Week 11: Lions find their legs

Originally Published: November 20, 2011
ESPN.com

STUDS

Smith
Smith

Kevin Smith

Running back, Detroit Lions

So much for the Lions not being able to run. For one game anyway, Detroit found the offensive balance it's been lacking. Smith, in only his second game of 2011, rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries in Detroit's 49-35 comeback victory over Carolina. Smith, who also caught a TD pass, had 201 total yards.


Stafford
Stafford

Matthew Stafford

Quarterback, Detroit Lions

Stafford shook off two early interceptions and torched the Panthers' defense. Stafford completed 28 of 36 passes for 335 yards and five TDs, which tied a career high. His 7-yard scoring toss to Brandon Pettigrew with 2:32 left gave Detroit the lead for good.


Smith
Smith

Torrey Smith

Wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens

Don't forget Smith in the rookie-of-the-year race. Smith, whose emergence has finally given Ravens QB Joe Flacco a true deep threat, caught six passes for 165 yards (27.5-yard average) and a TD as Baltimore beat Cincinnati 31-24. Smith entered Week 11 averaging 18.5 yards a catch, the fourth-best mark in the league.


49ers

The 49ers' defense

Good luck finding a defense playing better than the 49ers' right now. San Francisco forced four turnovers (three INTs, one fumble) and held Arizona to 229 total yards (most of which came after the game was out of reach) in a 23-7 victory.


Clemons
Clemons

Chris Clemons

Defensive end, Seattle Seahawks

Taking advantage of a depleted Rams offensive line, Clemons had three sacks, two forced fumbles and five tackles in Seattle's 24-7 victory.


White
White

Roddy White

Wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons

A dud last week, White rebounded nicely against Tennessee. White caught seven passes for a season-high 147 yards, helping the Falcons win 23-17.


Moore
Moore

Matt Moore

Quarterback, Miami Dolphins

Will the Dolphins be in the market for a quarterback next year? Not if Moore keeps playing as efficiently as he did on Sunday. Moore (14-of-20, 160 yards) threw three TD passes and did not turn the ball over in Miami's 35-8 rout of the Bills. Moore is now 3-3 as the Dolphins' starter.


Nelson
Nelson

Jordy Nelson

Wide receiver, Green Bay Packers

The Packers are still perfect, thanks in large part to Nelson. With Green Bay leading by two points late in the fourth quarter, Nelson caught a 40-yard TD pass from Aaron Rodgers to seal the 35-26 victory. Nelson also had a TD reception in the second quarter; he finished with six catches for 123 yards.


Jackson
Jackson

Vincent Jackson

Wide receiver, San Diego Chargers

The Chargers fell in Chicago 31-20, but Jackson had plenty of success against the Bears' vaunted D. Jackson caught seven passes for 165 yards and a TD.




DUDS

Dalton
Dalton

Andy Dalton

Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals

Dalton threw for a career-high 373 yards (he had almost 200 yards in the fourth quarter alone), but the rookie's untimely interceptions loomed large in the Bengals' loss. Dalton threw three picks, including two critical ones in the second half. The Ravens converted both second-half takeaways into quick TDs.


Skelton
Skelton

John Skelton

Quarterback, Arizona Cardinals

After leading Arizona to two straight victories, Skelton took a big step backward on Sunday. Skelton completed only 6 of 19 passes for 99 yards and had three interceptions. He was pulled for Richard Bartel in the second half.


Newton
Newton

Cam Newton

Quarterback, Carolina Panthers

Newton continues to dazzle at times, but his turnovers are costing the Panthers. Trying to keep pace with Stafford, the rookie threw a season-high four interceptions, the last of which came after Pettigrew's TD and sealed the victory for Detroit. Newton did account for three TDs (two rushing, one passing).


Bills

The Bills' offense

The Bills are in an offensive funk, and there are very few signs of them breaking out of it. Buffalo was kept in single digits for the second straight week and rushed for only 41 yards against the Dolphins. Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has yet to win a game since signing a $59 million, six-year contract last month, threw two interceptions, was sacked twice and had a passer rating of 45.8. He has 12 turnovers in the past six games.


Johnson
Johnson

Chris Johnson

Running back, Tennessee Titans

A week after breaking through with a 130-yard effort, Johnson was a non-factor against the Falcons. He carried 12 times for a season-low 13 yards. The Titans rushed for only 41 yards overall.