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  1. #1
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Steven Jackson 2007 Rushing Champ - Pat Kirwan

    (July 17, 2007) -- It is the time of year when speculation rules the roost. It's the quiet before the storm, and there's nothing to really do but guess what might happen. I took a look at the history of eight critical areas of a football season and took a few educated guesses about what the outcome might be in 2007.

    NEW LEADERS EVERY YEAR ... SO WHO WILL IT BE IN 2007?

    Over the past four seasons there has only been one player to win back-to-back titles in the following major statistical categories. Shaun Alexander won the title of most touchdowns scored in a season in 2004 (20) and 2005 (28). When it came to passing yards, passing touchdowns, rushing yards, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, sacks and interceptions, every season there has been a different leader from the year before. I think it's safe to say it is next to impossible for a player to repeat. With that in mind, I'm going to take a chance on naming the next player to win each one of those important categories.

    For example it might surprise the average fan to think that four different quarterbacks have led the NFL in passing yards in the last four years. Drew Brees did it in 2006, Carson Palmer in '05, Daunte Culpepper in '04 and Peyton Manning in '03. Over the past four years, the leading passer has averaged 4,378 yards, and since no one has done it twice, a new name is required here -- I'll go with Jon Kitna. He is in his second year under Mike Martz, he has terrific weapons in Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson and Mike Furrey, and the Lions should play from behind just enough to keep on throwing the ball.

    As for passing touchdowns, Manning has done it twice in '06 and '04. Tom Brady led the league in '05, and Brett Favre did it in '04. It should take 36 touchdown passes to lead the NFL, and I'll say the addition of Randy Moss to an already strong receiver/tight end group will give Brady the nod.

    I was surprised to see that LaDainian Tomlinson has only led the league in rushing once in the past four years (last year). In 2005 it was Alexander, in 2004 Curtis Martin and in 2003 Jamal Lewis. The leader should be someone new, and based on averages will gain 1,860 yards. The title has a good chance of going to Steven Jackson as he continues to show signs of being a great player.

    The leading scorer in the NFL, excluding kickers, traditionally is a running back, not a wide receiver or tight end. LaDainian Tomlinson looked unstoppable in 2006 with 31 TDs and could very easily repeat. But since I committed to new faces at every category, I will go with Larry Johnson. Johnson is looking for a new contract bigger than Tomlinson's, and there's only one way to do that in this business: Hit the "pay dirt" more times than L.T.

    When it came to receiving yards, I would have guessed Marvin Harrison had won that title at least once in the last four years, but discovered he hasn't. In order it has been Chad Johnson, Steve Smith, Muhsin Muhammad and Torry Holt. The average yardage over the past four seasons to win the title is 1,508, and my pick for 2007 is Roy Williams.

    Touchdown receptions were another area I would have sworn Chad Johnson or Torry Holt won at least once in the last four years, but neither player accomplished that goal. Terrell Owens did it last season, preceded by a tie in 2005 between Steve Smith and Marvin Harrison. In 2004 it was Muhsin Muhammad, and '03 was Randy Moss. The average dictates that 16 trips to the end zone is going to take the crown, and this season I'll pick Chad Johnson to break through and be the winner.

    Pass rushers are surely getting paid these days, and every year there's a new leader on the boards when it comes to dropping the QB. Shawne Merriman, Derrick Burgess, Dwight Freeney and Michael Strahan are the last four to be declared the best. The magic number will be 17, and the best in the league will be Julius Peppers, who should realize a bigger deal than the Dwight Freeney $72 million contract is waiting for him at the quarterback. There's also always the possibility that DeMarcus Ware in the Wade Phillips scheme could jump up and deliver a Merriman performance.

    Interceptions are another area where your guess is as good as mine. Over the past two seasons, four different cornerbacks have boasted the best totals in the NFL. Asante Samuel, Champ Bailey, Ty Law and Deltha O'Neal all recorded 10 a piece in leading the league. In the two seasons prior (2003-04), safeties dominated the interception business when Ed Reed, Brian Russell and Tony Parrish picked off the QB nine times each. This year, I think there will be a tie between a corner and a safety with 9, and I like Rasheen Mathis of Jacksonville and Bob Sanders of Indianapolis.
    The NFL is one tough place for the best of the best to repeat, and this season will be no different.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/10259164


  2. #2
    Brain Daddy Guest

    Re: Steven Jackson 2007 Rushing Champ - Pat Kirwan

    Kirwan could be right. Jackson is certainly one my candidates to take the rushing title. I think LT and Larry Johnson will have off years, so that narrows down the list of candidates. I just wonder if he'll have enough carries to accomplish it.

