A silver lining for the Eagles' losing ways, the Vikings have a beast in the backfield, the Bills ran over Jacksonville and Andrew Luck continues his wild rookie ride for Indianapolis in Scott Cullen's Week 13 NFL Recap.
It wasn't enough that Eagles rookie RB Bryce Brown gained 189 yards from scrimmage in his first NFL start two weeks ago against Carolina, but he was just as good (183 YDS, 2 TD, 28 touches) against Dallas Sunday night. Since 1970, only two backs have run for at least 150 yards in their first two starts -- Tennessee's Gary Brown, in 1993, was the other.
As long as he's starting, Brown is a must-play, but what will happen once LeSean McCoy returns? Brown's been too productive to just return to the bench, hasn't he? The Eagles couldn't have possibly known that Brown would be this good, otherwise they wouldn't have had him glued to be bench all season, but now that he has proven his credentials as an NFL back, that changes the landscape for the Eagles.
ALL DAY, EVERY DAY
Nothing new for Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, who lit up the Green Bay Packers Sunday (210 YDS, 1 TD, 21 carries), it was his sixth straight 100-yard rushing and the fourth time in those six games that he went over 150 yards rushing and Peterson now leads Marshawn Lynch by 308 yards (1446 to 1138) for the league rushing title. This would be a phenomenal season for anyone, let alone a guy coming back quickly from a torn ACL suffered in January.
Contrary to the allocation stated by head coach Chan Gailey, which indicated a 60-40 split in favour of C.J. Spiller, the Bills still got a monstrously productive day from their two running backs against Jacksonville. It just so happened that Fred Jackson (119 YDS, 27 touches) got more touches than Spiller (84 YDS, 1 TD, 15 touches).
The Colts train continues to chug along. QB Andrew Luck hits on good and bad spots throughout the game against Detroit (24-for-54, 391 YDS, 4 TD, 3 INT), completing fewer than 50% of his passes and throwing three picks, but 391 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winner as time expires, is quite a game nonetheless.
Reaping the rewards of being targets for Luck, T.Y. Hilton (6 REC, 100 YDS) and Donnie Avery (5 REC, 91 YDS, 2 TD) were the Colts' top two receivers Sunday.
Lions WR Calvin Johnson (13 REC, 171 YDS, 1 TD) and Bears WR Brandon Marshall (10 REC, 165 YDS) were, as usual, productive playmakers Sunday.
Johnson is now 246 yards ahead (1428 to 1182) of Marshall to the league's lead in receiving yardage, pulling away by going for more than 100 yards in each of the last five games.
While it seemed many questioned the Chiefs playing a day after the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide, it turned out that the Chiefs responded under those difficult circumstances. QB Brady Quinn was shockingly efficient (19-for-23, 201 YDS, 2 TD) and his post-game comments sure made him sound like a leader. Quinn has gone through a lot of bumps in an underwhelming NFL career, but being a man that his teammates can lean on in tough times is a credit to him.
Quinn wasn't the only Chief putting up big numbers. RB Jamaal Charles, whose wife was the cousin of Belcher's victim, Kasandra Perkins, delivered one of his more productive games (127 YDS, 27 carries) this season, the fourth straight game in which he's gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage.
For all people will say about Jovan Belcher and the horrific acts that marked his last day on earth, see Andy Studebaker's post-game interview for just a glimpse at how this devastated his Chiefs teammates, guys that seemingly had no idea what lurked beneath the surface.
The result wasn't what they wanted in Kansas City, but a couple of notable Panthers had productive games. QB Cam Newton (15-for-27, 232 YDS, 3 TD, 78 yards, 7 carries) and WR Steve Smith (5 REC, 120 YDS, 1 TD) had big days, while RB DeAngelo Williams (67 YDS, 12 rushes) had a decent day as the number one back while Jonathan Stewart was out.
While the New York Jets haven't officially made a change at quarterback, Greg McElroy (5-for-7, 29 YDS, 1 TD) delivered their only touchdown against Arizona Sunday, so he may get the nod over a struggling Mark Sanchez (10-for-21, 97 YDS, 3 INT).
No matter who is quarterbacking the Jets, they're certainly better off if they get production from Shonn Greene (104 YDS, 24 carries) like he had against Arizona. It was his second 100-yard rushing game this season, but he's 14th in the league with 806 rushing yards this season.
