There were not many brilliant performances amid the Arizona Cardinals 25-21 win over the Detroit Lions. Some performed admirably despite injuries, and others were just good enough to help the team win.
To get an idea of how ugly the victory was, take in the fact that in last week's loss, Andre Roberts, Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald all recorded at least 80 receiving yards. This week, rookie running back Andre Ellington was the leading receiver, catching two passes for 42 yards (21.0 YPC) and a touchdown. (Spoiler alert: He's on this list.)
Here are Ellington and the other candidates for Week 2 player of the game.
Stats: 4 carries, 20 yards (5.0 YPC); 2 receptions, 42 yards (21.0 YPC), 1 TD
The rookie was on the field early and regularly Sunday against the Lions. He played very well for it being his second career NFL game, and he is quickly earning more playing time. In fact, it could become difficult to keep him off the field before long.
Stats: 8 tackles, 1 pass defended
Many of you will jump all over this selection because of the long touchdown pass from Matt Stafford to Calvin Johnson. But after that play -- even before the play -- Karlos Dansby stood out once again for his run defense. He even stopped Johnson on third down with the game on the line (the subsequent field goal was blocked by Justin Bethel).
Stats: 15 carries, 66 yards (4.4 YPC), 1 TD; 2 receptions, 28 yards (14.0 YPC)
Rashard Mendenhall was the rock of the offense Sunday. He was steady, and when the team needed him most, he provided them with a game-winning 1-yard touchdown run with two minutes left in the game. Mendenhall has been very good two weeks in a row, and if he keeps improving like he has, he could end up being special this season.
Stats: 2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, 1 QB hit, 1 fumble recovery
Defensive end Calais Campbell sure had a busy day at the office for only two tackles on the board. He was everywhere the ball-carrier was, and he played a big role in the defense allowing only 2.5 yards per carry to Detroit's running backs.
Stats: 4-4 field goals, long of 47, 6 touchbacks on 7 kickoffs
"...And totally redeem yourself!" (In my Harry Dunn voice.)
Jay Feely came up so big Sunday.