We wrap up the 16th Sunday of the NFL season by looking at a handful of players who exceeded expectations and a handful who failed to deliver.


Bernard Pierce, Ravens: The rookie third-round pick had never gone over 53 yards in a game until Sunday. Against the Giants, he outperformed Ray Rice, posting 123 yards on only 14 carries. 

Jamaal Charles, Chiefs: Dude goes for 165 yards in Cleveland before posting only 10 in Oakland. Then, against the Colts Sunday, he rushes for 226 yards. Unpredictable. 

Lamar Miller, Dolphins: The rookie fourth-round pick was better than Reggie Bush on the ground Sunday, putting up 73 yards on 10 carries in a small breakout performance against Buffalo. 

Jordan Shipley, Jaguars: The third-year Texas product had his best performance since his rookie season against the Patriots, putting up 82 yards on five catches as the Jags nearly pulled off the upset. 

Kendall Reyes, Chargers: The rookie second-round pick had just two sacks entering Sunday's game against the Jets. He broke out with 3.5 in the victory.


Eli Manning, Giants: The G-men were supposed to fight back with their backs against the wall after that Atlanta loss, but instead they were crushed again in Baltimore. Manning was the biggest problem, completing only 14 of 28 passes. Should be mentioned, too, that Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz had only three catches for 21 yards on eight targets. 

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: I wonder if we're going to find out soon that Big Ben is playing through more pain than we realized. He also completed only 14 of 28 passes and threw two picks as the Steelers' season went down the drain against Cincinnati. 

Tom Brady, Patriots: Only 24 of 41 for 267 yards and two touchdowns in a close call against the Jaguars. 

Chris Johnson, Titans: I know it's been an up-and-down year for Johnson, but I expected a lot more from him than 28 yards against the Packers. I mean, Jake Locker led the Titans in rushing….

Adrian Peterson, Vikings: Obviously it's not fair to criticize Peterson considering the season he's had. Plus, the Vikings won and Houston's a very tough opponent. Still, I expected at least 100 yards from him as he pressed to break Eric Dickerson's single-season record.

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin,, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.