    IMO he has a better chance of winning the rushing title than breaking Marshall Faulk's record for yards from scrimmage.

  3. #3
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    Re: Steven Jackson 2007 Rushing Champ - Pat Kirwan

    I know the Rams have said they want to REDUCE Jackson's catches, so it will be very, very hard for him to break it.
    Then again, they said that if he is the league's rushing champ, that already gives him 1,800+ yards (on average).

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    Re: Steven Jackson 2007 Rushing Champ - Pat Kirwan

    I can't imagine Jackson winning the rushing title. Don't get me wrong; a lot of the pieces are in place.....a re-vamped line built to road grade, a new TE known as a solid blocker, a 230-lb HB & a 270-lb FB. However, there are simply too many passing threats on this team to have Jackson win the title. The other rushing champs didn't have that luxury. Eric Parker, Bobby Engram, Justin McCarins, Travis Taylor..........these were the team's leading wideout during their respective RB's title run. And two of the four had no TE to rely on either. The Rams don't have that problem, or the NEED for a rushing champion. Granted the top scoring teams (of which I expect the Rams to be one) typically have a RB near the top of yardage, however, unless SJ can bump his per carry average up from 4.4 to the mid 5's, I don't see him getting enough touches to make it happen.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  5. #5
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    Re: Steven Jackson 2007 Rushing Champ - Pat Kirwan

    2007 Sacks Leader: Leonard Little with 18.

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    Re: Steven Jackson 2007 Rushing Champ - Pat Kirwan

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    2007 Sacks Leader: Leonard Little with 18.
    only 18

    Seriously, I think he's got a shot to do some big things this year. It's looking like teams may have to start paying attention to their left side again, and now Adam Carriker will be demanding some double teams, leaving Leonard singled up sometimes, or at least that will force the offenses to leave a TE or RB to help, which takes away one less WR.

  7. #7
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    Re: Steven Jackson 2007 Rushing Champ - Pat Kirwan

    Quote Originally Posted by Keenum View Post
    only 18

    Seriously, I think he's got a shot to do some big things this year. It's looking like teams may have to start paying attention to their left side again, and now Adam Carriker will be demanding some double teams, leaving Leonard singled up sometimes, or at least that will force the offenses to leave a TE or RB to help, which takes away one less WR.
    You're right, the potential is there for a pass rush that we haven't seen in a few years. IF, that is IF, Carriker can consistently lock up two blockers, that leaves Little, Hall, and Glover/Wroten with consistent man-up situations.

    Nothing but good things can come from that situation.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  8. #8
    CHIVOJR28 Guest

    Re: Steven Jackson 2007 Rushing Champ - Pat Kirwan

    Well I think that Stephen jackson has a shot at winning the Rushing title as well as a scoring title. He's a big physical back who can run you over but is really quick and can burn you in the open field as well. Now scoring I think it's legitimate for this fact. HE can catch the ball outta the back field. He has really good hands as apposed to when he started his first year for the Rams. He can score on the ground as well as through the air. So yes SJ is a contender. Will I be dissapointed if he doesn't get it no. I think with this team we have we can get a division title and maybe a first round bye. But it's football so you never know.

  9. #9
    smizzhfx Guest

    Re: Steven Jackson 2007 Rushing Champ - Pat Kirwan

    I think he has a legitimate shot of at least being in the running for the rushing crown. You think many teams are going to be putting 7 or 8 in the box when Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Drew Bennett, Randy McMichael, or any combination thereof; are lining up? I don't think so. If they do, however, they can expect Bulger to be slinging and slinging until they wisen up.

  10. #10
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    Re: Steven Jackson 2007 Rushing Champ - Pat Kirwan

    With all these weapons on offense, it'll be hard to spread the ball around and still give it to Jackson a lot, unless he continues to play at the amazing level he did at the end of the season... if nobody can stop him, than give him the ball!

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