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NFL Monday Memo

Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants.

Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants. (Getty Images) Credit: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants. (Getty Images)

A look at back at the best and worst from NFL Week 9:  

* Game of the week: Giants 24, Patriots 20. Shades of Super Bowl XLII, as Eli Manning outshines Tom Brady to lead the Giants to another upset of the Patriots. The Giants beat an 18-0 Patriots team in the Super Bowl, and they beat another 18-0 Patriots team on Sunday. New England had won 18 straight at home against NFC opponents until the Giants’ loss.

* Game of the weak: Cardinals 19, Rams 13. In a battle of a pair of one-win teams, the Cardinals are only slightly less bad than the Rams as Patrick Peterson wins it with a 99-yard punt return in OT.

* Offensive player of the week: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers. Four more TDs for the unstoppable Rodgers, as the Packers win a shootout in San Diego, 45-38.

* Defensive player of the week: The Dolphins. With no single dominant defensive performance from an individual player this week, we’ll switch things up and throw a few bouquets at the Miami defense for a strong showing in a 31-3 upset over the Chiefs on the road. Well done, gentlemen.

* Special teams player of the week: Patrick Peterson, PR, Cardinals. His breathtaking 99-yard punt return in overtime gave the Cardinals a 19-13 win over the Rams. The play made up for a pass interference penalty only moments earlier that gave the Rams a potential game-winning field goal try. Calais Campbell blocked Josh Brown’s 42-yard field goal attempt at the end of regulation.

* Jet of the week: Sione Pouha, DT. He had a team-high seven tackles and a forced fumble as the Jets’ defense dominated Buffalo on the road.

* Giant of the week: Eli Manning, QB. He had two fourth-quarter touchdown drives, including the game-winner to bring the Giants back against the Patriots in a 24-20 win.

* Drive of the week: Joe Flacco led the Ravens on a 92-yard drive in the final minute to lead Baltimore to a 23-20 win over the Stillers on Sunday night, giving Baltimore a rare season’s sweep over Pittsburgh, the first since 2006.

* Exhale of the week: The Cowboys did just enough to get past the Seahawks 23-13 at home. After a terrible first half, Tony Romo rallied to throw two second-half TDs to get Dallas back to .500.

* They're for real: The Texans look like they’re ready to do something they’ve never done before: Win the AFC South. They pummeled Cleveland yesterday behind the 100-yard rushing performances of Arian Foster (124) and Ben Tate (115), and kept on winning despite the continued absence of All Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson.

* Keeps on getting worse: The Colts felt to 0-9 with yet another blowout loss, this time a 31-7 drubbing at home to Atlanta. Can’t see Jim Caldwell surviving this.

* Bounce-back: The Saints recovered from that staggering road loss against previously winless St. Louis to beat the Bucs at home in a huge NFC South showdown. Looks like this is gonna be a two-team race between New Orleans and Atlanta.

* Streaking: San Francisco has now won six straight to improve to 7-1. It’s their longest winning streak since 1997, and they’re 4-0 on the road for the first time since ’92.

* Hey, guess what? After all their early-season problems and controversy surrounding whether Tim Tebow is any good, the Broncos are now just a game out of first place after upsetting Oakland 38-24 on the road. Denver ran roughshod over Oakland’s defense, and Tebow threw a pair of TDs while rushing for a career high 117 yards on 12 carries.

* This kid’s a rookie? Bengals first-year QB Andy Dalton keeps on getting better and better. He threw for three TDs and 217 yards to lead Cincy back from a 10-point deficit in a 24-17 road win over Tennessee. That’s now five straight for the Bengals, who are tied atop the AFC North with Baltimore.

* Slumping still: Chargers QB Philip Rivers matched his career high with four TD passes, but he also threw three more picks in the loss to Green Bay. His 14 INTs are the highest of any NFL quarterback this season.

New York Sports