Numbers Game: Rookie Sensations

Numbers game, Tremaine Hill

Patrick Peterson (In Good Company)

Just when we thought we had seen it all with Devin Hester and DeSean Jackson in the return game, here comes a fresh, young speedster out of LSU by the name of Patrick Peterson. Peterson is already etching his name in the record books in just his first season in the NFL. Did you say Record Books and Rookie in the same season? Rookies aren’t supposed to have an immediate impact unless you’re special and special this kid is. Through eight games Peterson leads the NFL this season with 414 punt return yards and has three punt return touchdowns, becoming the first player in NFL history to have three punt return scores in his first eight games.

Evaluating Rookies in skilled positions is hard.  Coming out of college, it’s hit or miss with NFL teams. I believe the Cardinals hit a home run with this one just like the Bears hit with Devin Hester in 2006 and the Detroit Lions with Jack Christiansen back in 1951. I say these two names because they along with Patrick Peterson are the only Rookies in NFL history with 3 punt returns for a TD in a season. So far, all Devin Hester has done is return 17 special team returns for TD (NFL Record) and Jack Christiansen is in the NFL Hall of Fame, so it’s not bad company to be in if your Patrick Peterson.

In Cam We Trust

Since Week 7 Cam Newton has been playing out of his mind and for the season he is playing himself right into the record books. This will be Cam Newton’s 1st game in November since the Carolina Panthers had a bye last week. But in the month of October Cam Newton did something no other Rookie QB has done, Newton passed for 1,381 yards which is the most by a rookie QB in any month in NFL History. For all the doubters, his numbers speak loudly. And by the way, earlier I mentioned Newton since Week 7 and here is why; only Aaron Rodgers has a higher passer rating and only Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees have a higher completion percentage during that time span. Can we officially welcome Cam Newton to the NFL or should I say “Mr. S on his chest”.

Chicago Greats

When you think of Bears great Running Backs, you think of Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, Bronko Nagurski Neal Anderson and Matt Forte. Whoa, whoa, whoa, did you say Matt Forte? I did say Matt Forte and there is a reason why. He is coming into his own right before our own eyes and we just have to sit and watch to see what he is becoming.  Let me show you a few of the accomplishments he has garnered this season: He is the 1st Bear with 1,000+ yards from scrimmage in each of his 1st 4 seasons.  He is the only player in NFL history with 800 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards in each of his first 4 seasons.  Not even “Sweetness” could stake claim to that feat.  Currently he is averaging 155.1 yards from scrimmage per game this season which ranks 5th all time behind some pretty good company.

Player Year Team YPG
Priest Holmes 2002 KC 163.4
O.J. Simpson 1975 BUF 160.2
Chris Johnson 2009 TEN 156.8
Marshall Faulk 2000 STL 156.4
Matt Forte 2011 CHI 155.1

Here is an added bonus. In just 4 seasons, Matt Forte has rushed for 4,041 yards which is 5th all time in Bears History. Here’s a list of the players ahead of and let me know how far up the charts he will end up when his career is done:

Player Seasons with Bears Rush Yds
Walter Payton 13 16,726
Neal Anderson 8 6,166
Rick Casares 10 5,657
Gale Sayers 7 4,956
Matt Forte 4 4,041
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