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Five & Five: The biggest surprises/disappointments from Sunday

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

Surprises

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills: Fitzpatrick's taken a lot of heat lately but it wouldn't be fair to put this loss on him. He bounced back with a solid performance against Tennessee, completing over 77 percent of his passes and posting a 109.8 passer rating.

LaRod Stephens-Howling, Cardinals: The former seventh-round pick had just 23 yards on 23 carries in 2012 before busting out with 149 yards and a touchdown on 24 touches in Minnesota.

Adrian Peterson, Vikings: I guess we shouldn't be too surprised to see Peterson with 153 rushing yards, but that was by far his biggest performance since he blew up his knee. And it came against the NFL's No. 2 ranked defense.

Logan Paulsen, Redskins: The tight end had just one catch all season before being forced to step in for the injured Fred Davis against the Giants. He delivered with a team-high 76 receiving yards on four catches.

Brian Robison, Vikings: Dude's never had more than eight sacks in a season, and he's been around since 2007. Sunday against Arizona, he had three of them in the best game of his NFL career. 

Disappointments

Joe Flacco, Ravens: The Ravens needed him to step up with so many injuries weighing them down in Houston, and instead he completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes and posted a passer rating of just 45.4 in an ugly loss.

Trent Richardson, Browns: Who knows how much his injured ribs were bothering him, but Richarson was healthy enough to suit up and was completely useless against a very weak Indianapolis run defense. He was benched in the second half and finished with just eight yards on eight carries. 

Darren McFadden, Raiders: Really thought McFadden would break out after a pair of terrible games, mainly because the Jaguars are so weak against the run. But instead, he was held to fewer than three yards per carry for the third straight week.

Shonn Greene, Jets: He followed up a 161-yard performance with just 54 yards and a 3.4 yards-per-attempt average in a tough loss to the Patriots.

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals: Fitzgerald has a habit of disappearing once in a while, and that happened as he returned to his hometown and put up only 29 yards as Arizona lost its third game in a row against the Vikings.

Brad Gagnon

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 theScore.com (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, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

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