John Clayton's game balls
• Offense: Chris Johnson
was a dual threat in the Titans' 41-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills
. Johnson rushed for 132 yards and two TDs on 26 carries. He also caught nine passes for 100 yards, an incredible 232-yard day. While many people were pointing to Adrian Peterson
as the most likely candidate to have a 2,000-yard rushing season, Johnson has a legitimate chance because he's getting so many yards on so few runs. He has 1,091 yards on 170 carries in nine games -- the most rushing yards in nine games since Shaun Alexander
of the Seahawks in 2005. Alexander had 1,114 yards in nine games. He finished with 1,880 yards.
• Defense: Andre Carter
and Brian Orakpo
combined for three sacks, five tackles behind the line of scrimmage and six quarterback hits in the Redskins' 27-17 victory over the Broncos. They were going against a Denver O-line that had allowed only 13 sacks in eight games. Their constant pressure threw off the timing of the Broncos' offense. Carter has eight sacks. Orakpo is up to seven, and he could start challenging Texans linebacker Brian Cushing
for defensive rookie of the year honors.
• Special teams:
Bengals rookie halfback Bernard Scott
had been campaigning to return kickoffs for weeks. He got his chance Sunday, and took advantage of it. Scott had a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first quarter of the Bengals' 18-12 victory over the Steelers. It was the only touchdown in a game of defense and field goals. Scott had five returns for 206 yards, a 41.2-yard average. His 96-yarder was special. Jeff Reed
made a bad kick to the right side of the field near the sideline. Scott ran to his left to retrieve the kick, then used his speed and elusiveness to outrace the Steelers' coverage team. Scott also filled in for an injured Cedric Benson
and rushed for 33 tough yards on 13 carries.
• The Broncos' offensive regression continued in a 27-17 loss to the Redskins. Pasquarelli
• A healthy Reggie Bush adds yet another dimension to the Saints' potent offense. Chadiha
• If Jay Cutler continues to struggle, the Bears shouldn't hesitate to bench him. Wojciechowski
• After an outstanding rookie season, Matty Ice is beginning to thaw in Atlanta. Yasinskas
• The best defense in the AFC North this season belongs to the 7-2 Bengals. Walker
• The Vikings have several reasons for optimism, but they shouldn't get too cocky. Seifert
• While the Broncos have fallen apart in recent weeks, the Chargers have ignited. Williamson
• Unable to score TDs in the red zone, the Eagles wasted an opportunity in San Diego. Mosley
• The Cardinals' newfound a running game bodes well for their chances down the road. Sando
Week 10 rundown
• San Francisco 10, Chicago 6
Sometimes it's not how many interceptions you throw, it's where the interceptions occur. The Bears' Jay Cutler
now has nine red zone picks over the past two seasons, the most in the league.
• Washington 27, Denver 17
Broncos backup QB Chris Simms
was ineffective in relief of the injured Kyle Orton
. That shouldn't come as a shocker. He hadn't seen extended playing time since 2006.
• Tennessee 41, Buffalo 17
If the Titans were in playoff contention, there's little doubt RB Chris Johnson
would be among the leading MVP candidates.
• New Orleans 28, St. Louis 22
The Saints dodged a bullet to improve to 9-0. They were aided by some questionable late-game clock management by the Rams.
Miami 25, Tampa Bay 23
At 4-5, the Dolphins have an uphill climb when it comes to making the playoffs. Their task will become even tougher if Ronnie Brown
's ankle injury is serious.
Minnesota 27, Detroit 10
's favorite target? Since Week 6, it's been Sidney Rice
, who torched the Lions' defense for 201 yards on only seven catches.
Jacksonville 24, N.Y. Jets 22
The tough losses keep on coming for the Jets. Meanwhile, the Jaguars (5-4) are slowly creeping back into the playoff hunt.
Cincinnati 18, Pittsburgh 12
How impressive are the Bengals? They're now a combined 4-0 against last season's AFC Championship Game participants.
Carolina 28, Atlanta 19
The Panthers probably won't make the playoffs, but their turnaround (4-2 after an 0-3 start) might at least save coach John Fox's job.
Kansas City 16, Oakland 10
Maybe life after Larry Johnson won't be so bad for the Chiefs, who got 103 yards and a TD from Jamaal Charles.
Green Bay 17, Dallas 7
Are the Packers' problems on D a thing of the past? Probably not, but the timing of Green Bay's best defensive performance couldn't have been better.
Arizona 31, Seattle 20
Do the Cardinals finally have a balanced attack? Beanie Wells
(85 yards, 2 TDs) certainly made Kurt Warner
's job a little easier on Sunday.
San Diego 31, Philadelphia 23
It's hard to imagine a quarterback throwing for 450 yards and losing. Perhaps Donovan McNabb's fate would have been different if the Eagles had a running game.
Indianapolis 35, New England 34
Let the second-guessing of Bill Belichick begin. Is there anyone who agreed with his fourth-down gamble? Anyone?
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
• Baltimore at Cleveland (ESPN, 8:30 ET)
An early look at next weekend's biggest games:
• Atlanta (5-4) at N.Y. Giants (5-4): Both teams are struggling. The loser will take a big hit in the NFC wild-card race.
• Indianapolis (9-0) at Baltimore (4-4):
Will the Colts experience a letdown after their stunning victory over New England? Are the Ravens ready to make a playoff push?
• San Diego (6-3) at Denver (6-3):
First place in the AFC West is at stake. The Chargers are rolling. The Broncos are reeling.
• Week 11 schedule