NFL Nation: 2010 Week 2 High Energy NFC

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 2.

[+] EnlargeJason Snelling
AP Photo/John BazemoreJason Snelling's career game helped the Falcons trounce the Cardinals 41-7.
He entered the day as a third-string running back and special-teams player. By the time Sunday was over, Jason Snelling might have been the most tired, but appreciated member of the Atlanta Falcons.

Attempting to overcome a disastrous season opener in Pittsburgh as they made their home debut against Arizona, the Falcons were trying hard to establish that they could run the ball. They were doing pretty well, but when starter Michael Turner and backup Jerious Norwood each left the game with injuries, the Falcons were forced to turn exclusively to Snelling.

He responded by handling 24 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass. Turner had played well before leaving with a groin injury.

Turner was later cleared to return to the game. But there was no need because the Falcons already had taken a comfortable lead and Snelling was running so well that Atlanta was able to cruise to a 41-7 victory.

NFC West High Energy Player of the Week

September, 21, 2010
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 2.

Frank Gore did it all for the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.

[+] EnlargeFrank Gore
Kyle Terada/US PresswireFrank Gore found the end zone twice on Monday night.
The Pro Bowl running back picked up the tough yards on the ground, running lower and more powerfully than just about anyone could -- as when he bulled forward for a 4-yard gain on second-and-4. He flashed speed as a receiver in the open field, as when he caught a pass in stride and outraced the defense for a 12-yard touchdown. He picked up the blitz when needed as a blocker, helping Alex Smith make plays with his arm. And when the 49ers needed a touchdown and two-point conversion to tie the game late, Gore took the handoff and scored the TD on second-and-goal from the New Orleans 7.

The threat of Gore's running was everything for Smith and the 49ers' offense during their last-second 25-22 defeat at Candlestick Park. Gore finished with 20 carries for 112 yards. He also led the 49ers with seven receptions.

Running behind a powerful offensive line, Gore sometimes found huge openings in the Saints' defense. But he also gained tough yardage when there wasn't much room at all. His tough running gave the 49ers an edge on offense.

Gore broke Joe Perry's franchise record with his 21st 100-yard rushing game.

"There’s an energy in the huddle when we’re getting back and we’re rolling, and we’re running the ball like that," Smith said. "We’re making throws. It’s just a different energy, a different tempo."

NFC East High Energy Player of the Week

September, 21, 2010
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 2.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick's body language never changed when the Detroit Lions took a 17-7 lead in Sunday's game. In fact, he seemed to look calmer once the Eagles were in comeback mode.

[+] EnlargeMichael Vick
Andrew Weber/US PresswireMichael Vick accounted for 319 yards on the ground and through the air against the Lions.
Quite simply, Vick was the best player on the field in Sunday's win and you could tell that his teammates fed off his energy. Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham didn't attempt to keep Vick in the pocket. He dialed up the blitz over and over, in part, because of the Eagles' issues on the offensive line. Vick managed the game beautifully and seemed to know exactly when it was time to run.

He passed for 284 yards and two touchdowns while ripping off some remarkable spin moves to extend plays. On Sunday, the Eagles showed that it pays to have one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league on the roster. Coach Andy Reid called it a "beautiful" thing to have two quarterbacks he trusts to win games. Sunday's game served as a nice audition for Vick as he determines what the future holds. He'll be starting in the league next season, but I don't think it will be in Philly. Here's what Vick's mentor Tony Dungy said about him Sunday night on NBC per the Daily News:

"These last two games, he’s been outstanding," said Dungy. "He’s thrown the ball from the pocket well. He’s managed the game. He’s run when he needed to. I thought he played the quarterback position better these two games than he ever did in Atlanta."

Vick will not be able to pick up his High Energy Player of the Week award in person, but I assume he's thrilled to be honored.
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 2.

[+] EnlargeJahvid Best
Andrew Weber/US PresswireJahvid Best was a threat running and catching the ball out of the backfield on Sunday.
Detroit Lions tailback Jahvid Best had a decent outing in his second NFL game. Here's what Best managed in the Lions’ 35-32 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles:

  • Three touchdowns
  • A total of 232 all-purpose yards
  • Five explosive plays of 17 or more yards, including receptions of 75, 21, 19 and 17 yards to go along with a 33-yard run.

OK, so it was a little better than decent. In fact, Best became the first rookie in NFL history to accumulate 150 passing yards, 75 rushing yards and three touchdowns in one game. He has five scores in his first two career games and, more importantly, is the first rookie ever to win the NFC North High Energy Player of the Week award.

The Eagles tried accounting for Best with a linebacker in their passing game, but opponents now know it will take more than that.

“We felt we could exploit that,” Best told reporters after the game. Let the NFL be warned.




Sunday, 2/2