Get SI's Duke Championship Package Free  Subscribe to SI Give the Gift of SI
Posted: Monday October 20, 2008 8:31AM; Updated: Monday October 20, 2008 1:10PM
Peter King Peter King >

MMQB (cont.)

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
Steven Jackson's 160-yard rushing output was his highest since running for 178 against the Jaguars in Week 8 of the 2005 season.
Steven Jackson's 160-yard rushing output was his highest since running for 178 against the Jaguars in Week 8 of the 2005 season.
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Peter King's Mailbag
Peter King will answer your questions each week in Monday Morning Quarterback: Tuesday Edition.

The Award Section

Offensive Player of the Week

Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis. His 25-carry, 160-yard day against The Team That Used To Be A Contender keyed the 34-14 rout of the Cowboys in St. Louis, the Rams' second straight win over a contender after their 0-4 start. Jackson was a motivated man. "I've always carried a chip on the shoulder from them not drafting me,'' Jackson said via cell phone last night. In 2004, the Cowboys bypassed Jackson in the first round, traded down and chose Julius Jones in the second round as their first draft choice

Defensive Player of the Week

Nick Barnett, LB, Green Bay. To watch this game was to watch one of the most frustrating days of Peyton Manning's career. The Packers defense, led by Barnett (six tackles, two tackles for loss, excellent sideline-to-sideline athleticism), kept Manning scoreless on eight of 10 possessions and forced him into throwing two interceptions, both returned for Green Bay touchdowns.

Special Teams Players of the Week

Manny Lawson, LB, San Francisco. If there's been a more athletic blocked kick in the NFL this year, I haven't seen it. The Niners trailed 24-10 late in the third quarter with the Giants lining up for what looked to be the game-clinching field goal. Lawson, playing over long-snapper Jay Alford, high-jumped over Alford's block attempt, sprinted two steps in and smothered the field-goal attempt. Nate Clements recovered and returned it for a touchdown, keeping the Niners in the game into the fourth quarter.

Sebastian Janikowski, K, Oakland. With the sands of time in overtime running through the hourglass, Janikowski bailed out the luckless Raiders with a 57-yard field goal to stun the Jets, 16-13. The kick bent right, then evened out, and it went through the middle of the uprights with the speed of a Papelbon fastball.

Coach of the Week

Jim Haslett, coach, St. Louis. Have I ever given this to the same coach two weeks in a row? Who deserves it more, ever, than Haslett, who has changed the Rams culture in a little more than two weeks, with a 2-0 record after wins over possible playoff teams Washington and Dallas. "Before coach Haslett got the job,'' Steven Jackson said, "we wondered, 'Are we good enough to compete?' We've played with so much passion the last two weeks. He's done a great job of rallying the troops.'' The idea you get from talking to people with the Rams is this: Haslett has made football fun again, taking the tension out of the building.

Goat of the Week

Minnesota's special teams. They define brutal. Punter Chris Kluwe mishandled a snap that the Bears returned for a touchdown in the first quarter, giving Chicago a 14-7 lead. With the score tied at 17 in the second quarter, the Vikes' Charles Gordon muffed a punt, and it was recovered in the end zone for another touchdown. On eight kickoffs, Minnesota never advanced the ball past its own 36-yard line. On two punt returns, the Vikings totaled three yards. The Bears won 48-41. It is overly simplistic to say, but can't we infer that maybe, just maybe, if the Vikes had competent special teams, they'd have won the game.

What I Learned About Football This Week That I Didn't Know Last Week

Even after Monday night games -- maybe especially after Monday night games -- NFL coaches have weird lifestyles.

At 1:45 a.m. last Tuesday, my cell phone rang. It was Cleveland offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. I was actually waiting for his call in the wake of the three-touchdown rout of the Giants on Monday Night Football, because I planned to write about the Browns for my Tuesday column. I noticed the number on my cell when Chudzinki called was the number of the Browns' office in suburban Berea, but I didn't think much of it. Near the end of our conversation, he said he was in his office, starting to work on the Redskins. Interesting, I thought. The Browns have their biggest win in the Crennel Era, beating the unbeaten Super Bowl champs at home on a Monday night before a national audience, and the offensive coordinator's mode of celebration was to go watch tape of the next foe. All I could think of was the hamster wheel we used to have in the cage for the little rodent the girls called a pet. Poor Chudzinski. I made a mental note, a sleepy one, to ask him about it in a couple of days.

He really didn't want to talk about it much when I called him back Friday. But he did say he watched three Redskins defensive game tapes between about 12:15 and 4 a.m. before getting some sleep. Some coaches who have a Monday night game will spend a good part of Monday during the day getting a head start on video of the next team, but Chudzinski won't do that because he feels he clouds his thinking if he looks ahead to the next foe before finishing with one opponent.

'It's just the job,'' he said. "It's what the job is in the most competitive league in the world. I just like to watch two or three games and get a feel of the team we're going to play. See how we match up, see how they call the game. Just getting a feel for them. For me, I think, and I've always thought, this is just what I have to do. I just feel I need every waking hour to do this job right.''

Win or lose.

"You better not spend too much time licking your wounds or patting yourself on the back,'' he said.

Doesn't seem like Chudzinski does much of either.

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me

Ben Dogra, the agent for Roy Williams of the Dallas Cowboys, negotiated a rich contract extension for Williams with the Cowboys.

Ben Dogra, the agent for Roy Williams of the Dallas Cowboys, negotiated a rich contract extension for Williams with the Cowboys.

Two years apart.

By the way, Dogra, Roy Williams the safety and Roy Williams the receiver dined in St. Louis on Saturday evening at JBucks, the restaurant owned by the Buck family in suburban Clayton, near the Cowboys' hotel. I'm not sure, but I think there's a good chance Roy Williams picked up the check.

Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note of the Week

A first in history, I believe: Last Tuesday morning, returning to New Jersey from Boston on Amtrak Acela train number 2159, I wrote the entire 604-word top to my Tuesday column on my Blackberry. Not so bad, either. The all-thumb-job took about 45 minutes.

What was I doing coming back from Boston, you ask? Wound-licking, mostly, after a 9-1 Tampa Bay playoff win on Monday.

1 2 3 4 5
Hot Topics: NBA Draft Yasiel Puig NHL Playoffs NBA Playoffs Mark Cuban Jabari Parker
TM & © 2013 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint