Will the real CJ2K please stand up?
I don't know who was wearing No. 28 for the Titans on Sunday, but the Patriots managed to put a deathly end to Chris Johnson's proclamation that he'll lead the league in rushing this season.
In New England's 34-13 trouncing of Tennessee, we saw early investments from the 2012 draft class, particularly with Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower.
For anyone who feared we had another no-show wearing ocho cinco, Brandon Lloyd showed why he will be a lethal threat out wide.
Bill Belichick will certainly find areas to improve, but yesterday's performance provided plenty of optimism for another Super Bowl trip.
Let's take a look at this week's risers and fallers.
1. Stevan Ridley: Anyone still shedding a tear over BenJarvus Green-Ellis? You shouldn't be. Ridley, the second-year back out of LSU, didn't just flash in his first start; he exploded. The surprisngly quick 220-pounder dominated the second half, totaling 125 yards and a score on just 21 carries. Tennessee isn't exactly a top-notch defense, but I expect Ridley to easily top the 1,000-yard mark at this rate.
2. 2012 draft class: If Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower play like they did on Sunday, this defense will be scary good. Jones—who many experts pegged as a long-term project—made in instant impact playing across from former All-Pro left tackle Michael Roos, strip-sacking Jake Locker. As if that wasn't exciting enough, Hightower recovered the fumble and returned it 6 yards to the house. Second-round safety Tavon Wilson also made a name for himself as he recorded a diving interception in the end zone. It appears the Patriots have found much-needed playmakers for their young defense.
3. Rob Gronkowski: It's tough to single out a third player, but I tip my hat to Gronk. Playing in his first meaningful game since the Super Bowl, the 6'6" beast showed he's back, reeling in six catches for 60 yards and a touchdown. He showed some rust on his signature spike, but a healthy Gronk bodes well for the Pats.no comments