Hands down, Miles Austin is the most surprising story of the 2009 NFL season (to non-Cowboys fans at least). Through nine weeks of NFC East play, there is absolutely no doubt he is the top performer in the division as well.
Before I go into the numbers, please remember that Miles Austin has only started four games this season, meaning for the first four games of the season he saw the field on at most 35 to 40 percent of the time.
Despite that fact, Miles Austin is one of the top receivers not only in the division, but in the league.
Austin has caught just 27 passes, but he has certainly made the most of them. With those 27 receptions, Austin has hauled in 617 receiving yards and is tied with Vincent Jackson, Vernon Davis, and Larry Fitzgerald for the league lead in touchdowns with seven. Keep in mind that none of the other three receivers on that list have less than 42 catches to Austin's 27.
Austin's 22.7 yards per catch also represent the top mark in the league, greater even than DeSean Jackson, who, despite only scoring touchdowns from greater than 50 yards, has a YPC mark of "only" 20.4. A great percentage of his yardage comes after the catch, as evidenced by his 266 YAC mark, good for seventh overall in the league.
And if you STILL need convincing that Miles Austin is a big play threat the likes of whom could put Speedy Gonzalez to shame, know he is the league leader with 20 receptions over 20 yards.
There is still a lot of football to be played in the 2009 NFL season, but it cannot be denied that Miles Austin has been the standout first half performer in one of deepest and most talented divisions in football.