After my article last week about veteran players who have been struggling this season, I thought I’d take a look at some elder statesmen who have looked better than ever in 2015.
After a poor 2-2 start last season, many called time on Brady’s career. He responded by winning a fourth Super Bowl title. This season Brady has played almost as well as he ever has, with 14 touchdowns to just one interception so far. Brady is on course for a projected 5548 passing yards, which would retake his old record from career rival Peyton Manning. A fifth Super Bowl ring certainly isn’t out of the question.
After just 784 yards and two touchdowns last season, Fitzgerald has experienced a resurgence so far this year. In six games Fitzgerald has caught 43 passes for 583 yards and six touchdowns, despite playing in a deep Arizona offense. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine Fitzgerald claiming his first ever receiving crown this year if he keeps up this level of production.
With Andrew Luck missing two games with a separated throwing shoulder, 17 year veteran Hasselbeck took the reins in Indy. In two wins over Jacksonville and Houston, Hasselbeck has thrown for 495 yards and three touchdowns without any interceptions. Even though he will lose the starting job with Luck healthy again, Hasselbeck has proved that there is life in his career yet.
With an illustrious 18 year career winding down, Woodson has been a steadying veteran presence in Oakland’s secondary for many years. But he is still capable of making big plays. For the first time in his career, he intercepted 1998 draft-mate Peyton Manning in last week’s loss. Woodson’s four interceptions are currently tied for the league lead with Carolina Panther’s cornerback Josh Norman. With his two picks against Manning, Woodson became the oldest player in NFL history to record multiple interceptions in one game. Most of those on the list behind him are Hall of Famer’s, and one day Woodson will join them in Canton. Whenever he decides to retire…
Green Bay’s defense has steadily improved over the first six weeks, thanks in no small part to veteran linebacker Julius Peppers. Peppers’ 5.5 sacks in six games leads the team, and is tied for second most in the league. Not the decline that the Chicago Bears expected to see when they let Peppers walk after the 2013 season.