OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Darren McFadden / RB / Oakland Raiders
When asked about the Jets' run defense against McFadden, the ever-quotable head coach Rex Ryan quipped, "I don't know what rush defense you're talking about." The last time a Ryan-coached "D" allowed this many rushing yards (234 by the Raiders, 171 by McFadden), according to ESPN, was in 1995 when Rex was serving on his father Buddy's Cardinals staff. The highlight run of the day by the Raiders' star was a 70-yard burst down the left sideline. The Jets failed to set the edge on the play, and McFadden was off to the races. "I thought they did an excellent job up there making blocks and opening holes for me," McFadden said. "I just hit and run and use my speed to do what I have to do." The long TD run came when the Jets led 17-7 and were in control of the game. Instead, McFadden sparked a 34-24 comeback victory.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ronde Barber / CB / Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have a young defense, but the old man still plays a key role. Barber is the heart and soul of the 2-1 Bucs, and he made several big plays in a crucial division win over the Falcons. Barber set the tone early by recovering a fumble, and he combined with LB Mason Foster in the first quarter for a big stop on a Julio Jones end-around for a nine-yard loss. Then in the second quarter, as the Falcons were driving deep into Tampa Bay territory, Barber picked off Matt Ryan to preserve a 13-3 lead. In the fourth quarter, Barber made his impact felt on three straight Falcons plays: He defended two straight passes and then tackled Jones short of the first-down marker. The Falcons went for it on 4th-and-3 and fell short. Barber also helped hold TE Tony Gonzalez to two catches.
SPECIAL-TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dan Bailey / PK / Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys went into Monday night's game against the Redskins with a quarterback playing with a broken rib. Although Tony Romo gutted it out from start to finish, the offense wasn't able to put any points on the board, partly thwarted by six fumbles (one lost). To the rescue came Bailey, who provided all of the points Dallas needed in its key divisional win over Washington, 18-16. It was the Cowboys' ninth consecutive game to be decided by three or fewer points. Bailey kicked six field goals, including the game-winner from 40 yards out with 1:52 left in the game. Besides the game-winner, the rookie connected from 41 yards (twice), 32, 27 and 23. as he went 6-of-6 on field-goal attempts. It was the most field goals by a Cowboys placekicker since Billy Cundiff converted seven in a 2003 game. Monday night marked the second game in a row in which Bailey provided the margin of victory. A week earlier, he had kicked a game-tying 48-yard FG as time expired in the fourth quarter and then the game-winning 19-yarder in overtime as Dallas won 27-24 at San Francisco.