Week 6: Running theme develops

Originally Published: October 16, 2011
ESPN.com

STUDS

Gore
Gore

Frank Gore

Running back, San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are 5-1, and Gore is a big reason why. Gore continued his strong season in Detroit, rushing for 141 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown, on only 15 carries (9.4-yard average) as San Francisco outlasted Detroit 25-19. Gore's 55-yard burst in the third quarter was his longest run since Week 6 of last season.


Mendenhall
Mendenhall

Rashard Mendenhall

Running back, Pittsburgh Steelers

It looks like Mendenhall's hamstring is fully healed. After sitting out last week, Mendenhall returned to the starting lineup on Sunday and had his best game of the season. Mendenhall rushed for 146 yards and a TD on 23 carries, powering Pittsburgh to a 17-13 victory over the Jaguars.


Bradshaw
Bradshaw

Ahmad Bradshaw

Running back, New York Giants

With Brandon Jacobs ailing, the onus is on Bradshaw to carry the Giants' run game. That's exactly what he did against the Bills. Bradshaw rushed for 104 yards and a career-best three TDs in New York's 27-24 victory. Bradshaw scored on three 1-yard runs and had a 30-yard run to help set up Lawrence Tynes' game-winning field goal.


Turner
Turner

Michael Turner

Running back, Atlanta Falcons

In a game the Falcons really needed, Turner was a driving force. Turner ran for 139 yards and pair of TDs as Atlanta improved to 3-3 with a 31-17 victory over the Panthers. Turner carried a season-high 27 times and broke a streak of three straight games without reaching 100 yards.


Rice
Rice

Ray Rice

Running back, Baltimore Ravens

He was kept out of the end zone, but Rice did plenty of damage against Houston. Rice produced 161 total yards (101 rushing, 60 receiving) in the Ravens' 29-14 victory.


Jackson
Jackson

Fred Jackson

Running back, Buffalo Bills

The Bills lost, but Jackson's breakout season continued in Week 6. Jackson rushed for 121 yards, including a spectacular 80-yard TD run. He also caught five passes for 47 yards.


Eagles

The Eagles' defense

Gashed for much of the season, the Eagles' D tightened up in Washington. The Eagles allowed only 42 rushing yards and intercepted Redskins QB Rex Grossman four times (see below) in a much-needed 20-13 victory. Safety Kurt Coleman had three of those interceptions; he had only one career pick entering the game.


Webster
Webster

Corey Webster

Cornerback, New York Giants

Speaking of stellar defensive efforts, Webster came up big for the Giants. Webster had two interceptions, the second coming at the Giants' 5-yard line with the Bills driving late. Webster also had three other passes defensed and five tackles.


Hester
Hester

Devin Hester

Wide receiver, Chicago Bears

Hester caught a 48-yard touchdown pass and ran back a kickoff 98 yards for a score, helping the Bears beat Minnesota 39-10. Hester, who had five catches for 91 yards, was forced to leave the game in the third quarter because of a chest injury.


Hernandez
Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez

Tight end, New England Patriots

Tom Brady looked to Hernandez in crunch time, and the second-year tight end came through. Hernandez's 8-yard TD catch with 22 seconds left gave the Patriots a 20-16 victory over Dallas. Hernandez finished with a game-high eight catches for 68 yards.




DUDS

Grossman
Grossman

Rex Grossman

Quarterback, Washington Redskins

Facing an Eagles defense that has been victimized almost every week, Grossman was downright dreadful in Washington's loss. Grossman completed only nine of 22 passes for 143 yards and was picked off four times before being benched late in the third quarter for John Beck. After Grossman's fourth interception, fans started chanting "We want Beck!" as the backup QB warmed up on the sideline.


Brees
Brees

Drew Brees

Quarterback, New Orleans Saints

Brees threw for 383 yards, but he made a big mistake in a critical spot -- something he rarely does. Brees was picked off by Buccaneers LB Quincy Black with 3:16 remaining, effectively sealing Tampa Bay's 26-20 victory. It was Brees' third pick of the game.


Florence
Florence

Drayton Florence

Cornerback, Buffalo Bills

The Bills' defense continues to struggle, and Florence had his worst game of the season in Buffalo's loss to the Giants. Florence allowed a 60-yard catch to receiver Hakeem Nicks late in the second quarter that set up a Giants touchdown. Florence also had two pass interference penalties called against him late in the fourth, aiding the Giants' game-winning drive.


Mathis
Mathis

Rashean Mathis

Cornerback, Jacksonville Jaguars

Mathis had a rough time in Pittsburgh. Not only was he was beaten by Mike Wallace on a 28-yard TD pass in the second quarter, but Mathis also had issues defending the run. He couldn't angle to Mendenhall on a TD run and then got stiff-armed by the back during a 68-yard run in the second quarter.