance Kendricks, a second round draft pick out of Wisconsin was brought in to be a huge target for the up and coming Sam Bradford. Kendricks was just that in his first preseason game.

Kendricks had five receptions for 47 yards, and a touchdown. The touchdown was a six yard pass from Bradford. Kendricks was targeted seven times, and picked up 9.4 yards a catch.

The NFC West is rather weak, and the Rams almost made the playoffs last season after going 1-15 the previous season.

The Rams went out and got new targets for Bradford to strengthen the receiving game.