San Francisco WR Michael Crabtree had a strong game (7 REC, 101 YDS) against St. Louis, his second 100-yard receiving game of the season, and the first time all season that he was targeted more than nine times. It's not as though Crabtree's numbers have exploded with Colin Kaepernick at quarterback, but it does bear watching to see if a new QB improves his output.
With no Danny Amendola for the Rams, WR Chris Givens (11 REC, 92 YDS) went from being Sam Bradford's deep threat to being his reliable underneath target. The fourth-round rookie out of Wake Forest has 16 catches for 207 yards in the last two weeks and appears to have more upside than any others in the Rams passing game.
Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson, facing a ferocious Bears defence in Chicago, had a big game (23-for-37, 293 YDS, 2 TD, 0 INT), tying his career-high in passing yardage and giving him nine touchdowns and zero interceptions in the last four games. Wilson may not deserve Andrew Luck/RGIII hype, but the rookie is a playmaker with a bright future, no matter how tall he is.
As Wilson's passing production has improved, he gets more productions from his wideouts. Against Chicago, both Sidney Rice (6 REC, 99 YDS, 1 TD) and Golden Tate (5 REC, 96 YDS, 1 TD) had productive days.
As the San Diego offence has seemingly dried up, struggling to get the ball down the field consistently, their most dangerous weapon has become WR Danario Alexander, a deep threat who is rounding into a more complete receiver. After his game against Cincinnati (6 REC, 102 YDS), Alexander has 406 receiving yards in the last four weeks.
RAIDING THE CUPBOARD
Raiders TE Brandon Myers was the focal point of a garbage-time touchdown drive, giving him huge overall numbers (14 REC, 130 YDS, 1 TD) against Cleveland. Myers currently ranks fourth among tight ends with 721 receiving yards.
With Darren McFadden spending another week in street clothes, Jeremy Stewart (46 YDS, nine carries) joined Marcel Reece in the Raiders' backfield. An undrafted rookie out of Stanford, Stewart has 111 yards from scrimmage in the last two weeks, but his role could get thrown into flux once McFadden returns.
Steelers TE Heath Miller had a big game (5 REC, 97 YDS, 1 TD) against Baltimore, continuing the best season of his career. He's already tied his career-high with seven touchdowns and his 51.1 receiving yards per game is ahead of the 49.3 per game he had in 2009, on his way to a career-high 789 receiving yards.
After missing six weeks with a foot injury, Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray was solid (102 YDS, 27 touches) against the Eagles. Being sidelined for half the season has prevented an offensive breakthrough for the second-year back, but Murray has gained at least 75 yards from scrimmage in five of his six games this season.
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
Von Miller, OLB, Denver (6 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 FF, 1 INT TD)
Carlos Dunlap, DE, Cincinnati (5 total tackles, 2 sacks, 2 FF, 1 FR)
Kerry Rhodes, FS, Arizona (6 total tackles, 2 INT, 1 FF)
Chad Greenway, OLB, Minnesota (16 total tackles)
Reshad Jones, SS, Miami (10 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT)
William Moore, SS, Atlanta (11 total tackles, 2 INT)
Harrison Smith, SS, Minnesota (11 total tackles, 1 INT)
Corey Lynch, SS, San Diego (11 total tackles, 1 INT)
Bobby Wagner, MLB, Seattle (11 total tackles, 1 sack)
Lavonte David, OLB, Tampa Bay (10 total tackles, 1 sack)
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay (hamstring)
Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville (concussion)
Andre Roberts, WR, Arizona (ankle)
Brandon LaFell, WR, Carolina (foot)
Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit (knee)
Wesley Woodyard, OLB, Denver (ankle)
Mario Manningham, WR, San Francisco (shoulder)
Brian Urlacher, MLB, Chicago (hamstring)
Rashad Jennings, RB, Jacksonville (concussion)
Earl Bennett, WR, Chicago (concussion)
Dustin Keller, TE, N.Y. Jets (ankle)
James Anderson, OLB, Carolina (eye)
Ike Taylor, CB, Pittsburgh (ankle)
Garrett Graham, TE, Houston (head)
Brandon Flowers, CB, Kansas City (hamstring)
David Stewart, RT, Tennessee (leg)
Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.