Week 7's Top Three Performers:
Calvin Johnson, WR:The man they call "Megatron" had a monster game in a close loss at home to the Cincinnati Bengals. Johnson had season highs in receptions (9) and receiving yards (155), and tied his season high with two scores. It's no secret Johnson is one of the best receivers in the league, and he proved that once again. It's a good sign for him and the Lions, especially after non-Megatron-like performances in Weeks 4-6.
Vincent Jackson, WR:Despite the Buccaneers' woes, Vincent Jackson is having a great season. He ranks fourth in the NFL, averaged almost 91 receiving yards per game. Jackson has been off the charts the past two weeks: 19 receptions for 252 yards and four touchdowns. That's his best two-game stretch in his career, by far. He's on pace for 96 receptions, 1,450 receiving yards and 11 receiving touchdowns, all of which would be single-season highs.
Andrew Luck, QB:The big story entering the game was the return of Peyton Manning to Indianapolis. But it was all about the former No. 1 overall pick, Andrew Luck, when the clock hit zero. Luck threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for another score, as he guided his team to victory over the undefeated Denver Broncos. Oh yeah, he's also led his team to wins against Seattle and at San Francisco.
Suggested Week 8 Starters:
Peyton Manning (vs. Washington) –The Redskins have given up 375 passing yards twice this season.
Aaron Rodgers (at Minnesota) –Minnesota's pass defense gives up 300 yards per game.
Robert Griffin III (at Washington) –The Broncos rank dead last in pass defense, giving up nearly 340 yards per game.
Jamaal Charles (vs. Cleveland) –Three career games vs. Cleveland: 368 rushing yards and four total touchdowns.
Frank Gore (at Jacksonville, London,) –Jacksonville is last in the league in rush defense. 49ers have the third-best rushing attack in the NFL.
Marshawn Lynch (at St. Louis – Seattle has the second-best rush offense in the league. The Rams rank 30th in rush defense.
Any Green Bay Packers' Receiver (at Minnesota) –See Aaron Rodgers above.
Harry Douglas (at Arizona) –No Julio Jones. Maybe no Roddy White. Besides Tony Gonzalez, he's Matt Ryan's go-to guy against a middle-of-the-pack Arizona defense.
Victor Cruz (at Philadelphia) –The Eagles rank 31st in pass defense. You have to think Eli Manning will get him the ball, somehow.
Tony Gonzalez (at Arizona) –Arguably the best tight end in NFL history. He's due for a big game.
Rob Gronkowski (vs. Miami) –Career numbers against Miami: 22 receptions, 312 yards and three touchdowns in five games.
Julius Thomas (vs. Washington) –Eight touchdowns so far this season, two more than the next-closest tight end.
Seattle (at St. Louis) –The Seahawks are tied for the most takeaways, 19. The Rams are 30th in total offense and will start Kellen Clemens at QB.
Carolina (at Tampa Bay) –Carolina is the only team that ranks in the top-5 in total defense, rush defense and pass defense. They face winless Tampa Bay, who ranks in the bottom half in total offense, rush offense and pass offense.
Cincinnati (vs. Jets) –The Bengals are a top-10 defense facing an up-and-down Jets' offense and rookie QB Geno Smith. The Jets have turned it over 15 times.
Matt Prater (vs. Washington) –He has five double-digit point performances this season.
Garrett Hartley (vs. Bills) –Has recorded at least seven points in every game this season.
Stephen Gostkowski (vs. Dolphins) –Only kicker in the NFL to have at least two made field goals in every game.
Waiver Wire Week 8:To fill your bye-week needs, and maybe even more…
Jarrett Boykin, Green Bay, WR (vs. Minnesota) – He had 103 receiving yards and a score last week, filling in for injured WR Randall Cobb. See above where I mentioned any Packers' wide receiver vs. Minnesota.
Jordan Reed, Washington, TE (at Denver) –He's now the number-one tight end for the Redskins. He had a huge game last week against the Bears. And he's now facing the worst pass defense in the league in Denver.
Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh, K (at Oakland) –Two straight games with at least four field goals, and he is now 14-of-14 on the year. Earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for his Week 7 performance vs. Baltimore.
Carolina Defense/Special Teams (at Tampa Bay) –Not a lot of people realize how good this group is. Five straight weeks they have forced multiple turnovers.