Walter - I feel your pain re SD; they have had a huge injury list! I thing I note - doing analysis for AFL Australian football - is that teams with a huge injury list often underperform when they begin to get players back from injury; this is often because the injured players return a week too early and fail to fire (or get re-injured); also the players who have been carrying the extra load for them tend to relax that week; the trend in the AFL is that these teams generally miss the spread (often by a lot) as the year goes on - but they sometimes have 1 (maybe 2) unexpected wins against unwary middle to lower ranked teams. They may fire against JAX this week, but I would like a SD expert to tell us if the recently returned players are likely to improve.
Speaking of injuries - these are good reasons for being confident on TB and DEN this week. Harry Young, Melbourne
Great vision to identify cutback lanes at line of scrimmage and in open field
Very elusive and evades tacklers
Great spin move
Runs routes well out of backfield
Lots of experience catching the ball
Nice second gear to go distance
Breaks a good amount of tackles for his weight
Can contribute as a returner
Projects as an excellent No. 2, change-of-pace running back
Good YPC average despite weak offensive line
Won't get that much bigger without losing speed
Not very assertive between the tackles
Generally shys from contact
Not very powerful
Not going to get much done on the goal line
Weak inside runner
Mediocre in pass protection
Not an explosive or exceptional punt returner
Cuts outside far too often
Summary: Spiller profiles as a very explosive back, but isn't a No. 1 in the NFL, which isn't an entirely bad thing. He needs to work on his pass protection the most so he can really help out virtually every team on third down. With James Davis gone, he has a chance to show teams he can handle a greater workload in 2009.
Player Comparison: Reggie Bush. Both backs love to kick it outside and have the elite athleticism to make everyone miss in the open field as great home-run threats.