Offensive Player Rankings

Damarious Randall denies Philip Rivers to keep Pack perfect

The Pittsburgh Steelers' Martavis Bryant, Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson, Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton, Green Bay Packers' Damarious Randall and Denver Broncos' David Bruton each had the strength to come through during a key moment and contribute to wins during Week 6.

Thanks to those strong performances, each player is up for Castrol EDGE Clutch Performer of the Week honors. This is a deeper look at the significance of those conquests.

Damarious Randall, Green Bay Packers

Strong stats to consider:
» The 488 passing yards allowed in the 27-20 win over the San Diego Chargers was the second most passing yards allowed in a single game in franchise history. The most? It was the 502 the team allowed against the Detroit Lions in Week 17 of the 2011 season. That was also a Packers win.
» This is the Packers' first 6-0 start since that 2011 season, when they finished 15-1 but lost in the divisional playoff round to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.

Power of the moment: To understand the importance of Randall's play -- which capped a win-clinching goal-line stand for the Packers' defense -- you have to understand the power of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers' performance. Rivers had the most completions (43), attempts (65) and passing yards (503) than any other quarterback in a single game this season. Because of Randall's timely pass deflection on a fourth-and-goal situation, Rivers became the first quarterback since 1960 to throw for 500 yards, have no interceptions, and still come on the losing end of the game.

Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers

Strong stats to consider:
» The Steelers have won four of their last five after losing in the Kickoff game to the New England Patriots.
» Since starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sidelined with a knee injury, the Steelers have gone 2-1. They are 12-9 without Roethlisberger since 2004.

Power of the moment: Bryant -- active for the first time this season -- helped ease the pain of a Steelers team that was down to its third-string quarterback against a Cardinals squad that has been among the NFL's most impressive through five weeks of play. Bryant's 88-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown with just under two minutes remaining sealed the Steelers' stunning 25-13 win. Earlier in the game, Bryant scored on an 8-yard touchdown play. Delivering those scoring strikes was quarterback Landry Jones (who, as you may and/or may not have guessed, is named afterlegendary Dallas Cowboys coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tom Landry). Jones was seeing his first on-field regular-season NFL action in three seasons in the league, and he did not disappoint.

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

Strong stats to consider:
» The Lions have won five consecutive games against the Bears, which is the longest win streak against the Bears since a five-game streak from 1971 to 1973.
» Johnson had receptions of 43, 39 and 57 yards in the game. Before Week 6, his longest reception of the season was 28 yards.

Power of the moment: The Lions worked overtime to collect their first win of the season, a 37-34 triumph over the division-rival Chicago Bears. As it was getting late early in the overtime period, Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford bailed out the Lions. A 57-yard heave from Stafford and Johnson's well-positioned 6-foot-5, 237-pound frame got Detroit into kicker Matt Prater's range for the winning field goal.

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Strong stats to consider:
» The Panthers are off to their second 5-0 start in franchise history. The previous 5-0 start came in 2003, when the team finished the season 11-5 and advanced to Super Bowl XXXVIII, where it lost to the New England Patriots.
» Newton had a rushing and passing touchdown in the same game for the 27th time in his career. That's the second most in NFL history behind Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young's 31 such games.

Power of the moment: Newton continued to build his case as a favorite for league MVP honors with the Panthers' 27-23 road win over the two-time defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. Down 23-14, Newton led two consecutive 80-yard touchdown drives on the Panthers' final two possessions of the game to earn the win. The second such drive was capped with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen with 32 seconds remaining. This clutch late-game heroics from Newton gave the Panthers their first-ever win in Seattle, including playoff games.

David Bruton, Denver Broncos

Strong stats to consider:
» The Broncos have the second-worst point differential of teams that got off to 6-0 starts in NFL history. At plus-37, only the 1933 Chicago Bears -- at plus-34 -- had a worse point differential after a 6-0 start. It's worth noting, however, that those 1933 Bears went on to win the league title.
» The Broncos went 26 consecutive offensive drives without scoring a touchdown before getting a score in the third quarter. This is the longest such streak of any team with Peyton Manning.

Power of the moment: It's a good thing the Broncos' defense has been lights out, because the play of normally excellent quarterback Peyton Manning has been abysmal. While Manning has proceeded to lead the league in interceptions, the Broncos' defense has picked up the slack. On Sunday, the Broncos had four sacks of Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown to lift the team's season total to 26, the most through six games in franchise history. The defense also matched Manning's three-interception total with three interceptions of their own. Bruton's pick thwarted the Browns' final chance to get a winning score in regulation and forced overtime, which is when the Broncos eventually emerged victorious.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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