As the 2011 NFL season is over 5 weeks old, I'm now going to take a look at the Top 5 players who have stood out for me in the first month or so.

This year so far is proving to be one of the best for a long time and I dont expect the excitement and drama to die down anytime soon. Its been a record breaking season for records broken, and thats only added to the intense entertainment seen across the United States each weekend.

So without further ado, here are my Top 5 players from the first 5 Weeks in the 2011 NFL season:

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AARON RODGERS

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (Quarterback) 


2011 Season Stats: 
Passing 129/180, 71.7%, 1,721 Passing yds, 14 TD's, 2 INT, 122.9 rating
Rushing 20 Attempts, 52 yds, 2 TD's

Rodgers for me is the best player in the NFL at the moment, and has quite comfortably been head and shoulders above the rest. The Superbowl XLV MVP is starting exactly where he left off and with only 5 weeks in and he is already half way to his 28 touchdowns of last year (his career best is 30 in 2009, which he is expected to surpass with ease).

He is the main reason that the Packers are unbeaten and in this form it can only continue - unbeaten season? Why not.

Next game: Week 6, @ St Louis Rams, Sunday 16th October

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TOM BRADY
 

2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (Quarterback)

2011 Season Stats: 
Passing 133/196, 67.9%, 1,874 Passing yds, 14 TD's, 6 INT, 109.5 rating
Rushing 6 Attempts, 13 yds, 0 TD's

He threw almost 1,000 yards in the first two weeks, breaking NFL and franchise records along with it. Its fair to say that Tom Brady has been at his very best this season and will look to lead his Patriots team into the play-offs comfortably.

With an average of 9.65 yards per throw this season, that means on average he's almost completing a down at every attempt which is a staggering effort and I wouldn't be surprised if that's the region where he will finish at the end of the season.

Brady has been immense, and if his seemingly telepathic link with Wes Welker continues then that can only make the Patriots serious Superbowl contenders yet again.


Next game: Week 6, Home v Dallas Cowboys, Sunday 16th October



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DARREN McFADDEN

3. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders (Running Back)


2011 Season Stats: 
Rushing 91 Attempts, 519 yards (5.7 average), 3 touchdowns, 19 first downs
Receiving 17 Receptions, 149 yards (8.8 average), 1 Touchdown, 7 first downs

After a break through season last year, McFadden can take his career to a whole new level as one of the rising stars of the NFL. The Raiders' running back has the world at his feet, as now being in his fourth year, he has the experience to go with his undeniable talent.

McFadden is already half way to his total rushing yards from last year (1,157 yards in 2010) and is the driving force behind the Raiders quest to reach the Superbowl again after a losing Super Bowl appearance in 2003. 

With Jason Campbell settled as a starting Quarterback and McFadden breaking out as a quality rusher, I don't see why they cant make at least the play-offs for the first time since 2002.

Next game: Week 6, Home v Cleveland Browns, Sunday 16th October

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WES WELKER

4. Wes Welker, New England Patriots (Wide Receiver)


2011 Season Stats: 
Receiving 45 Receptions, 740 Yards, (16.4 average), 5 Touchdowns, 33 First downs
Rushing 1 attempt, 19 yards, 0 touchdowns
Returns 4 Punt return attempts, 54 yards, 0 touchdowns

No one has caught passes for more yards than Wes Welker this year. With 740 yards to his name already, Welker's closest challenger for the moment is Steve Smith; and he's lagging 131 yards behind "The Natural". 

Tom Brady is of course the orchestrator, and without Brady's laser-like accuracy Welker would not have the opportunities he does; and he will be the first to admit that. However, there still needs to be that talent on the other side of the line of scrimmage and in this instance, it's Welker's superior ability in the air and the ground when the ball is caught.

Welker is in his final year of his contract, and to let someone of his calibre becoming available as a free agent would be a crazy thing to do. I wouldn't be surprised if the Patriots act sooner rather than later because this could be the year he lights up the Patriots offense as not only an understudy to Brady, but as the main man at Foxborough.

Next game: Week 6, Home v Dallas Cowboys, Sunday 16th October

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DREW BREES

5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (Quarterback)

2011 Season Stats: 
Passing 152/219, 69.4%, 1,769 passing yards, 12 TD's, 5 INT, 102.3 rating
Rushing 9 attempts, 14 yards, 0 TD's

With only Tom Brady having more passing yards, Drew Brees sits comfortably between the Patriots Quarterback and third-placed Aaron Rodgers. Brees has consistently shown why he is a Superbowl MVP (XLIV), with him recently setting a record of throwing 20 completed passes for 25 consecutive games - an NFL record. 

Brees is a mastermind at the Quarterback position, and the Chargers have regretted their decision to let Brees go in 2006 ever since. He is currently 3rd in the list for touchdown passes this season but remains in many peoples minds as one of the best quarterbacks of his generation.

This season Drew Brees has helped steer the Saints to 4-1 and top of the NFC South with a number of jaw-dropping performances. He has thrown for nearly 400 yards in the last three games and now with his long time favourite passing target Marques Colston back after being sidelined for three-weeks with a broken collarbone, Brees' completion record looks set to continue.


Next game: Week 6, @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday 16th October

Star to Watch

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (Quarterback) 

The #1 draft pick has been incredibly unlucky not to have won more games this season, and despite it being his rookie year, its looked like he has been playing there for years. In a team with a better defence, Cam Newton could be guiding a team to a Superbowl this year but It will take time for things to fall in place at Carolina. Most of the time they look like a one man army but eventually Carolina Panthers WILL WIN a Superbowl - they need to keep hold of Newton first though.

Players who fell just short.......

Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers (Wide Receiver)

Proving to the NFL why he is rated as one of the best wide receivers in the business. Will play a key role in whether the Packers can successfully defend their title.

Matthew Stafford & Calvin Johnson Jr, Detroit Lions (Quarterback & Wide Receiver)

They have both been the driving force in the Lions surprisingly good start to the season. Detroit are unbeaten alongside the Packers and are expected to cause a few shocks on their way to their target of the latter stages of the play-offs - but Stafford and Johnson will need to remain fit for this to be a realistic goal.
Nooney
10/15/2011 15:11:47

Wheres Fred Jackson at??

Rushing 90 attempts 480 yards 5.3 average 5 touchdowns
Receiving 19 receptions 232 yards 12.2 average

The Bills are doing surprisingly well, going 4-1, and even beat the Tom Brady/Welker machine.

And Matt Forte

Rushing 82 attempts 440 yards 5.4 average 1 touchdown
Receiving 30 receptions 345 yards 11.5 average 1 touchdown

Other than that its a nice list. Aaron Rodgers gonna be the greatest of all time and the Packers to repeat this year.

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Tom
10/16/2011 06:50:28

Yeahh Fred Jackson was someone that completely slipped my mind. Hes been immense for the Bills. He probably should be in ahead of Welker or Brees.

Matt Forte is also impressing, didnt think he was in the same bracket as Welker this year so far though. But yeah maybe he could of been one of the few who just missed out.

Thanks man, yeah I agree. Said it today, if Aaron Rodgers continues he will be regarded as one of the best ever when he retires. In terms of the Superbowl, I can see the Packers winning it too. They dont seem to have a key weakness

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