Hardest Working Man  


Rob Gronkowski provides entertainment in win in London

  • By Jim Reineking NFL.com
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These guys might not exactly be carrying a lunch pail and to the stadium each week, but they did bring a diligent, blue-collar, working-man approach to Week 8. 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.

Vick Ballard, Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts snapped a 10-game road losing streak in epic fashion ... with Ballard's winning touchdown in overtime. What made the play special was that Ballard twisted, went horizontal, then upside down with his head hitting the pylon for the decisive score. That play gave the Colts their third win in their last four games. Ballard finished the day with 71 total yards on 13 touches; his only reception went for the winning score.

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

Aiding quarterback Tom Brady in yet another stellar showing across the pond was Gronkowski, who was his normal play-making/playful self. Gronkowski had eight receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns. After one touchdown Gronkowski paid homage to Buckingham Palace's "Changing of the Guard.". After the game, Gronkowski clarified what he was trying to mimic, saying, "That little nutcracker dude that's guarding the house." Still, the Wembley Stadium crowd and fans back in the States welcomed the effort.

Tim Jennings, Chicago Bears

Jennings helped this year's Bears do something that the legendary Bears of 1985 could not accomplish. With his pick six against the Carolina Panthers, Jennings gave the Bears a franchise-record six interceptions returned for touchdowns, which tops the '85 Bears' five defensive touchdowns. More importantly, Jennings' pick six was vital to the Bears completing a comeback 23-22 victory over the floundering Panthers. Jennings finished the game with two interceptions, and already has a career-best six picks on the season.

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

Witten was valiant in defeat, catching 18 passes for 167 yards as the Cowboys came just short of a startling comeback win over the visiting New York Giants after trailing by 23 points. Instead, the Giants walked out of Cowboys Stadium with a 29-24 win. Witten broke a Cowboys team record with those 18 catches, which is also the most ever in a single game by a tight end (Witten bested a mark of 15 catches he once shared with Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow).

Titus Young, Detroit Lions

The Lions' offense was dealt a serious blow when veteran receiver Nate Burleson was lost for the season with a broken leg. However, Young appears ready to help ease that pain. Young caught two touchdown passes -- including the game-winner -- as the Lions earned a vital 28-24 win over the visiting Seattle Seahawks. Young's nine receptions for 100 yards receiving were career-high totals, and could assure the Lions that the second-year receiver will make the most of his opportunity.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.



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