5. Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami Dolphins
The 2nd round pick out of Kansas State did not impress in training camp or preseason and with a lingering injury he had dropped in the depth chart behind Reggie Bush and Larry Johnson. His first game of the season may have given him the nod to split carries with Bush after he piled on 107 yards with a 5.9 average. His consistent running against the Texans was enough for the Dolphins to release Larry Johnson.
4. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
Another great statistical performance by Newton and the potential he has shown will excite every football fan. Newton threw for 432 yards, 1TD and he also had more of an impact in the run game, scrambling for 53 yards and a TD. While his numbers were impressive, he made some bad errors throughout the game and threw 3 interceptions in a game the Panthers could have won against the reigning Super Bowl champs. From watching the game, Newton still has a lot to learn but his potential is through the roof.
3. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
In week 1, Green was bullied by the Browns and showed frustration on the field and the sideline as he was only able to haul in 1 catch in a coverage mishap. This week was a different story as Green and Dalton showed great chemistry as he finished with 10 catches for 124 yards and a TD. Not only were his numbers impressive, he also displayed his amazing ability to haul in tough catches with diving efforts and a sideline catch in coverage in the 4th quarter. If Green and Dalton continue to show this kind of chemistry, great things will be achieved and the Bengals will forget all about Ochocinco.
2. Denarius Moore, WR, Oakland Raiders
The Raiders have one of the weakest receiver cores in the NFL. When the outs for the game against the Bills were announced it looked even worse with Heyward-Bey and Ford were ruled out with injury. The man to step up was Moore with 5 catches for 146 yards and an amazing catch in double coverage for a TD. Moore showed some promise in preseason but I didn’t expect him to make this kind of impact and this could see a big improvement for the Raiders and open up the offense.
1. Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Carson Palmer was in the headlines for showing up to a USC game, but I doubt the Bengals really care too much now after Dalton’s performance. Week 1 was tough on Dalton but he still managed to play decently while he was in the game. This week against the Broncos he took it to another level, throwing for 332 yards, 2 TD’s and a completion rate of 65.9%. The efforts from rookies Dalton and Green will make Bengals fans forget about the off-season losses of Palmer and Ochocinco and bring back some hope to make the playoffs for the Bengals in future seasons.
Notable Players - Titus Young (WR, Lions), Roy Helu (RB, Redskins), Mason Foster (LB, Buccaneers), Karl Klug (DT, Titans)