Hardest Working Man  

 

Who went above and beyond the call of duty?

  • By Jim Reineking NFL.com
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These guys might not exactly be carrying a lunch pail to the stadium, but they did bring a blue-collar, working-man approach to the weekend's games. Take a look at all the nominees, then vote on your choice for the Hardest-Working Man for Week 8.

Anquan Boldin, Baltimore Ravens

In facing his former team for the first time, Boldin made the Cardinals reconsider just what they might be missing when they let the veteran receiver go to Baltimore. He made a profound impact as the Ravens pulled off the biggest second-half rally in team history for a 30-27 win, finishing with seven catches for 145 yards. More importantly, however, were two key plays that weren't catches but resulted in pass interference calls that became touchdowns a play later. Down 24-6 in the third quarter, Boldin drew a pass interference that put the ball at the 1-yard line to set up a Ray Rice touchdown. The second pass interference call -- another that put the ball at the 1-yard line for an easy Rice scoring run -- helped the Ravens climb to within 24-20 at the end of the third quarter.


Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins

The winless Dolphins nearly defeated the first-place Giants (before eventually succumbing to the NFC East leaders, 20-17) with the help of a large contribution from Bush. He rushed 15 times for 103 yards, averaging 6.9 per carry, as Miami threatened to finally put a "1" under the win column. This marked the second time in his career that Bush had a 100-yard rushing game. The first came during his rookie season of 2006, coincidentally, also against the Giants.


Arian Foster, Houston Texans

The Jaguars entered Sunday's AFC South showdown against the Texans having allowed just 34 total rushing yards to the Ravens in a win on "Monday Night Football". So, naturally, many would have expected Foster to struggle to attain large chunks of yardage Sunday. Instead, Foster ran through the Jaguars' defense as the Texans got a step closer to their first division title in franchise history. Foster finished the game with 112 yards on a workman-like 33 carries, scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown that put Houston up 21-7 in what ultimately would be a 24-14 triumph.


Chris Long, St. Louis Rams

Few people figured that the Rams -- winless and starting backup QB A.J. Feeley for the second consecutive in the place of 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick Sam Bradford -- would have a shot against the explosive Saints. The Saints, meanwhile, were coming off a historic 62-7 thrashing of the winless Colts. Defensive end Chris Long, however, helped the Rams shock the Saints. The Rams had a season-high 6 sacks after entering the game with just 11. Three of those sacks came from Long, who also earned the respect of the St. Louis crowd with an homage to the World Series champion Cardinals following one of the sacks.


Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

Vikings first-round pick Christian Ponder earned his first career NFL victory (over top draft pick Cam Newton, no less) when Minnesota prevailed 24-21 in Charlotte. The rookie got a huge assist from Peterson, who had 162 total yards and scored two touchdowns (one via rush, the other by pass). Peterson has rushed for 798 yards and 9 touchdowns already this season and has 750-plus rushing yards and at least eight rushing touchdowns in each of his five of his NFL seasons. He joins Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Emmitt Smith, as well as LaDainian Tomlinson, as the only players in NFL history to reach those totals in each of his first five seasons.

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