10 biggest wildcards heading into 2013 NFL season

Just when you thought the Minnesota Vikings would have another bad season because Adrian Peterson was coming off major knee surgery, he explodes and finishes nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record. Then Peyton Manning signs with the Denver Broncos after the Indianapolis Colts are unsure if he would play again. Manning reemerges as one of the best NFL passers.


Anwar S. Richardson




It is always hard to figure out who will be the wild card player entering any NFL season, but here are 10 potential stars who could influence their team’s results in 2013:

Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions: Detroit’s offense has not been the same since running back Jahvid Best's concussion in 2011. Bush has an opportunity to ease Calvin Johnson’s workload, and be known for something more than dating Kim Kardashian.
MIAMI - MARCH 14: Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush pose inside at the Russell Simmons Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation Art For Life at Fontainebleau Hilton on March 14, 2009 in Miami. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/WireImage for Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation)
Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions: Detroit’s offense has not been the same since running back Jahvid Best's concussion in 2011. Bush has an opportunity to ease Calvin Johnson’s workload, and be known for something more than dating Kim Kardashian.
Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders: He is entering a contract year and wants to remain in Oakland. At this rate, Oakland may not even believe McFadden can be productive or healthy anymore.
OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders gets away from Lavonte David #54 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at O.co Coliseum on November 4, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders: He is entering a contract year and wants to remain in Oakland. At this rate, Oakland may not even believe McFadden can be productive or healthy anymore.
Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans: Once upon a time, Johnson rushed for 2,006 yards and 14 yards in 2009. Then he barely rushed for 1,047 yards and four touchdowns in 2011. Tennessee’s offensive line is improved, but Johnson must player better.
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 17: Running back Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the New York Jets at LP Field on December 17, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans: Once upon a time, Johnson rushed for 2,006 yards and 14 yards in 2009. Then he barely rushed for 1,047 yards and four touchdowns in 2011. Tennessee’s offensive line is improved, but Johnson must player better.
Osi Umenyiora, DE, Atlanta Falcons: Atlanta has been knocking on the Super Bowl door the past few seasons, but been unable to walk in. Umenyiora won two Super Bowls with the Giants, and his leadership could make the Falcons soar.
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 8: Osi Umenyiora #90 of the Atlanta Falcons rushes against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Georgia Dome on August 8 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Osi Umenyiora, DE, Atlanta Falcons: Atlanta has been knocking on the Super Bowl door the past few seasons, but been unable to walk in. Umenyiora won two Super Bowls with the Giants, and his leadership could make the Falcons soar.
Jake Long, T, St. Louis Rams: Long appeared in four Pro Bowls with the Miami Dolphins before signing with the Rams this offseason. He was placed on injured reserve because of a left triceps injury, however, he could give Sam Bradford the protection necessary to have an impact.
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 17: Jake Long #77 of the St. Louis Rams blocks during a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at the Edward Jones Dome on August 17, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Jake Long, T, St. Louis Rams: Long appeared in four Pro Bowls with the Miami Dolphins before signing with the Rams this offseason. He was placed on injured reserve because of a left triceps injury, however, he could give Sam Bradford the protection necessary to have an impact.
Mike Wallace, WR, Miami Dolphins: Wallace signed a five-year deal worth $60 million ($30 million guaranteed) this offseason. If he cannot make Ryan Tannehill look good, nobody can.
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - AUGUST 24: Mike Wallace #11 of the Miami Dolphins catches the ball in front of Rashaan Melvin #28 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a preseason game on August 24, 2013 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Mike Wallace, WR, Miami Dolphins: Wallace signed a five-year deal worth $60 million ($30 million guaranteed) this offseason. If he cannot make Ryan Tannehill look good, nobody can.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys: At some point, Murray might finish one season without getting injured. He is the difference between Dallas making the playoffs or having to generate more excuses after 2013.
;Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) stretches for a touchdown on a 7-yard pass play against the Cincinnati Bengals in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, August 24, 2013. The Cowboys defeated the Bengals 24-18. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys: At some point, Murray might finish one season without getting injured. He is the difference between Dallas making the playoffs or having to generate more excuses after 2013.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears: Chicago gave up two first-round picks to acquire Cutler in 2009, but the Bears have never advanced to the playoffs under his leadership. The Bears hired coach Marc Trestman this offseason, but Cutler remains the difference between success and failure.
ST CHARLES, IL - AUGUST 24: Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavalleri attend the Dancing with the Stars Charity event hosted by Jenny McCarthy on August 24, 2013 at Hotel Baker in St Charles, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Babineau/Getty Images)
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears: Chicago gave up two first-round picks to acquire Cutler in 2009, but the Bears have never advanced to the playoffs under his leadership. The Bears hired coach Marc Trestman this offseason, but Cutler remains the difference between success and failure.
Darrelle Revis, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tampa Bay plays Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton twice a year, and Revis is what the Bucs need to survive the NFC South. Revis’ knee is a major question entering this season.
TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 29: Cornerback Darrelle Revis #24 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers leaves the field after the game against the Washington Redskins August 29, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Redskins won 30 - 12. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Darrelle Revis, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tampa Bay plays Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton twice a year, and Revis is what the Bucs need to survive the NFC South. Revis’ knee is a major question entering this season.

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