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Around the NFC West: Brush with greatness

12/18/2012

Around the NFC West: Dec. 18, 2012

This past week in the NFL offered a few brushes with greatness for NFC West teams.

Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson might be the best players at their positions in the NFL. NFC West teams went 2-1 against them in Week 15, but it wasn't always easy.

Brady brought back the New England Patriots from a 31-3 deficit into a 31-31 tie before the San Francisco 49ers finally prevailed, 41-34. The 49ers could feel good about their defense even though Brady passed for 443 yards.

Peterson continued his march toward a potential 2,000-yard year with a season-high 212-yard performance in Minnesota's victory against the St. Louis Rams. The Rams held Peterson to 76 yards on 22 of his 24 carries, but Peterson gained 134 yards on the other two carries.

In Arizona, the Cardinals felt as though they did a good job limiting Johnson during a 38-10 Cardinals victory even though the Detroit Lions receiver finished the game with 10 receptions for 121 yards. You know a receiver is special when the opposing defense considers that type of production acceptable.

On a side note, Pro Football Focus notes that Johnson caught eight of those 10 passes for 101 yards against Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson. That was a higher figure than I expected from watching the game without charting Johnson's receptions. It really did seem like the Cardinals fared well against Johnson.