For me, a game-changer is the most important piece to a team. Throughout NFL history a game-changer has played huge roles in super bowl runs, playoff wins, and division titles. Gamechangers are players that can impact the game in many ways. Their versatilty and ability to impact their entire team and the opposing team no matter what position they play is so important to any NFL team. Across the NFL there are multiple players that are so called stars that are great at what they do and only what they do, for example Tyreek Hill, a great receiver who is fast and does a great job catching the ball for the Chiefs. But it is the guys who fly under the radar that can sometimes impact the game the most and while it may not be on paper their game-changing ability can lift up an entire team. In this article, I am taking a look at some of these players and digesting their ability to change many aspects of the game.
Oshane is one of the least recognized players throughout the league for how he impacts the game. The former Old Dominion linebacker became the first Monarch to ever be drafted to the NFL and proved he was more than worthy in his sophomore year. Oshane is able to apply constant pressure to the quarterback and this takes pressure off of the rest of the defense. My co-host Calvin always says that a great pass rusher elevates the entirety of the defense and there is no better player to embody this than Oshane Ximines. His athletic 6-4 body allows him to weave through the offensive lineman and is a huge help to sack leader Markus Golden. In order for the Giants to compete for a playoff spot next year the Giants are going to need a good pass rush, and Ximines is a great player to start with.
It is very common for offensive lineman to go unrecognized considering the huge impact they can have on an entire offense. Zack Martin is an offensive guard for the Cowboys and is a 309 pound wrecking ball for defensive linemen and coordinators. Zack Martin is a six time pro bowler known throughout the league as the best of the best, but sometimes is underappreciated by the vast majority of fans. In the run game Martin is a beast. With a great back in Ezekiel Elliott it is vital for the Cowboys to have an offensive lineman to support him. Zack does a great job of clearing holes through the inside of the line and is able to provide opportunities for Ezekiel Elliott to do what he does best. Allowing Zeke to get free constantly leaves the Cowboys in scoring position and makes sure that the secondary cannot be packed due to the every down threat of the Cowboys offensive line and Zeke. Zack is also huge for the Cowboys in the passing game. He is able to take pressure off of Dak from opposing defensive lineman, and can prove as a shutdown for some of the best pass rushers in the league, giving Dak more time to look downfield and find his receivers.
Teddy Bridgewater has floated in and out of starting jobs throughout his career, but it seems he may have finally have found a home in Carolina. When Drew Brees was out last year struggling with a hand injury, Teddy jumped in and led the Saints to a 5-0 record. This was vital in setting the Saints up to make yet another playoff appearanc. The Panthers took notice signing him to a contract for next year. Teddy impacts the game not only through the run, which he is most known for, but through the air. With a terrific 67.1% completion percentage and a 99.1 QBR Teddy did it all for the Saints in that five game stretch. Look for him to do the same for the Panthers, an underrated team going into 2020. Teddy has the ability to access the potential of young breakout wide reciever DJ Moore who is primed for a year even better then the last and is going to do a great job taking the pressure off of star RB Christian McCaffrey.