NFL Week 7 Picks: 5 Players Ready To Make a Splash
Kevin Kolb is going to start once again for the Philadelphia Eagles. Kolb has replaced the injured Michael Vick, who replaced Kolb in Week 1. Kolb is trying to hold off Vick from stealing his job once again.
This is the nature of the NFL. With injuries and poor play factoring in, teams have new starters virtually every week. When big players go down, it becomes the backup's time to shine in the stars absence.
Unfortunately for most teams, the backup doesn't always impress when he's given the chance. In these cases, teams need their other players to step up and take more of a load on their shoulders. Sometimes stars are underperforming and it is simply on them to play better or risk losing their jobs.
Here are five players who are looking to make a big impact this week.
5. Vince Young
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Vince Young is going to start for the Tennessee Titans this Sunday when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Young is still recovering from an injury that he sustained last week against Jacksonville. In Young's absence backup quarterback Kerry Collins looked good and moved the ball well against the Jaguars.
With Collins looking sharp, there is a lot of pressure on Young to perform in this game. Vince Young has perhaps the weirdest relationship with Head Coach Jeff Fischer than any other quarterback and head coach in the league.
It has long been suspected that Fischer is not a fan of Vince Young. Fischer has been quick to bench Young in the past, and last season when the Titans got off to an awful start under Kerry Collins, Fischer waited until it was very late to make the switch back to Vince Young. It is widely suspected that Fischer only made the switch when the owner forced him to.
With their past history, it is reasonable to believe that if Young struggles, or shows signs of an injury slowing him down, Jeff Fischer will act quickly and pull him from the game. Young will need to have a big game to show that he is OK.
4. Ryan Torain
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Ryan Torain is becoming the latest unknown running back to excel in Mike Shanahan's system. Torain has been filling in for the injured Clinton Portis who was off to a slow start.
The Redskins as a team were struggling to run the ball early in the season, often throwing the ball much more than running it. Star running back Clinton Portis has gone down with a groin injury and could miss up to six weeks. In stepped Ryan Torain who is now beginning to excel for the Redskins.
Mike Shanahan has a history of finding running backs out of nowhere and Torain is no different. If the Redskins want to stay balanced, and continue to win, they will need Torain to continue his great running to provide a constant rushing threat.
History is on Torain's side as Shanahan has a great track record with running backs, so expect Torain to continue to put up big numbers.
3. Greg Jennings
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Greg Jennings finally broke out of his slump and had a big game last week, and the Packers are going to need more of that if they hope to get back on track in a season that had such expectations.
The Packers have already lost running back Ryan Grant for the season in Week 1, and Jermichael Finley is also out for the season. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers also suffered a concussion in their Week 5 game at Washington and wide receiver Donald Driver continues to be banged up.
The Packers came into this season as many people's favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The Packers have struggled early in the season though, and have had a real tough time running the football.
If the Packers can continue to get big games out of Jennings, it will open the field for the rest of the team. If Jennings can make himself a constant threat it will open up other receivers, as well as open up the running game for the Packers.
Jennings will be a major key to the Packers turning things back around, and with no team emerging as an NFC powerhouse, it is not too late for the Packers to get back into it.
2. Deion Branch
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Deon Branch had a great second debut with the New England Patriots, but he can't stop there.
Branch made Pats fans forget that the team had just traded away Randy Moss, and Branch showed immediate chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady.
The question will be whether Branch can maintain that high level of play for the rest of the season. If Branch fades into the background later in the season, fans will begin to question whether it was the right move to trade away Randy Moss. The best way for Branch to get fans to not worry about that, would be to put up a great performance two weeks in a row.
Branch will be looking to star in his second game in a row for the Patriots, as he continues to hope that he could make Pats fans forget about Randy Moss, and prove that he is the right piece for the Pats puzzle.
1. Kevin Kolb
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Who knows what is going on in Philadelphia? The Eagles announced that Kevin Kolb was their quarterback of the future. They traded away franchise quarterback Donovan McNabb during the offseason and announced they were putting the team on Kolb's shoulders.
Then in the first half of the Eagles first game, Kolb went down with a concussion. Backup quarterback Michael Vick took over and played well. Eventually Head Coach Andy Reid said that when Kolb came back Vick would continue to be the starter.
Then in a game against the Washington Redskins, Vick suffered a rib injury. Kolb replaced Vick and has played exceptionally well in his last two games. Andy Reid then said that when Vick was healthy he would return to be the starter.
Kolb threw for 326 yards last week against the Atlanta Falcons, and even though there are reports that Vick is healthy, Andy Reid is giving Kolb the start again this week against the Titans.
Knowing how fickle Andy Reid has been with his quarterbacks this season, Kolb knows the pressure is on him to perform. If Kolb has a stinker, Reid will have no problems turning the team back over to Michael Vick. However if Kolb continues to play well, he will put a lot of pressure on Andy Reid to stick with him as the quarterback of the Eagles.