Week 5: Matt Forte carries Bears
Running back, Chicago Bears
Forte picked a good time to have the most productive game of his career. With starting QB Jay Cutler (concussion) out, Forte rushed for a career-high 166 yards and two touchdowns, powering the Bears to a 23-6 victory at Carolina. Forte had scoring runs of 18 and 68 yards -- both in the first quarter.
Running back, Baltimore Ravens
The Broncos kept the Ravens' passing game in check, but they had no answer for Rice. The third-year running back rushed for 133 yards and two TDs (a pair of 1-yarders) in Baltimore's 31-17 victory. It was Rice's first 100-yard game of the season.
Wide receiver, N.Y. Giants
Nicks had his way with the Texans' secondary, catching 12 passes for 130 yards (both career highs) and two TDs in the Giants' 34-10 rout of Houston. Nicks, who caught both of his scoring passes in the first half, fell just short of the Giants' franchise record (13) for receptions in a game.
The Giants' D also excelled in Houston, turning in a dominant performance for the second straight week. Osi Umenyiora led the charge by sacking Texans quarterback Matt Schaub twice and also forcing a fumble. New York held NFL rushing leader Arian Foster to 25 yards on 11 carries (see more below) and allowed only 195 total yards.
Safety, Washington Redskins
Landry's diving interception in overtime set up Graham Gano's 33-yard field goal, which gave Washington a 16-13 victory over the Packers. Landry also forced a fumble on Green Bay's first drive and finished with 13 tackles.
Defensive end, Atlanta Falcons
The Browns were flirting with a possible home upset, but one big play by Biermann spoiled those hopes. The third-year defensive tackle deflected a Jake Delhomme pass, then made a spectacular diving catch for the interception. Still untouched, Biermann scrambled to his feet and rambled 31 yards for a TD to give Atlanta a 20-10 lead (the final margin) with 4:01 left.
The Chargers lost, but their passing numbers are too eye-popping to ignore. Philip Rivers completed 27 of 42 passes for 431 yards and a pair of TDs in San Diego's 35-27 loss at Oakland. Rivers' main target was Malcom Floyd, who caught eight passes for 213 yards and a score.
Quarterback, Chicago Bears
The Bears won (see above), but Collins' stat line was cringe-worthy. Playing in place of Cutler, Collins completed only 6 of 16 passes for 32 yards and four interceptions. Collins, who had a 6.2 quarterback rating, became the fourth quarterback since 1970 to throw four interceptions and average 2 or fewer yards per attempt in a single game.
Quarterback, Carolina Panthers
Clausen, Collins' counterpart on Sunday, wasn't much better. Clausen was 9-of-22 for 61 yards and one interception (29.7 rating) before being replaced by Matt Moore. Clausen struggled in nearly every aspect. He bobbled a snap, had the ball knocked free on a sack and had the ball slip out of his hands on a handoff. The Panthers recovered all three fumbles, but couldn't move the ball, managing three first downs in the first half.
Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals
Palmer threw three critical interceptions in the Bengals' 24-21 loss to Tampa Bay. He had a second-quarter interception that was returned 11 yards for a TD by Cody Grimm. Palmer then added two fourth-quarter picks. The first one ended what could have been a game-sealing drive for Cincinnati. The second one put Tampa Bay in position to kick the game-winning field goal.
Running back, Houston Texans
Foster, who entered Week 5 leading the NFL in rushing, found little daylight against the Giants. Foster rushed for a season-low 25 yards on 11 carries. Foster averaged 1.1 yards on eight first-half carries as the Giants held Houston's top-ranked rushing offense to 8 first-half yards.
We might be smart to reserve a permanent place here for the Bills' struggling defense. Buffalo, which fell to the Jaguars 36-26, has now allowed 30 points in four straight games for the first time in team history. It's a stretch in which the Bills have been outscored 146-77. The Bills allowed 216 yards rushing to Jacksonville, the third straight game in which they've given up 200 or more yards on the ground.