- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Rookie Best shines in first 2 games for Lions
ALLEN PARK, MICH. (AP) - Jahvid Best caught a screen pass and turned up the field, then paused ever so slightly. Instead of running into the back of one of his blockers, the Detroit rookie waited for a lane to open, and once he found one, he was gone for a 75-yard touchdown against Philadelphia last weekend.
With both his speed and his savvy, Best has brought some much-needed excitement to the Lions. Although Detroit is struggling again to win games, the new running back is making quite an impact. In his first two games as a pro, he’s scored five touchdowns.
“I’m a fan,” Detroit receiver Nate Burleson said. “I told him in the preseason that his goals should be mighty high, individually and as the starting running back of this team. He has the talent to be one of the best backs in the NFL this year.”
Best is already putting up numbers that have him in pretty impressive company. He’s the first rookie to score five touchdowns in his first two games since Billy Sims in 1980. In Detroit’s 35-32 loss to the Eagles, he caught nine passes for 154 yards, the most yards receiving in a game by a first-year running back since Herschel Walker had 170 in 1986.
“My expectations are high, so whatever they need me to do, I feel like I should go out there and perform,” Best said. “If somebody gets me, it’s my fault. I owe it to my O-line and the receivers. When they put me in a good position, I have to make a play.”
The last thing the Lions need are injury problems after winning just two games the last two seasons. Burleson said there’s a chance he could play this weekend at Minnesota. Coach Jim Schwartz didn’t give an update on Stafford’s status Monday but said he might have more to say Wednesday.
With Burleson out and the Eagles focused on stopping wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Detroit went to Best early and often. He scored on a 14-yard run in the first quarter, and his 75-yard touchdown reception gave the Lions a 17-7 lead in the second.
“All I had to do was stutter a little bit just to set it up, but everybody had their man and I think I went untouched,” Best said. “That shows you that there’s blocking out there.”
It also shows that Best is a poised runner with good field vision.
Perhaps his one weakness is short-yardage situations _ the 5-foot-10, 199-pound Best was stopped on fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter. That small frame has also raised questions about his durability. He missed a few games last season at California after a fall knocked him out and sent him to the hospital with a concussion and sore back.
Best was injured when he hurdled an Oregon State defender at the end of a touchdown run. He vaulted into the air and then was bumped even higher by another defender before falling on his back and head from about 8 feet in the air.
Best’s injury history gave NFC North rival Minnesota pause. The Vikings had the 30th pick in the draft but traded it to the Lions, and Detroit took Best.
“There’s no question about his ability,” Minnesota coach Brad Childress said. “He’s got ‘A’ ability. We just had, in this day and age, concerns about his concussions and the fact that with a smaller-in-stature running back, how he could play through that.”
This weekend, the Vikings have a new concern: stopping Best.
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Mike Shanahan says he'd like to return to Redskins
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow