The rookies have been vastly disappointing so far in the playoffs. We don’t have a whole lot left with Houston and Green Bay losing. Of the 4 remaining teams, there isn’t much hope for a lot of rookie production. There is some potential for Torrey Smith, Kendall Hunter & Stevan Ridley. But, that’s really about it. The Giants have no rookies on offense that can make an impact. Here are the rankings for the past week.
1. Randall Cobb WR Green Bay Packers
Cobb didn’t do too much this week. However, he did more than any other rookie did. Cobb caught 3 balls for 38 yards. He also returned 2 kicks for 51 yards and 1 punt for 16 yards. The Packers had a pretty miserable game, but Cobb wasn’t awful. He should have a good chance at being more involved next year. Donald Driver is all but gone and there may be others missing as well. He will certainly be a big part of their special teams going forward. All-in-all, not a bad rookie year for a receiver who was a bit of a question mark coming into the season.
2. Tyler Yates QB Houston Texans
Yates gets the nod for the 2nd spot based on the fact that no other rookies did anything this week. Yates had a pretty terrible game against the Ravens. His completion percentage was 48.6%. He threw 3 interceptions. And his QB Rating was an abysmal 28.8. I’ll give him a little leeway because he was facing a very tough defense. However, he blew his team’s chances of winning with an awful, late interception. Houston had a 1st and 10 at the Ravens 38 with 1:51 left the play. They were only down 7 points and had 2 timeouts. Instead of trying more underneath routes to Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels or Kevin Walter, Yates tried to force a deep ball into double coverage. There was no reason to rush.
Yates may have an opportunity to play next year, but I’m guessing he will be a back-up. He’s still young, so there’s still plenty of hope for his career. He just needs to cut down on his mistakes and make better reads.
3. Kendall Hunter RB San Francisco 49ers
Hunter wasn’t overly involved this week. He had 7 total touches for 36 yards. Not terrible, but not earth shattering either. Hunter will continue to provide depth behind Frank Gore. But, he’s nothing more than an occasional replacement right now. Hunter did also return 1 kick for 25 yards. I still like his long term potential. He’s just not going to make much of a mark in these playoffs.
4. Stevan Ridley RB New England Patriots
Ridley saw very little of the field on Saturday. He had 4 carries for 21 yards and 1 reception for 4 yards. Sadly, he lost a fumble and that pretty much sealed his fate. He didn’t have a single touch after the fumble. This is a new week, so he might be out of the doghouse. The good news for him is that I expect the Patriots to try and run the ball a little bit more. Ridley certainly has some potential. He just has to be on the field to showcase it.
5. Torrey Smith WR Baltimore Ravens
Smith did a whole lot of nothing this week with only 1 catch for 9 yards. Some of this was due to the fact that the Ravens were playing ball control and trying to keep the Texans offense off the field. Ray Rice had 21 carries and Baltimore attempted almost 30 runs total. Plus the Texans are a pretty solid team against the pass. I suspect that Smith will find a little more room against the Patriots. I’m sure the Ravens will still try to run the ball and keep New England and Brady off the field. However, they’re going to have to take a few shots this week. The 20 points they scored against Houston probably won’t be enough against New England. Here’s hoping Smith is the beneficiary of a few deep balls.
After a rather disappointing Divisional week for rookies, I’m hoping for more this week. The good news is that it can’t get much worse for Ridley and Smith. Good luck to all the rookies this week.