Colin Kaepernick and 5 Other Players Searching for Redemption in Week 4
Through three weeks of the 2013 NFL season, we are already beginning to witness the biggest disappointments with some of the league's marquee names.
It’s a quarterback-driven league, yet there were five of them who did not play anywhere near a high level this past week.
As teams begin to show whether they are legitimate challengers for a championship, a few of these players are looking to quickly turn around the ship. Even worse, a handful of players are searching for their first win with their respective teams.
Here’s a look at the players who need to redeem themselves this week.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
After his magnificent start to the season against the Green Bay Packers, Colin Kaepernick’s two straight lackluster performances are beginning to create concern. Granted, he played without tight end Vernon Davis last week, but that doesn’t give Kaepernick any excuse for his dreadful performance against the Seattle Seahawks.
Overall, he has three touchdowns with four interceptions and a QBR of 72.5 through three weeks. While he hasn’t even played a full season as a starter, he needs to quickly regain his offensive explosiveness.
His toughest task now will be facing a divisional opponent in the St. Louis Rams—a team looking to save their season—on a short week of practice.
It remains to be seen how Kaepernick responds with the pressure on him.
Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings
The jury has been out on former first-round pick Christian Ponder, who hasn’t proved on a consistent basis whether he is capable of leading the Vikings for the next decade.
He is now in a position where he needs to worry about having a starting job in 2014. An 0-3 start for the Vikings doesn’t inspire confidence
Ponder will look to find his first win out in London against the winless Pittsburgh Steelers.
Quite frankly, it might be the best thing for Ponder to stay far away from Minnesota for this coming week.
David Wilson, RB, New York Giants
The expectations for running back David Wilson were quite high—to say the least. Entering his second season with the Giants, Wilson was expected to carry the load as the feature back and help orchestrate a balanced offense in New York.
Unfortunately, Wilson has a mere 75 yards rushing on the season. In Sunday’s embarrassing loss, he managed only 39 yards on 11 carries.
The task doesn’t get much easier for Wilson, who faces a Chiefs defense that is well rested and hasn’t allowed more than 16 points in a game this season. With that being said, the Chiefs have been vulnerable against the run, which would make this a perfect opportunity for Wilson to get out of his slump.
In a division that will likely be wide open for the duration of the season, Wilson could be the spark that ignites the Giants before it’s too late.
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals
Carson Palmer is slowly returning to his old, inconsistent ways with the Arizona Cardinals, and is disappointing as a result.
He has three touchdowns and four interceptions, with two of those interceptions coming during last week’s drubbing at the hands of the New Orleans Saints. His QBR stands at a pitiful 43.5, which leaves Palmer with nowhere to go but up this week.
Fortunately, he will lead the Cardinals against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are starting rookie Mike Glennon at quarterback. It’s the epitome of a bounce-back game for the veteran.
Matt Schaub, QB, Houston Texans
Matt Schaub, through his inability to put together a complete game once this season, is continuing to prove the critics right.
Last week’s blowout loss to the defending champion Baltimore Ravens was a testament to Schaub’s inability to take advantage of red-zone opportunities and convert those chances into touchdowns.
He finished with only 194 yards passing with zero touchdowns and an interception that led to a pick-six. Needless to say, it wasn’t the kind of performance Gary Kubiak was looking for out of his quarterback.
The road doesn’t get easier for Schaub, who now faces arguably the league’s most premier defense in the Seattle Seahawks.
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
After beginning the season in impressive fashion, Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles have slowly returned to earth over the past two weeks.
Most notably, Vick wasn’t on par with his usual quarterback play.
He threw for 201 yards and one touchdown on 13 completed passes in Week 3, as his lackluster performance led to a second straight loss for the Eagles.
Vick must quickly turn his season around starting this Sunday when his team travels to Sports Authority Field at Mile High to take on the high-octane offense of the Denver Broncos.
If Vick was looking for a time to redeem himself, there might not be a better shot to do so than against arguably the league’s best team.