NFL Nation: 2010 Week 7 High Energy

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 7:

[+] EnlargeKenny Britt
Drew Hallowell/Getty ImagesKenny Britt hauled in seven catches for 225 yards and three touchdowns.
We’ve tried to steer away from obvious choices. But in a week with only two games and just one win, I could not steer away from Kenny Britt.

The Titans receiver may still be suspended or further disciplined by the team and/or the league for his alleged involvement in a bar fight early last Friday morning. As he still gathered details, Jeff Fisher sat Britt until midway through the second quarter Sunday at LP Field.

Britt responded with a phenomenal effort -- a seven-catch, 225-yard, three-touchdown day that ranks as the best the league has seen this season. It propelled the Titans to an impressive 37-19 win over Philadelphia that lifted the Titans to 5-2, which makes them one of the five best teams in the AFC.

Consistency and maturity have been the big questions facing Britt, a first-round pick from Rutgers a year ago. The Titans need him to continue to be a big-play, downfield threat to help prevent defenses from loading up to stop running back Chris Johnson at all costs.

AFC East High Energy Player of the Week

October, 26, 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 7.

Buffalo Bills receiver Steve Johnson entered 2010 with one start, 12 receptions, 112 yards and two touchdowns.

[+] EnlargeSteve Johnson
Larry French/Getty ImagesBills receiver Steve Johnson is having a breakout season.
Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, he notched a performance nearly as impactful as his first two NFL seasons combined.

Johnson played an integral role in nearly pulling off the upset of the year. He had a career-high eight receptions for a career-high 158 yards with a career-long 43-yard gain and a touchdown before the Bills lost in overtime at M&T Bank Stadium.

"Individually, that's all good and that's what you want as a player," Johnson said. "If you're a running back, receiver or a quarterback that's what you want. But at the end of the day, you do want to get that win in the win column instead of just the individual win.

"I guess it's a good thing and a bad thing. I did pretty good, but at the same time we didn't win."

Johnson, a 2008 seventh-round pick from Kentucky, never had caught more than five passes or gained more than 66 yards in a game. He had trouble getting on the field his first two seasons, but the Bills declined to re-sign Terrell Owens and Josh Reed, creating room for Johnson to contribute.

He has been consistently involved this year and has scored at least one touchdown in four straight games, the span Ryan Fitzpatrick has been Buffalo's starting quarterback.

"Just seeing him since he came in, all of our receivers have confidence with him back there throwing the ball," Johnson said. "He's spreading it around to tight ends, receivers, running backs. ... We all have confidence in him, and I'm pretty sure he has confidence in us, and I'm pretty sure we can put up numbers with him."

NFC West High Energy Player of the Week

October, 26, 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 7.

[+] EnlargeMike Williams
Jason O. Watson/US PresswireWide receiver Mike Williams gave the Seahawks a significant boost this week.
The third-and-1 catch Seattle Seahawks receiver Mike Williams made against Arizona Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had to look familiar to fans watching at Qwest Field.

For years, Seattle fans have watched Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin make similarly undefendable grabs for Arizona despite tight coverage from Seattle defensive backs.

The tables were turned during the Seahawks' 22-10 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday.

Williams was the one using his huge frame to great advantage against overmatched defensive backs.

The 6-foot-5, 235-pound wideout caught 11 passes against the Cardinals, including all four thrown his way on third down.

The third-and-1 reception for a 16-yard gain in the fourth quarter stood out as particularly exceptional and hard to defend.

Rodgers-Cromartie stood 1 yard off the line of scrimmage and directly across from Williams at the snap. Williams, positioned just outside the yard-line numbers on the right side, was 7 yards into his route when quarterback Matt Hasselbeck released the ball. Williams did not look back until he and Rodgers-Cromartie had run another four yards, to the Arizona 17. Rodgers-Cromartie had inside position and shadowed Williams all the way, but the ball arrived before he could react. Williams turned back to the inside, rotating more than 180 degrees before snatching the ball away from his body.

A cornerback would have struggled to defend the play using a large butterfly net. Rodgers-Cromartie, a Pro Bowl choice last season, could only make the tackle.

The chart shows NFL leaders in third-down receptions, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

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 7.

[+] EnlargeJosh Freeman
Scott A. Miller/US PresswireTampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman has led his team to five fourth-quarter comeback victories since the mid-point of last season.
There are stories from back in the 1980s about how legendary Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird would, on occasion, walk into the huddle or locker room and say, “Hop on my back boys. I’ll carry you.’’ It’s tough to imagine quiet and humble Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman saying anything so brash.

But it’s getting to a point where he no longer has to verbalize that kind of thought. When things get tough, the Buccaneers are automatically hopping on Freeman’s back because they now believe the second-year quarterback will find a way to win.

He did it again Sunday, finding running back Cadillac Williams with a 1-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds remaining to give the Bucs an 18-17 victory against St. Louis. Since taking over as the starter near the midpoint of last season, Freeman has led five fourth-quarter comebacks for victories.

