Calvin Johnson on record-setting pace after stellar Sunday
- By Jim Reineking NFL.com
- Published: Dec. 3, 2012 at 07:39 p.m.
These guys might not exactly be carrying a lunch pail and to the stadium each week, but they did bring an industrious, blue-collar, working-man approach to Week 13. Take a look at all the nominees, then vote in the poll at the bottom of the right column for your choice for the Hardest-Working Man.
Morgan Burnett, Green Bay Packers
A week after repeatedly getting burned in a humbling loss to the New York Giants, the Packers' secondary provided two key second-half interceptions to help the Packersdefeat the Minnesota Vikings, 23-14, in a key NFC North showdown with major playoff implications. Burnett came up with both of those interceptions, including one in the end zone that helped shift momentum into the Packers' favor at a crucial juncture. A second pick by Burnett halted another Vikings drive in the red zone. The Packers' 10th consecutive win over an NFC North opponent -- coupled with the Chicago Bears' loss to the Seattle Seahawks -- thrust Green Bay back into first place in the division
Carlos Dunlap, Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals collected a big 20-13 win on the road against the San Diego Chargers due in part to the efforts of Dunlap. Dunlap finished the game with two sacks, each of which resulted in fumbles, one of which recovered by Dunlap to help seal the victory. The Week 13 win was the Bengals' fourth straight and keeps them in the thick of the AFC playoff race.
Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
When the Browns burned a second-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft to select Gordon in this year's supplemental draft, the move came with more than a few raised eyebrows. Gordon -- who didn't play a down of college football in 2011 -- was not a well-known commodity. Gordon's rookie-season production has warranted the risk. After collecting six receptions for a career-high 116 yards in the Browns' 20-17 win over the Oakland Raiders, Gordon leads his team with 649 receiving yards. Gordon's 44-yard touchdown in the second quarter helped Cleveland put an end to a 12-game road losing streak.
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
The Lions might have lost to the Indianapolis Colts, but Johnson's put forth an effort worthy of his galactic nickname. Johnson had a career-high 13 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown in the Lions' 35-33 last-second loss to the Colts. Johnson's fifth straight 100-yard game has him leading the NFL with 1,428 receiving yards. He is on pace for 1,904 receiving yards this season, which would be the best receiving season in NFL history (Jerry Rice's 1995 season with 1,848 yards is currently the top receiving season of record).
William Moore, Atlanta Falcons
Drew Brees' consecutive games with a touchdown streak came to a screeching halt in a prime-time pick party held at the Georgia Dome. In the Falcons' 23-13 win over the New Orleans Saints, Brees was picked off five times as his record TD streak ended at 54 games. Moore provided two of those five picks, including the final interception that ended whatever remaining hope the Saints had of exiting the dome with a victory. The win helped the Falcons clinch the NFC South crown -- thanks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday -- and snap a four-game losing streak to the Saints.