Week 4: Matt Forte carries Bears

Originally Published: October 2, 2011
ESPN.com

STUDS

Forte
Forte

Matt Forte

Running back, Chicago Bears

Talk about a bounce-back performance. After a putrid 2-yard output in a Week 3 loss to Green Bay, Forte ran roughshod over the Panthers. Forte rushed for a career-high 205 yards and one touchdown in the Bears' 34-29 victory.


Hester
Hester

Devin Hester

Wide receiver, Chicago Bears

Hester also figured prominently into the Bears' win. He set an NFL record with his 11th punt return for a touchdown, a 69-yarder in the second quarter, and set up Forte's touchdown with a 73-yard kickoff return.


Foster
Foster

Arian Foster

Running back, Houston Texans

In his first extended action of the season, Foster rediscovered the form that had made him the league's leading rusher in 2010. Foster, who has been nursing a hamstring injury, gashed the tough Steelers' defense for 155 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the Texans' 17-10 victory.


Rodgers
Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers

Quarterback, Green Bay Packers

Rodgers was a touchdown machine against the overmatched Broncos. He tied a career high with four TD passes and ran for two more scores to lead the Packers to a 49-23 victory. He also threw for a career-high 408 yards, completing 29 of 38 passes.


Johnson
Johnson

Calvin Johnson

Wide receiver, Detroit Lions

Johnson continues to be a matchup nightmare for defenses. Megatron caught eight passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns in the Lions' 34-30 comeback victory over the Cowboys. Johnson outleaped three Dallas defenders for his first touchdown -- a 23-yarder in the fourth quarter. His 2-yard TD catch with 1:39 left proved to be the winning score. Johnson tied Cris Carter's NFL record of catching two touchdowns in four straight games. Johnson already was the first player in NFL history with two touchdowns in the first three games of a season.


Nicks
Nicks

Hakeem Nicks

Wide receiver, N.Y. Giants

Nicks was Eli Manning's go-to guy in the Giants' 31-27 comeback victory at Arizona. Nicks caught 10 passes, including the winning touchdown (a 29-yarder with 2:46 left), for a career-high 162 yards.


Wells
Wells

Beanie Wells

Running back, Arizona Cardinals

Wells was a force against the Giants, especially near the goal line. He rushed for a pair of 1-yard touchdowns and had a 2-yard score that gave the Cardinals a short-lived fourth-quarter lead. Wells finished with 138 yards on 27 carries.


Graham
Graham

Jimmy Graham

Tight end, New Orleans Saints

In a league loaded with talented tight ends, Graham is making his mark. He caught 10 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown in New Orleans' 23-10 victory at Jacksonville. His last catch was a 59-yarder -- the longest of his career.


Ravens

The Ravens' defense

The Ravens forced four turnovers and benefited from three defensive touchdowns in a 34-17 victory over the Jets. Jameel McClain and Jarret Johnson each had fumble returns for TDs, and Lardarius Webb had a 73-yard pick-six. Baltimore held New York to 150 yards of total offense.


Redskins

The Redskins' defense

The Redskins recorded seven sacks, including two that knocked St. Louis out of scoring position late, in a 17-10 victory. Brian Orakpo had 2½ sacks and Stephen Bowen had 1½. Washington, which held the Rams to 172 total yards, shut out its opponent in the first half for the first time since the opener last year against the Cowboys.


Eagles

The Eagles' offense

The Eagles unraveled against San Francisco, but their offense put up staggering numbers. Michael Vick wasn't hampered by his bruised right hand. He threw for a career-high 416 yards with two touchdowns, and rushed for 75 yards in a 24-23 loss. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson had his first big game of the season, catching six passes for 171 yards.




DUDS

Romo
Romo

Tony Romo

Quarterback, Dallas Cowboys

Romo gave his critics more fuel in Week 4. He posted big passing numbers (331 yards, 3 TDs), but his three second-half interceptions led to three touchdowns for the Lions, who rallied for a stunning victory (see above). The Cowboys squandered a 24-point lead, their largest blown lead in a loss in franchise history, according to Stats LLC.


Sanchez
Sanchez

Mark Sanchez

Quarterback, N.Y. Jets

Sanchez had a miserable night against the Ravens' D (see above). Sanchez lost three fumbles, two of which were returned for TDs, and also threw an interception that was returned for a score. Sanchez was 11-of-35 for 119 yards, a 30.5 rating.


Eagles

The Eagles' defense

The Eagles dropped to 1-3, and most of the blame will be put on their defense. Philadelphia's D fell apart in the second half and allowed Alex Smith, Frank Gore & Co. to make up a 23-3 deficit and pull off a huge upset victory. It's the third straight game the Eagles have lost after leading in the fourth quarter.


Roethlisberger
Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger

Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Roethlisberger was harassed and battered by the Texans' defense. Big Ben threw an interception, was sacked a season-high five times, and was hurried several other times in the Steelers' loss. He injured his left foot on the second-to-last series and left the locker room wearing a walking boot, according to The Associated Press. Another report says Roethlisberger boarded the team charter on crutches.


Broncos

The Broncos' defense

The Broncos' defense had no answer for Rodgers and the Packers (see above). Playing without CB Champ Bailey for the third straight week, Denver was torched for six touchdowns and allowed a season-high 507 total yards.