He has done it three times this season and the Bucs still have 10 more games to hop on Freeman’s back. They don’t have much consistency in the running game and the defense hasn’t been as good as hoped. But none of that really matters because Freeman is way ahead of the learning curve and he’s carrying the Bucs.
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 7.

[+] EnlargeJames Jones
AP Photo/Jeffrey PhelpsJames Jones made each of his four receptions count Sunday night.
Earlier this month, Green Bay Packers receiver James Jones sat at his locker in despair. His fourth-quarter fumble at Soldier Field had set up the Chicago Bears' game-winning field goal, a crushing loss for a team with designs on an NFC North title.

Sunday night at Lambeau Field, Jones was the Packers' early spark plug as they kept pace with, and eventually defeated, the Minnesota Vikings.

Jones amassed 90 yards on his first three receptions and finished with 107 yards on four catches, the fourth 100-yard game of his career. All four catches Sunday were crucial as he helped fill in for an injured Donald Driver.

Jones converted third downs on his first, a 13-yarder in the first quarter, and fourth, a 17-yarder in the third. His other two catches went for 45 yards and 32. Each set up a Packers touchdown.

"James played very well," coach Mike McCarthy said. "He had some big opportunities and cashed in. ... I was glad to see James have some production and I was very happy for him."
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 7:

There was only one AFC West game this week’s recipient could have come from.

[+] EnlargeMcFadden
AP Photo/Jack DempseyOakland running back Darren McFadden scored four touchdowns against Denver.
It makes sense that Darren McFadden is the High Energy Player for Week 7. There hasn’t been a player in the division this season who has shown more high energy than the Oakland Raiders' speedy tailback.

After floundering for much of his first two NFL seasons, McFadden, the No. 4 overall pick in 2008, has exploded this season.

He took over Sunday’s win against Denver as his Raiders embarrassed the Broncos 59-14. Yes, the Raiders scored 59 points, which is a franchise record.

McFadden did his part by scoring four touchdowns. He finished with 165 yards rushing on only 16 carries. It was a triumphant return after McFadden had to sit out two games with a hamstring injury. McFadden has 557 yards rushing in five games. He is the definition of high energy.

NFC East High Energy Player of the Week

October, 26, 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 7.

[+] EnlargeHall
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastDeAngelo Hall's four interceptions against the Bears on Sunday tied an NFL record.
Sometimes our NFC East High Energy panel has a difficult time narrowing down the candidates, but Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall made it easy. In one of the ugliest NFL games you'll hopefully never see, Hall had four interceptions, including one he returned for a 92-yard touchdown to give the Redskins a 17-14 lead.

Hall's one-handed stab as the Chicago Bears were driving to extend their 14-10 lead was a brilliant play. He feasts on quarterbacks such as Jay Cutler who are remarkably careless with the football. And Cutler became one of the first NFL quarterbacks of the modern era to talk trash after throwing four interceptions. After the game, he told reporters that he'd still go right at Hall if he had more opportunities. And really, there's nothing like some bravado after you've embarrassed yourself in front of a home crowd.

Hall had an entertaining response during his appearance on the NFL Network on Monday:

"You know, Jay's a guy, obviously he has a lot of confidence, lotta swagger," said Hall per Matt Terl's Redskins Blog. "But like I told you before, I played against this kid once before, you know, when I was in Oakland for that first Monday night game. He completed a couple of passes on my side and, you know, I guess he was still riding high from that, man. I have no idea what's wrong with this kid, but, you know, I think he learned his lesson.

"But after those comments, that makes me think that he still hasn't learned his lesson. So, you know, if I had to play Jay Cutler every single week, man, I'd be in the Hall of Fame."

I totally agree with that last statement. If Hall could play against Cutler every week, he'd probably end up with 120 career interceptions. And that's a conservative estimate. For his efforts Sunday, Hall is our NFC East 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 7.

[+] EnlargeEd Reed
G Fiume/Getty ImagesEd Reed made an immediate difference upon his return, recording two picks.
Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed always has a knack for making the game look easy. That was certainly on display once again this past Sunday, as Reed came off the physically unable to perform list to record two interceptions in Baltimore's win over the Buffalo Bills.

Reed had major hip surgery in the offseason and sat out Baltimore's first six games. Upon his return, Reed proved he can still make the big plays. His two interceptions off Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick accounted for 46 return yards in the Ravens' 37-34 overtime victory.

Baltimore's pass defense wasn't very good against Buffalo, but Reed's return offers hope for improvement. The Ravens also had struggled to force turnovers this season, but Reed accounted for half of the team's season-high four turnovers Sunday.

Reed will have the bye week to further shake off the rust and continue to get healthy before the Ravens take the field again Nov. 7 against the Miami Dolphins (3-3). But the early returns have been pretty good for the dynamic safety.




Sunday, 2/2