Oct. 25, 2006
As regular season play approaches the halfway point, the powerhouse teams of the NFL are slowly regaining control of the league. The Colts and the Patriots continue to dominate and are followed closely by the Denver Broncos; no surprises there. The key players are stepping up and, overall, it's starting to become clearer who could be on their way to the playoffs and who can only hope for better luck next year.
Yet, not a week goes by where former Cougars cease to provide football fans with one big play after another. This week was no exception. Between a 14-year veteran quarterback taking a backseat and the outstanding defensive performance by the Jets' Erik Coleman, ex-Cougars continue to make headlines all over the NFL.
One of the most successful football products to ever come out of Washington State is quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Bledsoe appears in nearly every category in the Cougar record books. A starting quarterback in the NFL for nearly 15 years, Bledsoe suddenly found himself replaced after the first half of Monday night's game against the New York Giants. Bledsoe threw only 12 attempts and made only seven completions for 111 yards. Just before the whistle, Bledsoe had the chance to score but his pass was intercepted on the 1-yard line. He was sacked four times in the first half alone, including once for a safety, and spent the remainder of the game on the sideline.
On the defensive end, the Jets' Erik Coleman turned in one of the best defensive performances of his career. Coleman totaled 10 tackles for New York against Detroit, nine of which were primary. He also added one tackle on special teams for a season-high 11 total tackles. The Jets defeated the Lions 31-24 to move up to 4-3 on the season.
Marcus Trufant and Jason David also turned in impressive defensive performances for their respective teams. Trufant, who played for WSU during the 1999-2002 seasons, posted five tackles and one pass defense for the Seahawks. David made four tackles for the Colts as Indianapolis preserved its 6-0 record with a win over Washington.
It was a relatively quiet week for former Cougar kickers Jason Hanson and Rian Lindell. Hanson made a field goal from 25 yards and connected on all three PAT attempts. Lindell made field goal attempts from 40 and 46 yards against New England. He was the lone scorer for Buffalo.