Halftime

Checking in on the Offseason’s Free Agents

September 23, 2015


HNGN

I know that it’s early in the season, but there are several former free agents in the league who have either helped or hurt their respective teams significantly in the first two weeks.  Here are a few of those players who have had a positive impact so far:

  1. Richie Incognito: The Buffalo Bills really struggled at the left guard position last year and have ever since Andy Levitre left to join the Tennessee Titans.  Incognito has added a veteran presence to the offensive line and a mentality that is extremely intense.  His intensity has helped to stabilize the Buffalo Bills in a part of the game in which they were previously extremely weak.
  2. Michael Crabtree: The former 49ers wide receiver is now contributing to the Oakland offense in a big way.  In last week’s upset win over the Baltimore Ravens, Crabtree caught 9 balls for 111 yards and a TD, proving to be one of Derek Carr’s favorite targets in the Week 2 game.  In Week 1, Crabtree caught only 5 balls for 37 yards, but his role is likely to continue to expand, and he has provided in a big way for the Oakland Raiders thus far.
  3. Darrelle Revis: Revis was a Patriot for a very short time and has now returned to the Jets, where he is doing big things.  Revis has played a huge role in the Jets 2-0 start thus far, shutting down T.Y. Hilton this week to the tune of 4 catches for 45 yards.  Revis also had an interception off Andrew Luck and two fumble recoveries in the game. He also played a solid role in the Jets win over the Browns. The Jets organization must be ecstatic to have Revis back.
  4. Stevie Johnson: The former Buffalo Bill, and more recently former 49er, Stevie Johnson has gotten off to a hot start for the Chargers.  He has proved to be one of Philip Rivers most trusted and favorite targets through the first two weeks of the season.  He’s caught a TD pass in each of the first two games, and he’s gone for an average of over 60 yards a game.  He’s proving to be an excellent fantasy asset as well, scoring double digit point totals in each of the first two weeks.  Stevie Johnson might be having a resurgent year in San Diego, and it’s because Philip Rivers has started to develop a solid rapport with the WR.
  5. James Jones: When the Giants cut James Jones this offseason, they must have had absolutely no idea what they were doing.  Since being cut by the Giants, Jones was picked up by the Packers and has already scored three touchdowns in two weeks.  His familiarity with Aaron Rodgers is helping both him and Green Bay to win football games, and even at age 31, James Jones is proving that he still has something left in the tank.

Now here are a few players who haven’t quite had the impact that their teams want to see out of them.

 

  • Demarco Murray: This man rushed for 1847 yards and 13 TDs last season behind a dominant Dallas offensive line.  This season, Demarco Murray has rushed for 11 total yards behind an Eagles offensive line that is struggling to an absurd degree.  In fact, Murray is first getting hit behind the line of scrimmage and thus has not had much of an opportunity to run the ball effectively.  Murray is also not happy with his quarterback, Sam Bradford, who has struggled to throw the ball downfield and make good decisions. Murray has not been able to meet expectations in what was supposed to be a dynamic Eagles offense.
  • Ndamukong Suh: Suh was dominant in his tenure with the Detroit Lions. The Miami Dolphins signed him to a massive 6 year, 114 million dollar contract, expecting him to produce big numbers.  Through two games, Suh hasn’t delivered.  He has only 3 total tackles and no sacks, and there are even some reports that Suh is freelancing and ignoring defensive play calls.  In any case, Suh hasn’t been very good, and unless he improves, the Dolphins spent a lot of money for a player who is only averaging 1.5 tackles per game.
  • Frank Gore: There are a ton of narratives about RBs who are over 30 years old, and so far Gore is fitting what most of the stereotypes say.  At, 32 year old Gore is starting to slow down.  He was terrible against the Bills, rushing for only 31 yards, and rushed for only 57 against the Jets.  Gore also lost a crucial fumble on the goal line against the Jets, essentially destroying any chance the Colts had of a comeback.  The Colts might have thought that they found their answer at RB, but through two weeks of the season. it seems like they most certainly have not.
  • Andre Johnson: This is another signing for the Colts that hasn’t worked out particularly well so far.  Andre Johnson, similar to Frank Gore, is old, at age 34.  He had some massive seasons with the Texans but has been relatively quiet so far, failing to surpass 30 yards in either Week 1 or Week 2.  These weeks have come with their share of drops, and to make matters worse, Johnson has also failed to get separation from the cornerbacks that are guarding him.  So far, the Colts have not gotten what they were expecting out of the former Texans WR.
  • Owen Daniels: When the Broncos got rid of Julius Thomas, they could not have expected such a bad replacement.  Peyton Manning almost always loves his tight end, and loves getting the ball to him.  But Owen Daniels is not particularly athletic or young, and this has not helped out Peyton Manning in the slightest.  Through two games, Owen Daniels has exactly 24 receiving yards and 5 catches.  He’s in a role where he essentially does nothing.  If Manning doesn’t get better performance out of his TE, he’s likely to continue to struggle.  Hopefully for Manning, Daniels can get back on track and start performing like he used to when he was one of the elite TEs in the league.

 

 



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