NFL Players of Week 1

Ahh, do you smell that? It’s the victory of your home team winning its first game, the confusion of some teams losing theirs, and rookie quarterbacks setting records. It’s football season!

As I did last year, here are the top 5 (-ish, in some cases of ties I’ll keep listing them) for every quarterback, running back, and wide receiver week-by-week, in terms of fantasy value. It’s a nice indicator of how well your favorite players are doing as well. This year I’m going to rank them by their overall year’s value, however. Click names on the bottom of this post for other mentions in blog articles I have written. Starting off with a huge Falcons game, here we go!  Continue reading “NFL Players of Week 1” NFL Players of Week 1

San Francisco packs a victory in Green Bay

Who said the San Francisco 49ers did not have the offensive power to outscore the Green Bay Packers? Critics, I tell ya. The Pack abandoned the running game midway through, and left their fate with Aaron Rodgers. The 49ers had a solid ground game with Frank Gore, yet still found room for Alex Smith to complete touchdowns to Randy Moss and Vernon Davis.

Heck, even kicker David Akers contributed with an NFL record-tying 63-yard field goal, bouncing off from the cross-bar but in nonetheless. It’s hard to kick outdoors, or in places that will soon see snow on the field; in this case, Wisconsin. Akers with 3 field goals, Mason Crosby with none.

The last time the 49ers played an official game, they had 1 pass for 3 yards to a wide receiver. Moss was one of three receivers with at least 4 catches, so I’m sure the passing game is figured out now. I’ll even give Michael Crabtree some credit, having 7 (the most of the day) receptions.

Alex went 20-for-26 with 211 yards and a pair of touchdowns; Aaron also had a pair of touchdowns but also threw an interception with his 30-for-44 day. I’d have to comment that, while Alex Smith didn’t throw as many times or for as much yardage, he bested one of the greatest quarterbacks in the league.

Was this a preview of a possible NFC Championship game? If it is, the 49ers have locked a tiebreak victory by winning today, and would host the game in San Francisco in January.

Next week? Sunday night football, Jim Harbaugh against Jim Schwartz. Do we remember the famous handshake last year?

49ers top the 2011 All Pro team

You know that a 6-11 team has turned it around to 13-3, when you put out the highest number of players to the Associated Press NFL All Pro team.

Aaron Rodgers was the quarterback for the first time, easily beating New Orleans’ Drew Brees, 47½ to 2½. Rodgers led Green Bay to a league-best 15-1 record, maintaining the brilliance he showed in taking the Packers to the Super Bowl title last February.

Calvin Johnson and Jared Allen each received 49 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. It’s the fourth All-Pro team for Allen, who led the league with 22 sacks, one-half short of the record. Johnson makes it for the first time after hauling in 96 catches for a 17.5-yard average and scoring 16 touchdowns.

But the real success, in my opinion, is that of the San Francisco 49ers. Making the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade. An entirely new coaching staff in a year where there was no off-season practice. The team is chosen by the Associated Press and represents the best players at each position from the NFL season. It is essentially a starting team on both offense and defense as well as a kicker and punter. In total, 28 players were named to the All-Pro team.

San Francisco placed three defensive players on the All-Pro team. Justin Smith made the team at defensive tackle and also received votes as a defensive end. Smith had a great season and should be considered for defensive player of the year honors as well. He ended the regular season with 58 tackles, seven and a half sacks, and three forced fumbles for the 49er defense.

Linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis also on the All-Pro team after having tremendous seasons. San Francisco placing two of the four linebackers on the team is a testament to how well the unit played this season. Bowman finished seventh in the NFL with 143 tackles and had two sacks on the season. His emergence as a playmaker on defense alongside Willis was a big breakthrough for San Francisco this season. Willis had 97 tackles, two sacks, four forced fumbles, and an interception on the season. He accomplished all this while missing four games with a hamstring injury.

San Francisco also placed both kicker David Akers and punter Andy Lee on the All-Pro team. Akers made 44 out of 52 field goals on the season and scored 166 total points for San Francisco. The team will need these two to continue their excellent play in the playoffs if they hope to continue on.

San Francisco placed more players on the All-Pro team than any other team in the NFL this season. Who came in second? Well John Harbaugh and his Baltimore Ravens of course, with three.