What makes the NFL special is the triumph and failure of its collective players, but what makes the NFL even more compelling is to see a player fall on his face and get right back up.
This has been the season of the comeback for the NFL. All sorts of teams, coaches, and players have had great comeback seasons, and this is one of the reasons the 2008 NFL season has been incredibly exciting.
Today, I will give my top five comeback players of the NFL season.
Carolina Panthers Jake Delhomme was the backbone of the Panthers' Super Bowl run, where they were eventually beaten by the New England Patriots, but after his superb season Delhomme's career suffered major setbacks.
In the third game of the 2007 season, Delhomme suffered an elbow injury that put him on the shelf the whole year, he would later become the first quarterback to receive Tommy John surgery. Many thought his career was over, but despite the setbacks Delhomme has led the Panthers to a superb 11-3 record, on the verge of another Super Bowl run.
Antonio Bryant struggled through legal troubles for the bulk of his career, and was seen as nothing more than a third option receiver.
Unsuccessful stints with the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns and San Fransisco 49ers sent Bryant's career into a spiral, but he has now resurrected his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Bryant has become the number one option in Tampa, and will be the backbone in a possible deep playoff run, for the Bucs.
In his college career with Penn State, Collins was an exciting, gun-slinger who could pick apart any defense, but he was unable to translate this to NFL success.
Battles with alcoholism put Collins' career on the back-burner, behind his livelihood. Shortly after signing with the New York Giants Collins sought treatment for his problem in Rehab.
Fast forward to the beginning of the 2008 NFL season, it seemed it would be another long season for Collins, as a backup quarterback with Tennessee, but the struggles and problems Vince Young was going through opened the door for Colllins.
The veteran quarterback has now led the Titans to a 12-2 record and a postseason berth.
The former Jets quarterback has had the definition of a rollercoaster career. Going from the toast of New York, to the goat of New York.
The 2006 comeback player of the year was unceremoniously cut by the Jets, to make room for Brett Favre.
One team's trash became another's gold, as the Dolphins signed Pennington in hopes of being at least respectable this season.
Well, the Dolphins now led by Pennington are in the thick of a division race and are competitive because of the leadership and accuracy of Pennington.
After leading the greatest show on turf, the St. Louis Rams, Warner could not rekindle the magic and on many occasions contemplated retirement.
Warner was signed by the Arizona Cardinals to help tutor youngster Matt Leinart and was expected to be a backup.
Leinart struggled, and Warner earned the starting job. He has led the Cardinals to their first division title in over 30 years and is my favorite for 2008 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.