Top Five Prime Time Players in NFL Week Three

Greg RiotAnalyst IOctober 2, 2009

In Week Three on the gridiron, several players stepped up and made the difference for their team in covering the spread. Now, I present the list of the players that had the biggest impact on cashing your winning NFL betting tickets last week...

5.) QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts: Ho hum. The future Hall of Famer moved the Colts to a perfect 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS this season by throwing for 379 yards and four touchdowns against Arizona last week on Sunday Night Football.

Manning absolutely put on a clinic for the second straight week under the national spotlight, and once again, he did so without the services of WR Anthony Gonzalez.

WR Reggie Wayne and TE Dallas Clark are the only targets that Manning is 100 percent comfortable with, but to prove just how good of a quarterback he is, it doesn't matter who is lined up on the opposite side of the field, he's going to find the right man and make the right decisions. That's why the Colts are No. 4 in the AFC Week 4 Power Poll and a serious Super Bowl contender year in and year out

4.) QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions: No, Matt Stafford's numbers weren't fantastic on Sunday against Washington, but how can we not make mention of the first quarterback to lead the Lions to a SU victory in almost two full seasons? The No. 1 overall pick had the best game of his young career, going 21/36 for 241 yards with a touchdown, but most importantly: he didn't turn the ball over and kept Detroit in a position to win the game at all times.

He was smart by throwing the ball away under pressure when he had to, and scrambled for 23 yards when he was in trouble as well. If he accomplishes nothing else this season, Stafford is already a hero in the Motor City.

3.) RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags wouldn't have stood a chance in Houston on Sunday afternoon without their little bowling ball of a running back.

Jones-Drew rumbled through Houston's defense for 119 yards and three touchdowns and caught another four passes for 28 yards. He set the tone that HC Jack Del Rio was hoping to set in the second half by pounding the football play after play. And even though the Texans kept him bottled up at times, he busted enough big runs to make the Jaguars winners for the first time this season.

2.) DL Elvis Dumervil, Denver Broncos: Let's give some love to the big boys on the defensive line for the Broncos. Dumervil picked up a pair of sacks off the end and terrorized Oakland QB JaMarcus Russell all day in Denver's 23-3 victory against the Raiders. It was a complete defensive effort for HC Josh McDaniel's boys, as they held the men in silver and black to just 137 total yards of offense.

1.) QB Mark Sanchez, New York Jets: This rookie is playing like anything but a rookie. Sanchez stood tall in the pocket and did a number on Tennessee's stout defense last week in the Jets' 24-17 victory in the Meadowlands.

The USC product ran for the game's opening score, and threw two other TD passes in the victory, including the strike with 5:07 to play in the third quarter that stopped a 17-0 Tennessee scoring run and put New York ahead for good.

HC Rex Ryan's defense may be getting the accolades, but Sanchez is doing enough right now to make himself the clear frontrunner for Rookie of the Year honors.