Week 8: Lions' duo roars




Matthew Stafford

Quarterback, Detroit Lions

Playing for the first time since Week 1, Stafford gave the Detroit Lions a big lift at home. Stafford threw four touchdown passes and helped Detroit score nine points in a 14-second span in the fourth quarter to turn a close game into a 37-25 win over the Washington Redskins.



Calvin Johnson

Wide receiver, Detroit Lions

Stafford's return yielded positive results for Johnson, who had his best game of the season against Washington. Johnson caught nine passes for 101 yards and a career-high three TDs in Detroit's victory. Johnson's third score, a 10-yarder from Stafford, gave Detroit the lead for good with 3:12 remaining.


The Jaguars' offense

The Jacksonville Jaguars' offense delivered a dominant performance in Dallas. Led by the highly efficient David Garrard (17-of-21, 260 yards, 5 total TDs), Jacksonville scored 14 early points and cruised to a 35-17 victory over the downtrodden Cowboys. Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 135 yards on 27 carries and Mike Sims-Walker caught eight passes for 153 yards and a TD.


The Raiders' offense

How about those suddenly explosive Raiders? For the second week in a row, Oakland had everything working on offense, using a balanced and turnover-free attack to rout the Seattle Seahawks 33-3. Jason Campbell threw for 310 yards and two TDs and Darrius Heyward-Bey caught five passes for a career-high 105 yards and a score. Darren McFadden followed up his four-TD Week 7 performance by rushing for 111 yards on 21 carries.



Jamaal Charles

Running back, Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs' ground game continued to thrive in Week 7 (274 yards), and Charles did most of the leg work. Charles gained 177 yards on 22 carries -- his first 100-yard game of the season -- as Kansas City edged the Buffalo Bills 13-10 in overtime. Kansas City has rushed for more than 200 yards in three straight games.



Aqib Talib

Cornerback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Talib had two of Tampa Bay's four interceptions, returning one 45 yards for a touchdown and saving the game with the other, and the Bucs came from behind in the fourth quarter to beat the Arizona Cardinals 38-35. The Cardinals drove to the Tampa Bay 20-yard line late in the fourth quarter and seemed certain to at least get a game-tying field goal. But on first down, Talib stepped in front of Larry Fitzgerald for an interception at the Buccaneers 3-yard line with 2:15 remaining.


The Rams' defense

The St. Louis Rams' defense held the Carolina Panthers to 201 total yards and forced four turnovers in a 20-10 victory. James Laurinaitis led the effort with eight tackles, one sack and one interception. Chris Long had a sack, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.



Ndamukong Suh

Defensive tackle, Detroit Lions

Speaking of stellar defensive performances, Suh wreaked havoc against Washington. The rookie defensive tackle notched two more sacks, bringing him to 6½ for the season, and also returned a fourth-quarter fumble 17 yards for the touchdown that accounted for the final margin of the game.



The Jets' offense

Coming off a bye, the New York Jets' offense came out flat in a 9-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Quarterback Mark Sanchez threw for 256 yards, but he completed only 16 of 38 passes and was picked off twice. A Brad Smith fumble out of the Wildcat, a missed field goal by Nick Folk (38 yards), four dropped passes (including a big one by Santonio Holmes) and several costly penalties also contributed to New York's demise.



Randy Moss

Wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings

Moss returned to New England and made virtually no impact for the Minnesota Vikings. Moss caught only one pass for 8 yards in the Vikings' 28-18 loss. He was targeted only twice, as the Patriots' secondary was able to keep Moss from finding seams downfield.


The Cowboys' receivers

Don't put all the blame on QB Jon Kitna for the Dallas Cowboys' offensive woes against Jacksonville. Sure, Kitna was picked off four times, but three of those bounced off the hands of a Dallas receiver. Those miscues set the tone in what was Dallas' fourth straight loss -- its first four-game losing streak since 2002.


The Cardinals' quarterbacks

Max Hall or Derek Anderson? It doesn't seem to matter who starts at QB for the Arizona Cardinals. The results remain subpar. Hall (8-of-16, 71 yards, 2 INTs) struggled before giving way to Anderson in Arizona's 38-35 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Anderson rallied the Cardinals in the second half, but he also threw a pair of costly picks.


The Panthers' running game

Playing without DeAngelo Williams (foot injury), the Carolina Panthers' running game was dreadful against St. Louis. Jonathan Stewart was held to 30 yards on 14 carries (2.1 average) as Carolina gained only 25 net rushing yards.