In the midst all the excitement of the Bears win, and the playoff possibilities, I am quietly baffled by the performances of a few players that were playing awesome last year.
Red Bryant - It might just be because what I remember most was his amazing blocked kicks last year. Really if thats the only reason its nothing to fault him for, but he also just doesn't seem to be having the same impact as last year. I think he is a big reason why we are good at stopping the run, when we're good at stopping the run. Maybe this foot issue is a bigger deal than they are letting on? The Red Bryant I remember was a pass batting, run smashing, kick blocking, pick-6 fatman touchdown grabbing monster.
Doug Baldwin - This isn't meant to be a knock on Doug, and I know he is making a bit of a come back. I know its largely injury related, but he was a star last year. Kinda seems like Golden took over that role which i'm fine with. Hope he comes back to what he was, his performance in the Bears game was a good sign.
Steven Hauschka - He has missed 3 field goals this year. That might not sound that bad out of 19 attempts. That puts him at 16th among kickers for percentage made, middle of the pack, fine. But the real story I think is the kicks he never tried. He is 27th for field goals attempted, and I am suggesting this is because of Pete's (lack of) confidence in him. He made my list because I distinctly recall him being very reliable last year. I looked at his stats for last year, and they are only marginally better but still - something just doesn't feel right about him. Will we see a kicker drafted in the 6th/7th round to compete with Steven?
Earl Thomas - Earl was a pro-bowler and earned it. He is still a very good player. At least, that's what I keep telling myself after I see Jay Cutler juke his socks off. It was acceptable when Adrian Peterson did the same thing to him, but Jay Cutler? Maybe you can excuse that as him reacting to his BS penalty in the game before. Still, Earl seems a step back from last year and I don't really understand why. He is still a top-tier safety, but to my layman eyes it looks like he has missed quite a few tackles this season, and that's not good. He still seems just as FAST though. Ask Tannehill about that one.
Breno Giocamini - Oh Breno. Is your tiny helmet squeezing the blood out of your brain? Penalties. Penalties. Penalties. I believe someone had an entire post that was much more intelligent than anything I could come up with, so I won't go into detail other than to say I am highly dissapointed after I thought he came in as a backup last year and truly earned his starting spot. Why doesn't this guy get the simple stuff?
Other Mentions (I am to the point in the list where I don't want to put as much effort in and am trying to make it look like its by design. And, these guys weren't really playing awesome last year either, just worse than before)
Leroy Hill - This one is easy. He is another year older, another half step slower. Hes still a solid backup but time to hang it up as a starter.
Marcus Trufant - See Leroy Hill. Except, I think Trufant needs to hang it up all together. Love you Tru, business is business.
Feel free to add more that I might not have thought of.