OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Peyton Hillis / RB / Cleveland Browns
It's safe to say the Browns are feeling pretty good about the decision to deal QB Brady Quinn to the Broncos for Hillis and draft picks in the offseason. The rugged Cleveland running back, who used to block for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones during his college career at Arkansas, rushed 29 times for 184 yards — both career highs — and two TDs in his team's 34-14 upset of the Patriots. The hard-running Hillis also had three catches for 36 yards. His two-yard TD run put the Browns ahead 10-0 in the first quarter and he was responsible for all 60 of the yards Cleveland gained on its final scoring drive, which he capped with a 35-yard TD run. Josh McDaniels could use a back like Hillis to help Denver's 32nd-ranked running game.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jared Allen / DE / Minnesota Vikings
Observers had been asking what was wrong with Allen, who had at least 14½ sacks in each of the past three seasons, as he entered Week Nine with just one sack. He returned to form against the Cardinals in Minnesota's 27-24 overtime win. He made 2½ sacks, and the final two came late in the fourth quarter and early in the overtime period. The Vikings hit Cardinals QB Derek Anderson 11 times, and Allen had six of them. "This team has a lot of character and a lot of heart and it showed," Allen said. "When we focus on playing football, we are pretty good." When asked if the players won the game to save embattled head coach Brad Childress' job, Allen laughed. "We won one for us," he said.
SPECIAL-TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jacoby Ford / WR / Oakland Raiders
Trailing 10-0 to open the second half, the Raiders were badly in need of a play to swing momentum in their direction against the first-place Chiefs. Ford, a fourth-round rookie out of Clemson, provided the spark, taking the half's opening kickoff back 94 yards for a touchdown. Oakland went on to win 23-20 in overtime thanks in part to three field goals by PK Sebastian Janikowski. Ford could have been a candidate for Offensive Player of the Week, too, after making a career-high six catches for 148 yards against the Chiefs. "I love him," DT Tommy Kelly told reporters after the game. "I told him I would give him anything he wanted right now. Two big catches and that kickoff return. He came up huge."