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Sunday, October 21, 2012
Week 7: Brees, Johnson deliver gems

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STUDS

Brees
Brees

Drew Brees

Quarterback, New Orleans Saints

The gaudy numbers just keep on coming for Brees. The record-breaking QB threw four touchdown passes for the second straight week, leading the Saints to a 35-28 victory at Tampa Bay. Brees completed 27 of 37 passes for 377 yards. At halftime, he had 313 passing yards and was on pace to break Norm Van Brocklin's 1951 regular-season record of 554 yards in a game.


Johnson
Johnson

Chris Johnson

Running back, Tennessee Titans

Has Johnson finally turned the corner? Coming off a 91-yard performance against the Steelers, Johnson rushed for a season-high 195 yards and two TDs on 18 carries (10.8-yard average) in a 35-34 victory over Buffalo. It was Johnson's biggest output since rushing for a career-high 228 yards on Nov. 1, 2009.


Nelson
Nelson

Rodgers
Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers/Jordy Nelson

Quarterback/wide receiver, Green Bay Packers

Nearly unstoppable in Week 6 (three TDs), Rodgers and Nelson continued their strong play Sunday. The duo connected on eight passes for 122 yards and one TD in Green Bay's 30-20 victory over the Rams. Rodgers completed 30 of 37 passes for 342 yards and three scores without an interception.


Peterson
Peterson

Adrian Peterson

Running back, Minnesota Vikings

Is Peterson all the way back from his knee injury? It sure looked like it Sunday. Peterson ran for 153 yards and a TD on 23 carries, powering the Vikings to a 21-14 victory over Arizona. He had runs of 27, 22 and 17 yards.


Cruz
Cruz

Victor Cruz

Wide receiver, New York Giants

The Giants appeared to be headed for a crushing defeat -- then Cruz and Eli Manning turned the tables. Cruz (seven receptions, 131 yards) caught a 77-yard TD pass from Manning with 1:13 remaining, propelling the Giants to a 27-23 victory over Washington.


Jackson
Jackson

Vincent Jackson

Wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs lost, but Jackson's (and QB Josh Freeman's) numbers are hard to ignore. Jackson caught seven passes, including a 17-yard TD, for a career-high 216 yards. Freeman passed for 420 yards and three TDs.


Texans

The Texans' defense

Call it a redeeming performance by the Texans' D. A week after being torched by Rodgers (six TDs), Houston forced two turnovers (both interceptions) and limited Ravens QB Joe Flacco to 147 passing yards in a 43-13 romp. Baltimore was held to 176 yards overall.


Vikings

The Vikings' defense

Even though it had trouble containing LaRod Stephens-Howling (149 combined rushing and receiving yards), the Vikings' defense was a force against Arizona. Harrison Smith returned an interception 31 yards for a third-quarter score and Minnesota sacked John Skelton seven times. Defensive end Brian Robison had three of those sacks as well as a forced fumble.




DUDS

Flacco
Flacco

Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Flacco was off-target and had no answer for the pressure provided by a hungry Houston defense. Flacco had only seven completions at the half and finished with a 45.4 rating. He was sacked four times, including one that resulted in a first-quarter safety.


Richardson
Richardson

Trent Richardson

Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns

The Colts aren't known for stout run defense, but they did a nice job on Richardson. The heralded rookie gained only eight yards on eight carries in a 17-13 loss, easily his worst rushing performance of the season.


Shorts
Shorts

Cecil Shorts

Wide receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars

Shorts caught a 42-yard TD pass early, but his fumble on the Jaguars' opening possession of overtime set the Raiders up for a 26-23 victory. After catching a short pass over the middle, Shorts had the ball stripped by Lamarr Houston. Two plays later, Sebastian Janikowski kicked a game-winning, 40-yard field goal.


Bucs

The Buccaneers' defense

Besides a Ronde Barber interception, Tampa Bay had little go right on defense. The Bucs blew a pair of 14-point leads, allowed 458 total yards and did not record a sack against New Orleans.