With the NFL season being over a month in at this point there have been numerous surprises on the field both positive and negative. There have been veterans and rookie players that have exceeded expectations and their performances are deserving of an overall upgrade.
On the flip side, there have been numerous superstars who haven't lived up to what was expected of them on the field and their overalls should be lowered in response. Here are 5 NFL players whose ratings deserve to skyrocket and 5 who need an overall rating drop tomorrow.
This entry mostly has to do with Ben Roethlisberger injuring himself and being out for the year. That being said, his play on the field also wasn't shaping up to be anything spectacular, so the injury may have been a blessing in disguise. Most people, including Ben, believe that he'll be returning next season despite being tempted by retirement in recent years. Time will tell what he decides to do, but it may be time for the Pittsburgh Steelers to look towards the future at the quarterback position.
Josh Jacobs, the talented running back from Alabama, was taken with one of the picks the Oakland Raiders acquired via the Khalil Mack trade. Though the Raiders will never replace a generational talent like Mack, it seems like Jacobs may end up being an all-time great in the silver and black. His rookie campaign has been tremendous so far and he's currently near the top of the league for total rushing yards through 5 games. Look for Jacobs to possibly jump to a place as a Top 5 NFL running back.
Kickers have some of the hardest jobs in the NFL. When they make routine kicks they're seen as an afterthought, but the moment they miss kicks it starts to put them in a bad place with fans. Cairo Santos isn't a bad kicker, but there's an argument to be made he's having one of the roughest 2019 campaigns so far as a kicker. In week 5 Santos missed 4 field goals in a close game against the Buffalo Bills that the Tennessee Titans could have won if he hit 3 of the 4 he missed.
Cooper Kupp already has a reputation as a reliable receiver in the Los Angeles Rams offense and has ascended to be Jared Goff's #1 security blanket. His 2018 campaign ended due to an unfortunate injury and the Rams offense never seemed to be as explosive in the passing game without him. The 2019 NFL season has proven that he hasn't lost a step to the injury and though the Rams offense is still inconsistent, he's been a model of consistency for them throughout their first month of games.
It's tough to see a former NFL MVP struggle, but the Atlanta Falcons as a whole have arguably been the most disappointing aspect of the 2019 season. The defense has struggled to stop a nose bleed, and on the other side of the field, the offense lead by Matt Ryan has turned the ball over and failed to produce in the red zone.
His stats aren't bad, but most of them have been padded by 4th quarters in which their opponents are holding a big lead and playing soft and off the line of scrimmage.
Entering the season you likely heard analysts talk about Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Khalil Mack, or Chandler Jones as their favorites to lead the league in sacks. No one could have foreseen a former Denver Broncos role player land with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and have 8 sacks through 4 games. Shaq Barrett is looking to make a name for himself and is currently on pace to shatter the single-season sack record. Look for his production to slow down, but he'll still end up with a great overall by season's end.
The NFL can be tough to watch when a superstar player's career takes a sharp turn. Before his arthritic knee flared up at the end of the 2018 season Todd Gurley performed and played like the #1 running back in the league and looked like he would join the ranks of Marshall Faulk and Eric Dickerson. Since then he's received fewer touches per game and doesn't seem to have the same explosiveness that earned him all of the accolades and money. For his sake hopefully, it's just a rough stretch.
During the 2019 NFL offseason, the Jacksonville Jaguars were confident that they fixed the quarterback position when they signed free agent Nick Foles to a contract. After Foles suffered a season-ending injury early this season, fans thought the season was lost.
Little did they know their rookie backup quarterback would take the league by storm. Former Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew has paired his impressive completion percentage with a wave of excitement titled "Minshew Mania".
When the New York Giants decided to draft Daniel Jones as high as they did in the 2019 NFL Draft fans expected Eli Manning to be benched at some point in the upcoming season. It seems to have happened a lot sooner than anticipated and Jones has shown energy that the Giants offense has missed for several years at the quarterback position. His time in New York is likely done, and with his age showing more than ever Manning's time in the NFL may also be near its finale.
Out of the five quarterbacks drafted in the first round during the 2018 NFL Draft, Lamar Jackson was the one pinned as most likely to be a flop. After a 2018 rookie campaign that had him leading a run-first offense that successfully led them to the playoffs, but Jackson's lack of passing ability arguably lost the Baltimore Ravens the playoff game. Coming into 2019 it was unclear if he improved, but a month into the season Jackson has delivered as a capable quarterback from in the pocket and outside of it.