Dan Connolly was the unlikely hero as the Patriots escaped the Packers at Foxboro and DeSean Jackson drove the final nail in the Giants’ coffin last night in New Jersey, but there were better performances from others last night, and here are the six men who stood out the most in week 15 of the NFL 2010 season.
Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers – 112 Yards and 3 Receptions for a Touchdown
Jackson sat out 10 weeks due to a contract dispute with the Chargers front office, and he made it clear how much they needed him on Thursday night as the Chargers strolled through their West Coast clash with the 49ers, beating the NFC team 34-7, with Jackson grabbing his first touchdowns of the season, 3 of them to be exact, as the Chargers stayed alive in the AFC West with an 8-6 record.
Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans – 130 Yards and one Rushing Touchdown
The Titans finally broke their losing funk, winning for the first time since October 24 and six straight losses, as Chris Johnson scored his 11th TD of the season and had his 8th 100+ rushing game. The Titans D was able to stop the league’s leading rusher, Arian Foster, allowing him only 15 yards on the ground, a season low. The Titans are now 6-8 with slim hopes of making the playoffs after beating the Texans 31-17.
Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts – 129 Yards and One Rushing Touchdown
The Colts beat the Jags, making it even on the top of the AFC South, with both teams now 8-6. Peyton Manning was able to keep his stat sheet without a INT for a second straight week, quite an achievement this year, and Donald Brown had his first 100+ rushing game in his 2-year career, while the Jags’ Maurice Jones-Drew was limited to only 15 in the Colts’ 34-24 win.
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles – 242 Passing, 130 Rushing Yards, 3 TD’s and One Rushing
The Eagles rode Vick all the way during their amazing comeback from a 31-10 hole mid fourth quarter, and got the win with DeSean Jackson’s Punt return touchdown going 65 yards. Now the Eagles are 10-4, one game ahead of the Giants in the NFC East (9-5), becoming only the 5th team in NFL history to beat a 21 point deficit in the fourth quarter and win. The story, once again, completing the season sweep over the Giants with their 38-31 win, was Michael Vick, who has passed for 20 TD’s this season, equalling his career high and rushed for his 8th touchdown this season, again equalling his career high.
Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens – 153 Yards on the Ground, 80 Recieving, 1 Rushing, 1 Reception TD
The best game of the weekend, or the one I enjoyed the most at least, saw the Ravens beat the Saints 30-24 with two Billy Cundiff field goals in the fourth quarter as the Saints couldn’t get passed the Ravnes defense, who stepped up in the fourth to make the two stops they needed. Ray Rice had his best game, maybe of his career, as the Ravens decided to go on the ground and Rice delievered, blowing by the 1000 yard mark for a second straight season and grabbing his first receiveing TD of the year. Both teams are now 10-4 and second in their divisions, with the Saints seeing their six straight win streak come to an end.
Drew Coleman, New York Jets – 10 Tackles, 2 Sacks
The fifth year cornerback out of TCU was the best on an awesome defensive night from the Jets’ defense, beating the Steelers 22-17 at Heinz field where the Steelers haven’t been exactly dominating this season. Both teams are 10-4 now, with the Jets behind the Patriots in the AFC East while the Steelers are tied with the Ravens in the AFC North.