Shutdown Corner - NFL

Sunday’s five most valuable players, Week 2

5. Miles Austin(notes), Wide Reciever, Dallas Cowboys.

Jesse Holley(notes) is a lovely story and Tony Romo was a stud, too, but it was Miles Austin that put the Cowboys on his back. The Cowboys were down 14-0 before Miles took a slant 53 yards to the house, caught a Jon Kitna(notes) pass in the corner of the end zone, and leaped in front of Madieu Williams(notes) for a third touchdown catch. Plays needed to be made, and Miles made them. Someone's been working out.

4. Marcus Gilbert(notes), Tackle, Pittsburgh Steelers.

The rookie tackle got the start for Pittsburgh in Willie Colon's(notes) old spot, and while he and Roman Foster, the other first-time starter on the Steelers line, didn't turn the unit into a dominating force, they were much better. The Steelers were able to open up a modicum of running room this week, and there was way less pressure on Large Benjamin. Granted, playing the Seahawks helps, too, but there's no doubt that the Steelers were way better up front this week.

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3. Jason Hanson(notes), Kicker, Detroit Lions.

Fun fact: The most games any one player has ever played for one franchise is 297, set by Jason Hanson on Sunday. He made two field goals on two attempts, as well as six extra points (way to be strong, Chiefs defense) on his special day.

2. Eric Decker(notes), Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos.

This is more of a two-week gesture for Decker, although he may have earned a spot with this week's performance alone. He caught five balls for 113 yards and two touchdowns against the Bengals, going in feet-first on this one, and turning Nate Clements(notes) and Chris Crocker(notes) into a Keystone Cops act on the second one. He did fumble once, but the big plays more than made up for it. The second-year man out of Minnesota had a couple of key catches in Week 1, too, as well as a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown. He's also 6-3, white, and wears Ed McCaffrey's No. 87. The people of Denver must be very excited.

1. Tom Brady(notes), Quarterback, New England Patriots.

Tom Brady is a straight-up murderer right now. I don't know how you're supposed to defend him. If you blitz him, he's probably going to kill you. If you don't blitz him, he's definitely going to kill you. He threw for 423 yards against the Chargers, and I actually felt like the Chargers performed reasonably well against him. He'd rip off a 30-yard completion, and I'd find myself saying, "Well, yeah, there's not much you could do about that." He's on another level right now.

See Sunday's least valuable players here.

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