Our best and worst of NFL Week 8:
Offensive player of the week: LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles. Had a career high 185 rushing yards in a dominating 34-7 win over the Cowboys on Sunday night.
Defensive player of the week: Marcel Dareus, DE/DT, Bills. The rookie first-round lineman was moved inside to play over the nose in place of the injured Kyle Williams and responded with 2 ½ of Buffalo’s nine sacks in a 23-0 rout of the Redskins.
Special teams player of the week: Brandon Tate, PR, Bengals. With Seattle getting to within eight points in the final minutes, Tate’s 56-yard punt return for touchdown with 3:22 to play sealed the Cincy win.
Comeback of the week: Ravens 30, Cardinals 27. It was the biggest comeback in franchise history, as the Ravens rallied from a 21-point deficit to beat the Cardinals at home. After going down 24-3, the Ravens went on a 24-point run as Ray Rice scored three rushing TDs. Baltimore won it o Bill Cundiff’s 25-yard field goal as time expired.
Rookie revolution: Christian Ponder beat Cam Newton in a battle of first-round draft picks, as the Vikings downed the Panthers 24-21. Can’t blame Newton in this one, though. His 44-yard completion to Brandon LaFell on 4th-and-15 set up Olindo Mare’s 31-yard attempt with 26 seconds left, but he was wide left.
Giant of the week: Eli Manning, QB. He was 31-of-45 for 345 yards and two TDs in rallying the Giants back from an 11-point first-half deficit.
Texas two-step: The Texans picked up their second straight divisional victory, this one over the Jaguars at home, to take a commanding lead in the division. At 5-3, that’s the best eight-game start to a season in franchise history.
Upset of the week: Rams 31, Saints 21. Rams running back Stephen Jackson – remember him? – scored two TDs and had his first 100-yard rushing game in three years to help the Rams beat a Saints team that had drubbed Indy 62-7 the week before.
The worst keep getting worse: Titans 27, Colts 10. That’s 0-8 for the reeling Colts, who are the leaders at the halfway mark in the “Suck For Luck” campaign.
Cashing in: Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills. Fitz scored a six-year, $60 million contract extension and then scored a 23-0 win over the Redskins in Toronto with two more TD passes.Exchange rate: The Bills won for the first time in four trips north of the border by beating Washington in a “home game” in Toronto.
He’s human after all: A week after rallying the Broncos from a 15-0 deficit in the final five minutes in Miami, Tim Tebow came crashing back down to earth in a 45-10 shellacking at Mile High. Tebow was sacked seven times and had two turnovers that were turned into touchdowns. Our skepticism continues that he can be a big-time NFL quarterback.
Streak busters: The Steelers finally solved Tom Brady by playing better defense AND better offense. Ben Roethlisberger out-dueled Brady with 365 yards and two TDs as the Steelers won, 25-17, in the 'Burgh.
Streak of the week, Part I: The Bengals have won four straight games. I repeat: The Bengals have won four straight games. The latest: a 34-12 win over Seattle behind rookie Andy Dalton’s two first-half TD passes and Brandon Tate’s 56-yard punt return touchdown.
Streak of the week, Part II: The 49ers won their fifth straight to improve to 6-1, their best start since 1998.