The can't-miss guy who is missing award goes to Shaun Alexander. Seattle's running back had played in 99 straight games and put up at least 14 touchdowns in each of the last five seasons. He was off to a slow start in 2006 (failing to reach 100 yards through the season's first three weeks) and is now out with a cracked bone in his foot. The word indefinitely has been used to describe how long he will be out (although it's looking like it could be a month). Can we use this term in real life? Next time your boss asks you how long you'll be on vacation, say "I'll be gone indefinitely." Then e-mail me, and tell me what happened. I'm very curious.
The keep your eye on me award goes to Maurice Jones-Drew...or is it Maurice Drew...or Maurice Drew-Jones...well you get the idea. The Jaguars rookie running back from UCLA went off for 117 yards and a touchdown on 17 touches against the Colts. He's worth a look if you need running back help, especially since the annual Fred Taylor injury is only a few weeks away.
The that's how you bounce back from an injury award goes to Steve Smith, Clinton Portis and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. In his first action this season, Smith caught seven balls for 112 yards. Portis put together a monster effort against Houston, tallying 164 rushing and receiving yards with a pair of touchdowns. And finally, Houshmandzadeh caught nine balls for 94 yards and a pair of touchdowns after missing the first two weeks of this season with an injured hamstring.
The proving experts wrong award goes to Kurt Warner. In the offseason, every analyst in the country was asked, Which rookie quarterback will start first this season--Vince Young, Jay Cutler or Matt Leinart? Every expert I heard said Young or Cutler. However, 15 Warner fumbles later, and it looks like Leinart will get the nod Sunday for the Cardinals.
The guess who's back award goes to Brett Favre. The Packers quarterback put up 340 yards and three touchdowns against the Lions and is on a roll. Next week, he faces a banged up Eagles secondary in Philly on Monday night.
The now you see me, now you don't award goes to Joey Galloway. In week one, the Tampa Bay wide receiver had zero catches against the Ravens. In week two, he bounced back with nine catches for 161 yards. And then last week, he caught one ball for eight yards.
The this is why we love sports award goes to New Orleans. I don't want to repeat what everyone has already said, but it was refreshing to see Saints fans gather at the Superdome Monday night and rally behind a common cause. I always say that one of the biggest problems in sports today is the disconnect between professional athletes and fans, but kudos to Joe Horn, Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and others for realizing the impact they can have on people. They showed why the most annoying phrase in sports is: It's only a game.