Reggie Bush and 4 NFL Players the Masses Were Wrong About

Thomas EmerickSenior WriterDecember 19, 2011

Reggie Bush and 4 NFL Players the Masses Were Wrong About

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    Back when Reggie Bush was getting play in pizza commercials but couldn’t get many touches in the Dolphins offense, America laughed. Snarky jokes about Bush and his pizza commercial ran rampant, like Darren Sproles bursting through a secondary.

    The guy played a major role in the offense of a Super Bowl champ a couple years ago, yet somehow became a laughing stock. Everyone just forgot, and they pidgeon-holed him as a human gimmick.

    His own Dolphins teammate said he stunk. Then suddenly, it all changed.

    After topping 200 yards in Buffalo Sunday, Bush has now inarguably had the last laugh. That is if he hadn’t after his previous two 100-yard outings.

    Click through to see who else is laughing.

Marshawn Lynch

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    The popular preseason line on Lynch went something like this: “Don’t get lured into his Beast Mode run in the playoffs last year. Everyone will overreact because it was in prime time, but actually he’s not any good and the Seahawks suck.”

    Well, a Seahawks offensive line that had some new pieces to start the year began to gel in October. And Lynch showed how well he can move behind decent run blocking for once in his pro career.

    Lynch stomps down the field seemingly with anger, or perhaps his feet plant so hard from a giant chip on his shoulder. Whatever the case, I’d never want to stand between him and a first-down marker or end-zone line.

    Since Week 9, Lynch has topped 100 five times, while scoring eight touchdowns during the span.

Tim Tebow

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    You knew it was coming. The Fighting Tebows’ six-game win streak might’ve just ended now that they actually faced a competent team, but the fact is he’s 7-2 as starter this year.

    This string of comeback wins to start a career is unheard of. He may not be the most accurate quarterback—or close—but he’s improving. And he somehow gets more precise during Tebow Time. The ability to turn it on in the fourth quarter is something to value.

    Whether or not he’s still an NFL starting quarterback in two years, he’s upended the general sentiment on him taking the reins for this season.

    Denver managed 23 points of offense in the loss to New England. If they can post that number at Buffalo and home against the Chiefs, the Tebow wagon might laugh its way to the playoffs. I personally believe the Chargers will catch them, but Tebow through nine games has more than surprised the nation.

Eli Manning

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    Box score journalism galore on young Manning’s 25-interception total from last season. There was a misguided national focus on that total.

    Anyone who watched those games saw that number’s in the teens if his receivers ran the right routes or found ways not to redirect the passes into welcoming defensive arms.

    Manning quietly mounted a very good 2010 campaign, topping 30 touchdowns and 4,000 yards through the air. This behind a terrible pass blocking line and injury-ravaged receiving corps.

    Yet when Manning had a poor preseason with a young group of receivers, the ridicule poured in. Then he apparently made a mistake by answering a question about how he compares to Tom Brady. A Super Bowl MVP with self-confidence—outrageous.

    Manning’s already hit 4,000 yards and 25 TDs this season, while pulling off a slew of epic fourth-quarter comebacks. Sunday’s dud against Washington hurts, but two more wins still lock up the NFC East.

Beanie Wells

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    Beanie Wells hasn't spent more than two minutes being healthy, from the moment he entered the NFL. That exaggeration isn’t that far off, as some nagging injury or other has followed Wells since his days at Ohio State, until eventually he was dismissed a bust.

    After barely totaling 1,190 yards in his first two seasons with the Cards, Wells has already hit 1,000-mark and 11 touchdowns in 2011. His 228-yard explosion in Week 12 officially ripped that bust label off.

    His hard charging has played an important role in Arizona winning six of the past seven to climb back into the NFC Wild Card race.