Sunday’s matchup between the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers features two teams still trying to find their identities after lackluster Week 1 starts. The difference is, though, the Panthers won their Week 1 matchup, albeit against the perennial bottom dwellers, Jacksonville Jaguars. The Texans' season opener couldn't have gone much worse.
Week 1 is in the books and it provided many surprises for fantasy owners as well as unbelievable frustration as well. Who would have guessed that guys like Marcus Mariota, Andy Dalton and Alex Smith would outscore supposed studs like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson?
Even though the Denver Broncos lost Super Bowl XLVIII to the Seattle Seahawks, they still set the single-season record for points scored (606). This, of course, was fueled in large part by Peyton Manning’s record 5,477 yards passing and 55 touchdowns.
Numbers and statistics are unquestionably a huge part of sports. While baseball has long carried the mantle for statistical analysis and overall nerdiness, the NFL appears to be turning more to numbers than ever before. Stat-driven decision-making and overall efficiency ratings are a much bigger part of game plans on the gridiron than ever before.
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith ran a 4.59 in the 40-yard dash and threw the ball well at the NFL Scouting Combine, making his case to be the No. 1 overall pick of coach Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs at the NFL Draft on April 25.</p>
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith entered the NFL Scouting Combine already perceived as the best passer in a clustered Class of 2013 — a group of signal-callers that includes USC’s Matt Barkley, NC State’s Mike Glennon, Florida State’s E.J. Manuel, Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib and Tennessee’s Tyler Bray.
As 2012 comes to a close, Athlon will count down the top individual performances in each major sport from the year, culminating with a full list of the top 50 performances of the year.
It is important to remember that for the NFL, 2012 started with the end of the 2011 regular season and the playoffs, in addition to the first 15 weeks of the current season. That’s why Tom Brady’s record-tying performance against Denver in last season’s AFC Divisional Round comes in at No. 1 on this list, even though the game was played back in January.
After avoiding the rookie wall last season, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton experienced a sophomore landslide this year until finding his footing during a 30–22 win on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.