Week 8: Brady leads Patriots' rout

Originally Published: October 28, 2012
ESPN.com

STUDS

Brady
Brady

Tom Brady

Quarterback, New England Patriots

The NFL's annual showcase in London saw Brady and the Patriots' offense put on a show. Brady passed for 304 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, leading New England to a 45-7 blowout of the Rams. It was his first four-TD game since Week 3 of last season.


Gronkowski
Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski

Tight end, New England Patriots

Gronkowski and Brandon Lloyd each caught a pair of TD passes Sunday, but Gronk was clearly Brady's main target Sunday. Gronkowski had eight receptions for 146 yards -- both season highs.


Stafford
Stafford

Matthew Stafford

Quarterback, Detroit Lions

Stafford played his best game of the season, completing 34 of 49 passes for 352 yards. He threw for three scores, including the game-winner to Titus Young with 20 seconds remaining, and ran for another.


Thomas
Thomas

Manning
Manning

Peyton Manning/Demaryius Thomas

Quarterback/wide receiver, Denver Broncos

Manning became the latest quarterback to torch the Saints' defense. Thomas did plenty of damage, too. Manning completed 22 of 30 passes for 305 yards and three TDs, including a pair to Eric Decker, in a 34-14 victory. Thomas had seven catches for 137 yards and one score.


Ryan
Ryan

Matt Ryan

Quarterback, Atlanta Falcons

Coming off a bye, Ryan was as sharp as he has been all season. The MVP candidate completed 22 of 29 passes for 262 yards and three TDs as the Falcons beat Philadelphia 30-17.


Jennings
Jennings

Tim Jennings

Cornerback, Chicago Bears

Jennings' 25-yard pick-six helped the Bears rally for a 23-22 victory over Carolina. Jennings' TD gave Chicago its sixth interception return TD of the season, breaking the franchise record of five set in 2004. Over the past seven seasons, the Bears are now 19-5 when they score a touchdown on defense.


Roethlisberger
Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger

Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Roethlisberger can't match Robert Griffin III in terms of hype. That meant little to the Steelers' fortunes Sunday. Big Ben outplayed RG3, throwing for three TD passes, in a 27-12 victory over Washington. Roethlisberger completed 24 of 33 passes for 222 yards without an interception.


Witten
Witten

Jason Witten

Tight end, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys' comeback fell short, but Witten was nearly unstoppable. Witten caught a franchise-record 18 passes for 167 yards in Dallas' 29-24 loss to the Giants.


Richardson
Richardson

Trent Richardson

Running back, Cleveland Browns

Sore ribs didn't slow Richardson against the Chargers. The rookie rushed for 122 yards and one score, powering the Browns to a 7-6 victory.


Vernon
Vernon

Olivier Vernon

Defensive end, Miami Dolphins

Rookie defensive ends don't often end up on this list, but Vernon is worthy. Vernon recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a TD and blocked a field goal in Miami's 30-9 victory over the Jets.




DUDS

Cutler
Cutler

Jay Cutler

Quarterback, Chicago Bears

Sure, the Bears won, but the Cutler-led offense contributed little of consequence. Battling sore ribs, Cutler lost two fumbles (one of which set up a Panthers TD), threw an interception and was sacked six times. Chicago didn't convert its first third down until there was 9:27 left to play.


Cowboys

The Cowboys' offense

The Cowboys racked up 434 total yards, so why are they listed here? One word: turnovers. Tony Romo's three first-half interceptions put the Cowboys in a big hole (he finished with four picks), and Dallas also lost two fumbles against the Giants.


Meachem
Meachem

Robert Meachem

Wide receiver, San Diego Chargers

In a narrow loss to the Browns, a huge drop by Meachem loomed large. With the Chargers trailing 7-3 midway through the third quarter, Meachem failed to hang on to what would have been an easy TD pass. Meachem got behind Cleveland's secondary and was wide open at about the 25-yard line when he let Philip Rivers' pass slip through his hands.


Sanchez
Sanchez

Mark Sanchez

Quarterback, New York Jets

Is it finally Tebow time? We'll see. Sanchez was erratic throughout Sunday's loss to the Dolphins. He passed for 283 yards (most of it came in garbage time), but missed open receivers, was intercepted once and lost a fumble that Miami turned into a second-quarter TD.


Eagles

The Eagles' defense

Todd Bowles to the rescue? Not quite. In its first game with Bowles as coordinator, the Eagles' defense was a sieve, especially early. The Falcons scored TDs on each of their first three drives and field goals on the next three. The Eagles failed to register a turnover and generated little pressure when it mattered.