- Ben Roethlisberger, or simply "Ben," as the announcers seem to prefer, has looked even tougher. Three weeks ago in Philly, he "came under as heavy a pass rush as he has experienced in five NFL seasons as the rampaging Eagles defense sacked him eight times." He's been playing with a sprained throwing shoulder since.
Then came two nationally televised games in which he was thrown around like a rag doll; the sack numbers stayed down, but only because Roethlisberger was able to make plays while being hit. He was almost always on the run, seemingly never able to deliver a pass while standing pat in the pocket. Check out the three-minute mark here.
- In thats same game David Garrard looked impressive himself. He had a chance to lead a third consecutive fourth quarter comeback drive, but sure enough the Jaguars last two possessions were halted by dropped passes. You could put together a five-minute highlight reel of the Jaguars' best dropped passes over the last 3 season. The only reason why they only have one representative on this list, and none at all on last year's is because they insist on taking part equally.
It's not so surprising that Garrard ran five times (twice for first downs, once for a TD) on the game-tying drive the week prior.
- The value of Ronnie Brown
Tim Graham, on the ESPN NFl blog, put together some numbers, showing Ronnie Brown's effectiveness on a per-game basis, thus showing what he can do when healthy.
It's a small sample size, sure, and it does nothing to quell doubts about him him being injury prone, but the numbers do jump out at you: most TD's per game!
- It's instructive to notice LaDainian Tomlinson second on that list. While he's on pace for 15 Touchdowns this year, it's fair to say that he's struggled this year, playing with a bad toe. But for some reason few have seemed to notice and it is the rare opinion that acknowledges the possible severity of the injury. From the Houston Chronicle:
"I’ve seen LT’s season before, and it happened in 1996. Marshall Faulk was hobbled by a dislocated toe and started 13 games that season and averaged 45.2 yards per game and 3 yards per carry. Fast forward 12 years, and Tomlinson is dealing with a lingering toe problem, and he clearly lacks the explosiveness he has had in the past."Then again, maybe it's just Norv Turner's "predictable" play calling.