Sunday's games are in the books for Week 7. What plays will we remember? Marc Sessler chooses the five runs that defined this weekend's action
Chris Johnson's baffling season is trending upward. The Tennessee Titans running back was a hot/cold act through six games, but then came Sunday. Johnson exploded for 195 yards and two touchdowns in a nail-biter of a win over the Buffalo Bills. One of his two scores -- the 83-yard gallop below -- built up Johnson's stat line, but remove it and he still averaged 6.6 yards per attempt. He carried the Titans on Sunday, and it's been many moons since that's happened.
Mike Shanahan's handling of his Washington Redskins backfield generated tears for fantasy enthusiasts and middling results in recent years. Then Alfred Morris marched into the picture. The sixth-round draft pick pumped out another solid performance in Sunday's tight loss to the New York Giants. Morris' 30-yard burst against Big Blue was the longest run of his 120-yard day and showed why he's a nice fit alongside fellow rookie Robert Griffin III in D.C.
Another workmanlike performance from Adrian Peterson, whose Minnesota Vikings are the surprise of the NFC North. Minnesota's defense came out of the blue, but who expected this from Peterson? All offseason we were told A.P. would need eight-plus games to regain his burst and lateral cutting ability. He lacked for nothing in Sunday's 21-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals. This 13-yard touchdown run -- his first score since the opener -- showed why Peterson is all the way back.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost a heartbreaker to the New Orleans Saints, but this young team saw promising work from rookie back Doug Martin. His 36-yard touchdown run bolstered Martin's 76-yard day, on which he rumbled for 5.9 yards per carry. Martin has been slow out of the gate in his first NFL season, but when he's finding gaps and grinding, he helps open up the passing attack for Josh Freeman, something we saw against the New Orleans defense.
How quickly we forget about Thursday night, but Frank Gore's handiwork against the Seattle Seahawks might be the week's most impressive performance. The San Francisco 49ers' back ran with purpose, piling up 131 yards off 16 carries. This 37-yarder proves Gore still has fresh feet. Few backs run with better vision, although even Dan Hanzus could have plowed for 20 yards in this wide-open prairie. Seattle's inability to shut this down was a factor in this NFC West showdown.