Several players around the NFL showed up big for their teams in winning efforts for Week 5. Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks continued to elevate his game, catching 12 passes for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns in a lopsided New York victory. Tennessee running back Chris Johnson helped lift the Titans to a win in Cowboys stadium, rushing for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ravens running back Ray Rice also put up 130+ yards and 2 scores in a victory, while Lions quarterback Shaun Hill tossed 3 touchdown passes to give Detroit their first win on the young season. However, it was the effort of Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte that took Week 5 honors for Eastbay’s NFL Player of the Week.
On an evening when Chicago quarterback Todd Collins passed the ball 16 times for an embarrassing 32 total yards and 4 interceptions, Matt Forte put the Bears on his back and ran them to a win. The running back carried the ball 22 times for 166 yards and two touchdowns. His biggest play came on a career long 68-yard touchdown run with a little under 8 minutes to play in the first quarter. Forte provided virtually the only offensive production in the game, and it was all Chicago needed, as they improved to 4-1 heading into next week’s game with Seattle.
Was Forte your guy for Week 5? Let us know in the comment section below.
Another week of NFL action is in the books, and it’s time to choose the Week 4 Player of the Week. We could look at big passing days from Kyle Orton and Phillip Rivers both leading their teams to much-needed wins on Sunday. LaDainian Tomlinson’s resurgance in New York is worth noting, running for 133 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Bills. Also drinking from the fountain of youth was Bengals receiver Terrell Owens, who caught 10 passes for 222 yards and two scores in a losing effort against the Browns. However, all of these big offensive numbers couldn’t overshadow the effort of San Diego’s Shaun Phillips, who is our first defensive Eastbay Player of the Week.
Where do you start when discussing Phillips’ day? The linebacker absolutely terrorized the Arizona Cardinals offense, recording a career-high four sacks and adding six additional tackles. If that weren’t enough, Phillips intercepted a Derek Anderson pass in the second quarter, returning it for a touchdown and putting the game out of reach for the Cardinals. Shaun Phillips’ Week 4 effort helped improve the Chargers to a 2-2 record, setting them up for a big division game against the Oakland Raiders next week.
Who was your top player from Week 4? Let us know below.
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In week 3 of the NFL season, we saw several players step up with big efforts for their teams. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick registered a four-touchdown performance to help propel his team to another big win. Austin Collie of the Indianapolis Colts caught 12 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns in a two-score win over the Denver Broncos. Vikings running back Adrian “All Day” Peterson lived up to his nickname, carrying his team to their first win of the season with a 160-yard, two-touchdown day on the ground. While all of these performances were worthy of taking home this week’s Eastbay NFL Player of the Week, the nod goes to Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
Boldin, who recently signed an endorsement deal with Under Armour, could not be contained by the Cleveland secondary on his record-setting day. In his third game as a Raven, he reeled in eight passes, registering 142 yards and three touchdowns. Averaging nearly 18 yards per catch, Boldin’s eight grabs helped him reach 600 quicker than any player in NFL history. On a day where the vaunted Ravens defense uncharacteristically gave up big yardage on the ground, Boldin proved to be the difference, catching what became the game-winning touchdown with his team trailing late in the fourth quarter.
Was Anquan Boldin your selection for NFL Player of the Week?
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With one week of NFL Football in the books, we here at Eastbay are ready to name our first Player of the Week. While players like Tom Brady, Chris Johnson and Rashard Mendenhall all had big weeks to lift their teams to key wins, no player made a bigger statement than Houston Texans running back Arian Foster. A second-year player out of the University of Tennessee who spent the first 10 games of last season on the Texans’ practice squad, Foster shredded the Indianapolis Colts’ defense with 231 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries.
With his big performance, Foster also put his name in the record books. The 231 rushing yards surpasses a team record of 158 yards set by Domanick Davis in 2004. Additionally, Foster’s yard total is the second-best number posted on NFL opening weekend. Foster will be the first to say that the biggest news from yesterday’s game is the team’s win over the Colts, who had beaten them in 15 of their previous 16 meetings, but we salute an incredible Week 1 performance.
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This week begins our Players of the Week column. Check back each Friday to see who the hottest players in Major League Baseball were over the past week. We’ll be choosing both a top performer at the plate and on the mound.
This week’s Player of the Week on the offensive side of the diamond has to be Carl Crawford of the Tampa Bay Rays. Crawford has been on an offensive tear. In the last week he went 12 for 24 at the plate, and of his 12 hits, six were for extra bases, including four doubles and two triples. Crawford scored four runs and had four RBI’s along with a steal and two walks. Over the last week, Crawford’s on-base percentage has been an impressive .538, and his slugging percentage equally so at .833. His hot streak included a career first on Tuesday as Crawford hit three doubles in the game.
With the Rays sitting a couple of games behind the Yankees right now, Crawford couldn’t have picked a better time to step up his offense. The Rays take on the Blue Jays over the weekend and will host the Yankees for three games beginning Monday. Apparently Crawford enjoys hitting from the number three spot in the batting lineup, as his average now sits at .304 for the season.
With Carl’s speed (fourth in the AL with 42 stolen bases), you might think he’s more suited for a leadoff spot or the number two hole, however if this pace keeps up throughout the rest of the season he may have found a permanent home at the third spot in the order. He may also help lead the Rays to their first World Series victory.
From the mound, nobody has been better than Cole Hamels over the last week. Hamels came up with two wins in the Phillies’ recent hot streak, which helped land them in sole possession of first place in the National League East, a spot that had been occupied by the Atlanta Braves for quite some time.
Hamels’ performances over the last week include seven shutout innings, not once, but twice. Over those two victories, he’s struck out 12 batters and brought his record up to an even 10-10. With his seven-inning win against the Florida Marlins, Hamels extended his scoreless innings streak to 25 consecutive innings. That scoreless streak has lowered Cole’s ERA to 3.06, the lowest it has been since the 3.09 he finished with at the end of the 2008 season, a season during which the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series.
Cole won’t be on the mound this weekend as the Phillies take on their rival the New York Mets. He’ll take the rubber again next against in Florida on Tuesday to see if he can continue his scoreless inning streak, and beat the Marlins for his second consecutive start.