20. Josh Freeman vs. SEA: 21/26, 237 yds, 5 TD/0 INT; 4 carries, 23 yds; This is not Seattle’s last appearance on this list. The Seahawks had an arena league defense but Josh Freeman is good enough to win a Super Bowl.
19. Arian Foster vs. JAX: 31 carries, 180 yds, 2 TDs; 2 catches, 10 yds; Likewise, this is not Arian Foster’s last appearance on this list. Foster ended up with 5 games of 180+ total yards.
18. Dwayne Bowe @ SEA: 13 catches, 170 yds, 3 TDs; The big question is how Todd Haley fails to get Bowe and Charles involved on a more consistent basis.
17. Tom Brady @ DET: 21/27, 341 yds, 4 TD/0 INT; I know a lot of people would put his 45 point game against the Jets in here but that game was later in the season, with less on the line, in the Jets’ first game without Pro Bowl safety Jim Leonhard. Brady had slightly better stats here with just 3 days practice to beat the Lions, coming from a halftime deficit, at a point in the season where the Patriots still hadn’t clinched anything. Alphonso Smith played even worse than Cromartie did against Brady in the Jets game.
16. Clay Matthews vs. DAL: 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 TD. Say goodnight to Wade Phillips. Claymaker’s 3-sack performance week 1 was also crucial.
15. Cameron Wake vs. CHI: 3 forced holding penalties, sack, forced fumble. This was a monstrous performance and he is one of the building blocks for the Dolphins. What a find!
14. Anquan Boldin vs. CLE: 8 catches, 142 yds, 3 TD; Q would have had a fourth touchdown, if not for uncalled pass interference in the end zone when T.J. Ward slammed down his fists on Boldin’s back right before the ball got there, ending the drive.
13. Patrick Chung @ MIA: 1 INT, 51 yds, TD. 2 blocked kicks (one returned 35 yards for a touchdown by Kyle Arrington); The team frowns on individual attention but the Pats nearly put a lot of different guys on this list this year (Ninkovich in this game, Branch, Gronkowski).
12. RB Adrian Peterson vs. BUF: 16 carries, 107 yards, 3 TD; 1 catch, 1 yard. All Day was actually on the sidelines for 40% of this game because he was hurt. He made his carries count.
11. OLB Terrell Suggs @ PIT (Div. Round): 3 sacks, forced fumble that turned into a defensive touchdown for Cory Redding. Suggs is developing a reputation for showing up in the biggest games.
Part II will be up soon.