OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Steven Jackson / RB / St. Louis Rams
The Rams' stunning win was made possible by Jackson's work during the game and his motivational words before it. After wearing out New Orleans' run defense with 159 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns, Jackson told reporters he couldn't sleep Saturday night. He said he woke up at 3:30 a.m. and thought about what he could say to inspire a team searching for its first win. He delivered a passionate speech to teammates before the game. "... So pretty much all I said was, 'If you have ever been in a fight where you ever get hit by a punch, you've only got two decisions. You can either run from the person, or you could dig deep inside and find the will in you to keep swinging and keep fighting,' " Jackson said. He packed quite a punch as the Rams ended their seven-game losing streak.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Terrell Suggs / OLB / Baltimore Ravens
After losing to the Jaguars on "Monday Night Football" in Week Seven, Suggs called out the Ravens' offense, but there was plenty of blame to go around early on vs. the Cardinals, as Baltimore fell behind 24-3 at home. The Ravens rallied to get the win, though, outscoring Arizona 27-3 the rest of the way and Suggs helped fuel the defensive resurgence, recording a game-high 13 tackles, one sack, two QB hits and four tackles for loss. Suggs admitted after the game that it was hard to stay optimistic before the Ravens mounted their comeback. "I was having fun," Suggs said. "Sometimes you got to smile to keep from crying. Early in the game I really got down. ... I just had to keep laughing and have fun and keep our crowd in it. I didn't want them heading for the exits early. They stuck with us, though."
SPECIAL-TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Donnie Jones / P / St. Louis Rams
Steven Jackson's powerful performance turned heads around the league, but Jones' punting also played a key role in St. Louis' upset win over the Saints. Jones punted seven times, racking up 298 yards (42.6 average, 39.9 net), and, most importantly, he gave his coverage plenty of time to get down the field and hold the dangerous Darren Sproles to only 19 yards on three punt returns. Three of Jones' punts pinned the Saints inside their 20-yard line, and he would have had a fourth if not for a fair-catch interference penalty that tacked on 15 yards after a punt was fielded at the 18-yard line. Jones is one of the league's elite punters, as he showed again in Week Eight. He had two punts travel more than 50 yards, including a 59-yard bomb in the fourth quarter.