As much as it goes against the nature of football, there are always a handful of players who impact their teams in more substantial ways than others. With half a season to go, here are five such players – players who could have a huge impact on the race for the playoffs, and perhaps help their team win the Super Bowl.
It is obvious that if a team was to lose a significant player, such as Tom Brady in New England or Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, those losses could crush that team's playoff hopes. However, the five players on the following list are players who have either been inconsistent over the first half of the season or whose presence impacts the style of how their team plays.
Quarterback Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals
To anyone who has watched the Bengals for more than a game or two, it is clear that Palmer is not confident in his offensive line and isn't confident with the condition of his surgically repaired left knee. Some of that is simply human reaction and should fade