Here is the weekly review of how former Illini fared in the NFL on this past Sunday and Monday.
Safety Eugene Wilson and Kicker Neil Rackers
Wilson had 3 tackles and 2 assists but Houston (4-4) dropped its second straight game as Philip Rivers threw for 4 touchdowns and 295 yards for San Diego (4-5).
Rackers racked up 11 points, going perfect on 2 extra point attempts and 3 field goal attempts.
Linebacker Will Davis vs. Wide Receiver Greg Lewis
Due to some fourth-quarter heroics, Brett Favre helped the Vikings (3-5) force overtime and eventually avoid what could have been not only a disastrous loss for a talented Minnesota squad but the final straw for beleaguered head coach Brad Childress.
In victory, Lewis was much more involved in the Minnesota offense, catching 4 passes for 30 yards.
Davis had 1 tackle and 1 assist for the Cardinals (3-5).
Running Back Pierre Thomas and Linebacker Danny Clark
While Thomas missed another game due to injury, quarterback Drew Brees and the New Orleans’ offense returned to form against the hapless Panthers (1-7).
And I really thought Jimmy Clausen was going to turn things around in Carolina?
Unheralded but steady, Clark had 4 tackles and 1 assist for the victorious Saints (6-3).
Offensive Lineman Tony Pashos
While Pashos is out for the season for Cleveland, the Browns (3-5) rushed all over the Patriots (6-2), with Peyton Hillis carrying the rock 29 times for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Cleveland has now won two straight under rookie quarterback Colt McCoy.
Wide Receiver Arrelious “Rejus” Benn
While Tampa Bay (5-3) fell in Atlanta (6-2), Benn continued to make contributions as a rookie, catching only 1 pass but scoring on the play.
In addition to his 14-yard touchdown reception, Benn also ran once for 4 yards.
Cornerback Vontae Davis
Davis had 4 tackles, 3 assists and 1 pass defended but the Dolphins (4-4) couldn’t rattle steady quarterback Joe Flacco, who was 20-27 for 266 yards and 2 touchdowns for the Ravens (6-2).
Punter Steve Weatherford, Offensive Lineman Brandon Moore and Tight End Jeff Cumberland
The Jets (6-2) needed a last-second field goal from Nick Folk, with the hold by Weatherford, to force overtime, where Folk officially defeated the Lions (2-6), with another hold from Weatherford.
In terms of his actual punting, Weatherford booted 7 punts, including a long of 53 yards, for a 42.1 yards average.
New York rushed for 110 yards on 30 carries (3.7 yards per carry) behind Moore and the rest of the offensive line.
Cumberland was inactive yet again.
Offensive Lineman David Diehl
Are you smelling an all New York Super Bowl?
While this is not going to happen, the Giants (6-2) are playing great football, as evidenced during their trouncing of the Seahawks (4-4).
Behind Diehl and the rest of the New York offensive line, the Giants were able to rip off 197 yards on 47 rushes (4.2 yards average).
Cornerback Kelvin Hayden
Michael Vick and the Eagles (5-3) bested Peyton Manning and the Colts (5-3) in Philadelphia, with Hayden registering 2 tackles and 1 pass defended, and nearly picking off a Vick pass at one point in the game.
Offensive Lineman Jon Asamoah
With the overtime victory over the hated Chiefs (5-3), the Raiders (5-4) are actually over .500.
Ryan Lilja returned to the Kansas City offensive line, thus sending the rookie Asamoah back to the bench after making his first start in week eight.
Cornerback Alan Ball and Defensive Lineman Josh Brent
The Cowboys (1-7) were so miserable during a Sunday Night Football shellacking by the Packers (6-3) that head coach Wade Phillips was fired on Monday.
Ball had ½ a sack while Brent did not make the stat line for Dallas.
Running Back Rashard Mendenhall
The Steelers (6-2) held on for the Monday Night Football road victory against the Bengals (2-6), with Mendenhall having a fine game during the win.
Mendenhall fell just short of 100 yards, carrying the ball 22 times for 99 yards, but scored a rushing touchdown.
He also caught 3 passes for 31 yards.
Week Nine Byes
● Denver Broncos (Wide Receiver Brandon Lloyd)
● St. Louis Rams (Tight End Michael Hoomanawanui, Fullback Brit Miller)
● Jacksonville Jaguars (None)
● San Francisco 49ers (None)
● Tennessee Titans (None)
● Washington Redskins (None)
Until Week Ten.
Topics: Alan Ball, Arrelious "Rejus" Benn, Arrelious Benn, Brad Childress, Brandon Lloyd, Brandon Moore, Brett Favre, Brit Miller, Colt McCoy, Danny Clark, David Diehl, Drew Brees, Eugene Wilson, Greg Lewis, Jeff Cumberland, Jimmy Clausen, Joe Flacco, Jon Asamoah, Josh Brent, Kelvin Hayden, Michael Hoomanawanui, Michael Vick, Neil Rackers, Nick Folk, Peyton Hillis, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Pierre Thomas, Rashard Mendenhall, Rejus Benn, Ryan Lilja, Steve Weatherford, Tony Pashos, Vontae Daivs, Wade Philips, Wade Phillips, Will Davis