NFL Nation: 2010 Week 11 High Energy

AFC East High Energy Player of the Week

November, 23, 2010
11/23/10
3:00
PM ET
NFC High Energy: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 11.

The readers have spoken.

On Monday, I asked for help in selecting the High Energy performer for Week 11. The response was voluminous and persuasive.

[+] EnlargeSteve Johnson
Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesThree of Steve Johnson's eight receptions Sunday against Cincinnati resulted in touchdowns.
Buffalo Bills receiver Steve Johnson obviously has resonated with fans. He beat out the other two candidates I proposed, New York Jets receiver Santonio Holmes and New England Patriots running back Danny Woodhead.

Johnson had a storybook afternoon Sunday in Paul Brown Stadium, where the Bills scored 35 unanswered points in the second half to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.

The 2008 seventh-round draft choice caught eight passes for 137 yards. He scored three touchdowns, all in the second half.

"I don't know how he does it," Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. "There were a couple of times where I threw him a 5-yard route, and all of a sudden he just takes off.

"It's an ability that he has that no one can really put their finger on, and that's what makes him such a special player."

Bengals receivers Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens have been calling themselves Batman and Robin. Johnson wanted to play the role of The Joker. After one touchdown, Johnson exposed his undershirt to reveal the scrawled message "Why So Serious?" a Joker reference from "The Dark Knight" movie.

Batman and Robin combined for six receptions, 91 yards and two touchdowns.

"I think because he had never done it before and the fact that he’s done it so fast, it shocks a lot of people," Fitzpatrick said. "But the talent that the guy has, I think a lot of people here have seen it all along, and we knew he was a guy that could do some amazing things. It's been nice to see that translate on the field since he's gotten that opportunity."

NFC West High Energy Player of the Week

November, 23, 2010
11/23/10
3:00
PM ET
NFC High Energy: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 11:

A fat stat line isn't necessarily a requirement for this weekly award.

[+] EnlargeMatt Hasselbeck
AP Photo/ Bill NicholsMatt Hasselbeck did his part in Seattle's Week 11 loss to the Saints.
It certainly helps.

The Seattle Seahawks' Matt Hasselbeck is the first two-time winner in the NFC West after passing for 366 yards against New Orleans while playing with an edge that gave his team at least a fighting chance.

"Matt's our leader, especially on that side of the ball," veteran strong safety Lawyer Milloy said. "We have to match his intensity."

Hasselbeck completed 72.7 percent of his passes with one touchdown, no interceptions and a 104.9 rating.

He completed seven third-down passes for first-down yardage, once for a 2-yard touchdown to Ben Obomanu and later on his final three attempts from third-and-7 or longer. He shoved Saints safety Usama Young while players fought to recover a fumble. He made unconventional handoffs to protect the cracked bones in his left wrist.

In short, Hasselbeck did just about everything he could to help his team. It wasn't enough to beat the Saints, but it stood out on a day when every NFC West team came up short on the scoreboard.

NFC East High Energy Player of the Week

November, 23, 2010
11/23/10
3:00
PM ET
NFC High Energy: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 11.

[+] EnlargeAsante Samuel
AP Photo/Michael PerezAsante Samuel recorded a pair of interceptions in Sunday's win over the Giants.
The Philadelphia Eagles' Asante Samuel loves playing against the Manning brothers. He's had four interceptions over the past three games -- and all four of them have come off Mannings. Samuel may be the best in the league at baiting quarterbacks into interceptions. He noticed Eli Manning staring down a receiver Sunday and he may have had the easiest interception of his career.

Now Samuel simply needs to learn how to tuck the ball away during his returns. He gave the Giants another chance when he was stripped by -- of all people -- running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Samuel now has seven interceptions this season. And he actually changed the game Sunday night with some hits as well. He was flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit on a Giants receiver, but coach Andy Reid didn't seem too concerned because he liked the aggression from a player who's not known for his tackling.

Samuel also had two pass deflections. It was a phenomenal effort for him in a big game. And that's why he's our High Energy Player of the Week.
NFC High Energy: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 11.

[+] EnlargeJames Harrison
Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PresswireJames Harrison made life miserable for Jason Campbell and the Raiders on Sunday.
Coming off a subpar performance against the New England Patriots, the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense relied on James Harrison on Sunday to ignite this unit -- and he answered the call.

The Pro Bowl linebacker had his most well-rounded performance of the season in Pittsburgh's 35-3 blowout victory over the Oakland Raiders. Harrison recorded five tackles, two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble as he wreaked havoc in Oakland's backfield.

Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell may still have nightmares about Harrison. Oakland's offensive line couldn't keep Harrison off Campbell, who took several tough shots from the linebacker before being benched in the second half.

The most controversial hit on Campbell was a well-timed blow by Harrison that forced an interception by Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor. It was called back because Harrison was flagged for roughing the passer. Harrison could be facing another fine for what looked like a clean play.

Other than that, it was another good day at the office for Harrison. He leads the Steelers with nine sacks, and Sunday marked his third multi-sack game of the season.
NFC High Energy: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 11.

The Dwayne Bowe Show is a hot ticket in Kansas City.

[+] EnlargeArizona Cardinals' Dwayne Bowe
Denny Medley/US PRESSWIREDwayne Bowe caught six passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns against the Cardinals.
After a poor 2009 season, Bowe is back and showing he can be a strong No. 1 receiver. Bowe set the tone Sunday in a much-needed victory for Kansas City.

The Chiefs, who had lost back-to-back games and sole possession of first place in the AFC West, fell behind 3-0 to Arizona after the first quarter. They needed a spark. Bowe provided it with a 1-yard touchdown catch from Matt Cassel to give the Chiefs a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter. Bowe set a team record by catching a touchdown pass in six straight games.

Bowe celebrated his big day in the fourth quarter with a spectacular catch and run on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Cassel to extend the lead to 31-6. Bowe finished with six catches for 109 yards.

Bowe’s big day helped Kansas City improve to 6-4 and take sole possession of first place in the division again.
NFC High Energy: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 11:

It's been five games since the Green Bay Packers lost tight end Jermichael Finley. Over that stretch, here's what receiver Greg Jennings has produced:

[+] EnlargeGreg Jennings
AP Photo/Andy KingGreg Jennings burned the Vikings for three TD catches Sunday.
Receptions: 32
Yards: 520
Touchdowns: 6

I think that qualifies as "filling the void," don't you?

Jennings got lost in the shuffle a bit as the Packers began focusing their offense around Finley last season, but we've since seen a pretty good reminder of what he can do as a team's No. 1 option. But even on that scale, Jennings reached new heights Sunday at the Metrodome. He caught a career-high three touchdown passes among his seven receptions, and finished with 152 total yards.

He caught a pair of deep fade passes, going for 47 and 22 yards, and also converted a short pass into a 46-yard touchdown early in the third quarter. On that play, Jennings made cornerback Asher Allen miss the tackle and then twisted safety Madieu Williams with an open-field juke.

"When you throw just a comeback to him and he turns it into a big-time touchdown, that makes you look like a lot better quarterback," Aaron Rodgers said. "So that's much appreciated. When Jermichael went down, we made a conscious effort in our mind, myself pulling the trigger and the coaching staff, to find more ways to get Greg the ball."

Good idea.
NFC High Energy: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 11.

Brees
It wouldn’t quite qualify as a slump, but through the first nine games, Saints quarterback Drew Brees wasn’t putting up the kind of numbers he did in last year’s Super Bowl season.

That all changed in Sunday’s 34-19 victory against Seattle. Coming off the bye week, Brees had his best statistical day of the season as the Saints scored more than 30 points in back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Brees had a season-high 382 yards passing and four touchdown passes to help the Saints win their third straight game and get to 7-3. Brees completed 29 of 43 passes as the Saints matched their season-high point total.
NFC High Energy: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 11.

Either the Colts were intent on feeding Austin Collie or the Patriots were willing to yield some yards to him while concentrating on taking away other stuff.

[+] EnlargeBlair White
Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesRookie Blair White hauled in two TD passes Sunday against New England.
Either way, the receiver saw a lot of action before leaving the game in the first half. Whether he suffered a new concussion, had symptoms resurface or something else we are not certain.

But losing him looked to be a blow to the Colts.

Until Blair White showed himself perfectly capable of filling the role. White, an undrafted rookie out of Michigan State, caught two touchdowns from Peyton Manning, helping the Colts rally for a late challenge that fell short in New England.

“Blair has performed and performed extremely well under some circumstances that typically you would anticipate that a rookie may not be able to function at a high level, but he has been able to do that,” Jim Caldwell told Indianapolis reporters on Monday.

“He’s been able to create space and find openings and make outstanding catches. He’s a very, very integral part of what we do. He’s just worked himself into that position. He’s one of those guys that works extremely hard at his craft. He pays attention to all the little details and tries to find a way to get better. We certainly are glad that he’s able to step up and perform for us consistently.”

White has 14 catches, including three touchdowns.

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