Week 9 Splash Plays: AD is better than ever, Doug Martin runs wild, and Charles Tillman is a master thief

Doug Farrar
November 5, 2012

Adrian Peterson? Adrian Peterson.

It's impressive enough when you come back from major surgery to play at all, but Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is proving this season that he might be better than ever. With a 74-yard run on the second play from scrimmage against the Seattle Seahawks' normally stout run defense, AD continued to put the league on notice by going all Tecmo Bowl on this play, and he's the NFL's leading rusher through the first half of the season.

The Muscle Hamster proves to be unstoppable

America, meet Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin. Not only did the rookie smash through the Oakland Raiders' defense for four rushing touchdowns, he also became the first NFL player in league history to score three times on the ground with rushing plays of 45 yards or more. Greg Schiano's got a real keeper here.

Charles Tillman forces four fumbles in a single game

Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman does everything well, and that's why he's in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year. Tillman has been sticking to receivers like glue all season, but it's his special talent for forcing fumbles that sets him apart -- perhaps no other elite cornerback in the game better understands what it means to play physically. Tillman's four forced fumbles against the Tennessee Titans set a league record, and while it's not a flashy stat that will have people buzzing, it's one of the more impressive marks we can remember.

Golden Tate leaps for a touchdown

It wasn't really necessary for Seahawks receiver Golden Tate to go vertical to score this touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings -- though it certainly was impressive. Pete Carroll, Tate's head coach, was a little nervous about the whole thing.

"That was crazy," Carroll said after the game. "I'll be over him, but it was great ... He's a really tough, competitive kid; I loved the way he's battling out there. That's a little crazy, yeah, but he got it in the end zone so we'll take it. But, we'll be talking about that one. The problem wasn't the leap so much, the [football] was way over here somewhere."

Tony Scheffler's amazing sideline catch

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw 33 passes against the Jacksonville Jaguars, completing 22. And not one of those passes resulted in a touchdown. Running back Mikel Leshoure scored three red zone touchdowns, but Calvin Johnson still hasn't caught a TD pass from Stafford -- on one reception, Megatron was stopped at the Jacksonville 1-yard line. That said, there was one play that may have been the highlight of the Lions' day -- this sideline toe-tapper from tight end Tony Scheffler.

Reggie Bush continues his interesting transformation

One of the most compelling and untold stories of this season is Reggie Bush's continued transformation into a real, honest-to-God, all-purpose running back. Didn't look like it would happen when Bush was in New Orleans -- he was more of a jack-of-all-trades there -- but in his two NFL seasons with the Miami Dolphins, he's become the guy you can depend on to make plays on the ground -- with power as well as speed. This 19-yard touchdown run against the Colts typified the player Bush is now.

Randall Cobb gets the Green Bay offense

Aaron Rodgers has really good receivers, Part 1.

James Jones gets the Green Bay offense, too

Aaron Rodgers has really good receivers, Part 2.

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