Week 17: Chiefs' duo crushes Denver

Originally Published: January 3, 2010
ESPN.com

STUDS

Jamaal Charles

Charles

Jamaal Charles/Derrick Johnson: Charles, one of the league's most productive running backs during the second half of the season, was a force against the Broncos. Charles rushed for a career-high 259 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries as Kansas City spoiled Denver's playoff hopes with a 44-24 victory. Johnson also had a starring role. The fifth-year linebacker returned two interceptions for scores -- a 45-yarder in the third quarter and a 60-yarder in the fourth -- tying an NFL record shared by 24 other players.


Brett Favre

Favre

Brett Favre: Favre and the Vikings will have some momentum entering the playoffs after all. In a 44-7 victory over the Giants, Minnesota reverted to the pass-first scheme that worked wonders during the team's best moments of the season. Favre finished with a season-high 148.7 passer rating. He threw for 316 yards and four TDs despite leaving the game midway through the third quarter.


Fred Jackson

Jackson

Fred Jackson: Jackson rushed for 212 yards, the seventh-highest rushing total in Bills history, powering Buffalo to a 30-7 victory over Indianapolis. Jackson's big day allowed him to reach the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first time in his career. Jackson also had an 11-yard TD catch in the first quarter.


Jay Cutler

Cutler

Jay Cutler: Cutler finished a rocky first year in Chicago on a positive note. Cutler matched a career high for a second straight week with four TD passes, leading the Bears to a 37-23 win over Detroit. Cutler completed 22 of 36 passes for 276 yards.


Justin Smith

Smith

Justin Smith: Smith entered Week 17 with 2½ sacks on the season. He recorded 3½ against the Rams, spearheading a dominant defensive effort as San Francisco cruised to a 28-6 victory. The 49ers held St. Louis to 109 total yards. It was the seventh time this season the 49ers held an opponent to 10 or fewer points.


Willis McGahee

McGahee

Willis McGahee: McGahee's best performance of the season came at a good time for the Ravens. McGahee rushed for a career-high 167 yards and three TDs -- including a 77-yarder that featured a vicious stiff-arm -- helping Baltimore secure a playoff berth with a 21-13 victory over Oakland.


Chris Johnson

Johnson

Chris Johnson: Johnson rushed for 134 yards on 36 carries in the Titans' 17-13 victory over Seattle, becoming the sixth player in NFL history to reach the 2000-yard rushing plateau. Johnson also had two TDs, including the game-winner (a 1-yarder with 4:33 remaining).



DUDS

Carson Palmer

Palmer

Carson Palmer: Palmer, and the rest of the Bengals' offense for that matter, couldn't get anything accomplished against the Jets' defense. Palmer completed only one of 11 passes for no -- yes, zero -- yards before being pulled early in the third quarter of Cincinnati's 37-0 loss.


Giants

Giants

The Giants' defense: The Giants' defense, which supposedly hit rock bottom in last week's 41-9 loss to Carolina, continued its horrible play on Sunday. The Giants were no match for Favre and Co. (see above), allowing 487 total yards and falling behind 31-0 for the second straight week. New York has surrendered 40 points or more five times this season.


Rams

Rams

The Rams' QBs: The Rams have the first pick in April's draft. Chances are they'll be targeting a franchise quarterback. Keith Null and Kyle Boller combined for 22 net passing yards in St. Louis' loss to the 49ers. Noll (7-of-17 for 57 yards) was sacked five times before being replaced by Boller (4-of-11 for 23 yards) in the third quarter.


Eagles

Eagles

The Eagles' defense: The Eagles squandered a chance to win the NFC East title and earn a first-round bye in the playoffs. Their defense deserves much of the blame. Philadelphia allowed 474 total yards, including 179 on the ground, in a 24-0 loss at Dallas.