Miles Austin and “The Jason Peters Phenomena”: Going from afterthought, to overrated, to underrated

In the eyes of the fans, Jason Peters is one of those weird, “overrated-underrated” players.  I’ll explain.  Buffalo picked him up as an undrafted TE out of college, and by his second year in the league he was a regular starter at LT.  He excelled, and became one of those awesome players that nobody knew a thing about… He was underrated.

As an unknown, it took until his fourth year to earn his first Pro Bowl trip in 2007, when he probably would have been there already if he were a 1st round pick… He was still sorta underrated.

Then, in 2008 with the Bills and 2009 with the Eagles, he had down years, but still made it to Honolulu, perhaps undeservedly on the reputation he had built from scratch… He became overrated.

In 2010, particularly in the second half of the season, Peters absolutely dominated, but a lot of folks that don’t actually watch OL play continued to give him the “overrated” label, just because it had kinda stuck… He was underrated once again.

In 2011, with the help of Cris Collinsworth on Sunday Night Football regularly showing the masses what amazing play at LT looks like, Peters left no doubt that he is an absolute star player.

Miles Austin’s path in the NFL isn’t exactly the same, but he’s on a similar course.  Like Peters, he was an undrafted afterthought that had to fight simply to make the team in his early years.  When a few receivers got injured during the 2009 season, Austin got his chance and absolutely blew up, to the tune of 81 catches for 1320 yards and 11 TDs, in just 9 starts (although he played in all 16 games). He made the Pro Bowl, and there were even people calling him, ridiculously, the best WR in the NFL. He was wildly overrated almost the instant he had some success.

The following season, he cooled off, putting up a stat line of 69 catches, 1041 yards, and 7 TDs.  He made the Pro Bowl that year, undeservedly.  Still overrated.

Last season, Austin slogged through an injury-riddled season, and the Cowboys were lucky to have Laurent Robinson step up the way he did.  Austin’s stat line: 43-579-7 in 10 games.

Just two years after Austin was being called the best WR in the game, I wonder how many people would put him in the top 5 WRs in the division. Underrated.

When Austin is healthy, he is still a fantastic receiver.  Look no further than the Cowboys-Niners Week 2 matchup last year.  Everyone remembers Tony Romo coming back from cracked ribs to finish that game, and Jesse Holley acting like Sgt. Elias from Platoon, but it was Miles Austin who won that game.  He had 9-143-3, and I have no idea how he kept his knee off the ground on this amazing play.  Austin turns 28 this offseason, and should be in the prime of his career… as long as he can stay healthy.

I get the feeling that Austin has become somewhat of a forgotten man this offseason, but I’d wouldn’t be surprised if he had a Jason Peters-like rebound.  In fact, I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t.

31 Comments

  1. […] Austin: I already talked in detail that I think Miles Austin has become something of the forgotten man outside of the Cowboys’ fan base.  If he can stay healthy, there’s little reason to think he won’t put up good […]

  2. Afonsina says:

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  3. ian says:

    peters still kicked but with the eagles in 2009. if that is a down year, i really hope demetress bell has a down year too.

  4. Clecira says:

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  5. AMGTX22 says:

    Miles needs to adjust his game to the defensive adjustments more than anything else (excluding health).

    His MO in the breakout year was to Judo flip the defender after the catch and outrun everyone to the end zone. It was beautiful to watch.

    But, defenses have adjusted to this HR play (with safety help and how corners approach the tackle), which should make it a bit easier for him to hit a lot of doubles, particularly from the slot and across the middle. I’m not sure if it is solely injuries that brought down his numbers, but he needs to grow his game as well to be underrated again.

    Also, Jimmy, keep doing what you do. We Cowboys fans need to hear a little truth every so often. Plus I enjoy yelling at my computer when reading BTb (not to be confused with BTB, Blogging the Boys).

  6. rational says:

    Jason Peters was the best Tackle in the game and was the best at blocking DeMarcus Ware in the whole league. He will probably never be the same. That’s a shame. Miles Austin is a much more physical presence and RAC threat than Victor Cruz. Wouldn’t you say that Victor Cruz is very overrated at this point?

    1. Well, I guess the question would be… Who’s overrating Cruz?

      1. Trueblue63 says:

        Probably Bill Bellichick, it was a Cruz and Nicks game and then Manningham made that great catch. So BB definitely overrated Nicks and Cruz.

        :p

  7. […] and 5. Miles Austin and Dez Bryant: I have a ton of respect for Miles Austin, and think he has become sort of a forgotten man this offseason.  In 2012, I fully expect him to return to the explosive receiver he is, provided he stays […]

  8. Juz Saying says:

    1Miles & Dez-2Cruz & Nicks-3D Jax & Maclin

    1. brisulph says:

      XD

      that is all.

  9. I Agree says:

    No way V.Cruz whips B. Carr ,The way he Whipped Asomugha!

  10. bdawk4ever says:

    I’d be surprised if Austin has a good year. He is just a mediocre receiver who got lucky one year. He is just like Victor Cruz.

    1. giantsfan says:

      your name should be butthurt4ever

      1. bdawk4ever says:

        Why? Cause I hurt your feelings when I tell the truth?

        1. giantsfan says:

          No, because you’re always butt hurt about players on other teams being good.

          1. brisulph says:

            Don’t waste your breath, even his fellow BGN brethren have realized how warped his reality bubble is, and the futility of actually trying to break through it.

  11. rage114 says:

    More hatin’ on the Cowboys I see….

    1. brisulph says:

      You will note he gave Peters the front page, while the Star was relegated to the jump to the full story. He’s tricksey in his hatorade dranking!

  12. Kushan says:

    You need to go back to putting entertaining captions for the pictures; an underrated part of the BTB experience.

    1. Ha, thanks! Sometimes I put more thought into the captions than the articles themselves, and they rarely get noticed. I haven’t consciously stopped thinking of funny captions – It just kind of happened. I’ll step up my game there.

    2. DerfDiggy says:

      Hah, I second this!

  13. BBI says:

    I’d say Miles Austin will put up better numbers than Dez this year, if both stay healthy.

    1. At this stage in Victor Cruz’s career, by the way, you can draw some parallels to Miles Austin.

      1. Trueblue63 says:

        I think this goes to show how meaningless rating players is.

      2. bula says:

        stop writing positive articles about dallas. you’re confusing your cowgirl readers

      3. deg0ey says:

        So Cruz is currently in the ‘overrated’ phase, right?

        1. Not yet. I haven’t really heard too many people make ridiculous statements like the “best WR in the game” stuff we heard about Miles, but as we get closer to the 2012 season, you may see some stuff like that get thrown out there. TBD.

      4. BBI says:

        I think that’s about right yeah…definitely going from the UDFA, to league phenom.

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