Footsteps toward Canton
This won't go down as a satisfying season for Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, but it will be a milestone one.
Peterson, the league's reigning most valuable player, ran for the 10,000th yard of his career Sunday in the fourth quarter against Chicago. He finished with 211 yards in 35 carries in the 23-20 overtime victory at the Metrodome, and has 10,057 in his career.
It took Peterson 101 games to reach 10,000 yards, three more games than it took Jim Brown, and 10 more than Eric Dickerson needed. Peterson crossed the threshold two games sooner than Barry Sanders.
At 28 years 255 days, Peterson is the sixth-youngest player to accomplish the feat. The only younger ones were Sanders (27 years 147 days), Emmitt Smith (27 years 197 days), Edgerrin James (28 years 124 days), Walter Payton (28 years 154 days) and LaDainian Tomlinson (28 years 155 days).
Cleveland lost, but the kid from Cleveland didn't.
Jacksonville receiver Cecil Shorts, who grew up rooting for his hometown Browns, beat them with a 20-yard touchdown catch with 40 seconds left in a 32-28 victory by the Jaguars.
"For that play to happen in this game, in that situation, and the hometown," Shorts said. "It's a dream come true."
The Jaguars have played themselves out of the first-pick derby, reversing their course after an 0-8 start by winning three of four — with all those victories coming on the road.
Two receivers had monster games. Cleveland's Josh Gordon caught 10 passes for 261 yards, and Chicago's Alshon Jeffery had 12 catches for 249. Each scored two touchdowns.
Sunday was the first time in league history two players had at least 10 catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns on the same day.
Eight players in NFL history have multiple 200-yard receiving games in the same season . . . and both Gordon and Jeffery are on that list, with two each in 2013.
Receiver Michael Crabtree made his season debut for San Francisco, having missed the 49ers' first 11 games recovering from a torn Achilles' tendon suffered in May.
Crabtree, the favorite target of Colin Kaepernick last season, caught two passes for 68 yards, including a 60-yard catch and carry, in a 23-13 win over St. Louis.
That type of rapid recuperation is remarkable for a player at a speed position, and incredibly timely for a team playing host to Seattle on Sunday. Crabtree is more a possession receiver than a stretch-the-field threat, so that 60-yard gain was especially impressive.
Same, but different
For the second consecutive week, the Patriots posted a 34-31 victory.