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SEC In the NFL – The Awesome, The Elite, And The Option Quarterback

Patrick Peterson – awesome playmaker

Thanks to a blocked field-goal, Patrick Peterson (LSU) avoided becoming the goat at the end of game.  Thanks to an amazing punt return, he became the hero in overtime.

Peterson was flagged for pass interference as time was winding down against the St. Louis Rams Sunday.  The subsequent field-goal attempt was blocked and the 13-13 game went to overtime.

When the Cardinals defense forced the Rams into punting in the overtime’s first possession, it was Peterson’s time to shine.

Fielding the punt at the 1-yard line, Peterson streaked 99 yards for the game winning touchdown.

“I knew that was gutsy,” Peterson said afterward. “I decided to catch the ball and run for my life.”

The Cardinals have won two games this year (2-6) and in both wins, Peterson has scored the game-winning touchdown via punt returns.

“He has such a great feel and he is definitely a force,” said Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt. “The thing that gives you comfort is that he doesn’t drop balls.”

Eli Manning – elite QB?

When Eli Manning (Ole Miss) faced the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, he walked off the field a world champion.  Sunday in Foxborough, he once again came out a winner thanks to a last-minute rally.

Down 20-17, Manning led the Giants on an 80-yard drive, capping it off with a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jake Ballard with 15 seconds left in the game.

So is Manning now an elite quarterback?  His teammates think so.

“To me, he’s better than ‘12’ [Brady],’’ running back Brandon Jacobs said. “Twelve couldn’t get it done today. Ten [Manning] got it done.’’

Yahoo! Sports columnist Jason Cole has a different take.

“If you’re looking for a bottom line answer to whether New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is the equal of New England Patriots counterpart Tom Brady, the answer is still no.”

Manning’s teammates disagree “You can’t spell elite without Eli,” said defensive end Justin Tuck.

Tim Tebow – option QB

Tim Tebow (Florida) and the Denver Broncos took the Oakland Raiders to school on Sunday, using a read-option offense that’s more at home in the college game.

Tebow rushed for 118 yards – the Broncos ran for 299 yards total – and the Broncos blitzed the Raiders 38-24.

“That’s hard to defend,” said Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey (Georgia).  “Especially when you have a quarterback who’s as explosive as Tebow is.  Tebow doesn’t get enough credit for his explosiveness.  I know he would love to sharpen up his passing, but at the same time he’s running the ball extremely well.”

Tebow and running back Willis McGahee become the first Denver quarterback/running combination to each cross 100 yards in a game since Norris Weese and Otis Armstrong in 1976.

Tebow also threw two touchdowns on the afternoon.

“All in all, he progressed,” said coach John Fox. “I think it was, by far, (Tebow)’s best game to date.”

A few other notes from around the league:

Cold Hard Football Facts calls Andy Dalton and A.J. Green (Georgia) “the best QB-WR rookie combo maybe ever.” Green caught 7 passes for 83 yards on Sunday in the Bengals 24-17 win over Tennessee.

Rookie wide receiver Julio Jones (Alabama) had another nice game on Sunday for the Falcons – catching three passes – two of them for touchdowns – in Atlanta’s 31-7 victory over Indianapolis. One of those TD catches went for 80 yards.

Running back Arian Foster (Tennessee) crossed the 100-yard mark for the third straight week, the fourth time this season, as the Houston Texas rolled over the Cleveland Browns 30-12.

Peyton Hillis (Arkansas) and Monterio Hardesty (Tennessee) have already been ruled out for this week’s game against St. Louis. Hillis has been battling hamstring problems and Hardesty tore his calf muscle against San Francisco. says Albert Haynesworth  (Tennessee) of the New England Patriots “is giving Ochocinco a run for his money as the biggest acquisition bust on the team.”

Our Overtime section is a collection of columns, opinions and posts from outside parties.  The views expressed on this page do not reflect those of

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