As an antidote to the abject misery posts in the game threads I thought I might reflect on and appreciate players so far exceeding expectations. I had high expectations for some listed here, but they exceeded my optimistic hopes. In no particular order... Offense: Waters - has been solid despite being let go by KC as over the hill Solder - exceeded 1st round expectations from game one, a monster blocker Connolly - filled in in an unexpected area of need, just contrast the horrific fill in performances by Jets and Bills 2nd tier OCs Wendell - same, at least for 1 1/2 games Welker - who expected league leading WR stats and big yardage TDs from this always excellent player in his 2nd year back from a collapsed knee? Gronk - did everyone expect this kid to be breaking TE records his 2nd yr? Well maybe some did but I couldn't leave him off the list. Defense: Carter & Anderson - unheralded FAs with low expectations racking up the sacks & pressures Love - solid 2nd year performance Ninkovich - always liked him but he's become a solid reliable LB and a sorely needed playmaker, something this D has lacked for years Ihedigbo - ST guy has learned the safety position that seemed a deep mystery to his predecessors, covers and hits. When he goes down we all hold our breath Arrington - following up last years unexpected contribution with solid starting CB performance game after game. Another playmaker. Covers better than Asante did/does and yet he still racks up the INTs. Moore - maybe the weakest case, but anyone whose presence keeps whipping boy Sergio "Crash" Brown out of the backfield is deeply appreciated Edelman - out of total left field, decent slot WR coverage & tackling making big stops, and to some of us shows promise as a potential FS. Oh and good PR #s. There are others on the cusp of making this list given more games to go. It's amazing to look at this list of unexpected strong contributors mostly from nowhere. Helps makes up for some of the under performance from a few vets well discussed in other threads.