New faces seize spotlight in Week 7

Labels in the NFL don't always accurately describe the famous players they're attached to, even after they've stuck. That disconnect came out all over the place in Week 7.

Brad Johnson didn't come in for Dallas and throw checkdowns and dump-offs all day. Instead, he completed only half the passes he threw and attempted 16 passes of 10 yards or more.
The Colts' Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison, famed for preying on the weaker defensive backs and injury replacements of the league, couldn't exploit second-year Packers CB Tramon Williams. LaDainian Tomlinson didn't get better as the game progressed, and Terrell Owens didn't step up and help out his (new) quarterback.

Instead, the new combinations and label-free players of the NFL were out making names for themselves. Buffalo's Trent Edwards and Lee Evans starred in a victory over San Diego. Oakland CB Nnamdi Asomugha made Jets WR Jerricho Cotchery look like a Pop Warner player. Steelers RB Mewelde Moore proved that the only things between him and a spot as a starting running back were playing time and some luck. Even a veteran like Kansas City TE Tony Gonzalez showed that he had something to play for -- pride -- as his teammates gave up around him and laughed off another loss.

It's the performances of these stars you'll read about in Quick Reads, and it's because they helped their teams win. The top 10 quarterbacks in Week 7 by DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) saw their teams go 8-2. The top five runners and receivers went 9-1. That's no accident. They may be less-heralded, but the stars of Week 7 are no less important.

Here are the rest of the best and worst players of Week 7, according to the Football Outsiders DYAR statistics. Note that with seven weeks played, opponent adjustments are currently at 70 percent strength.

Bill Barnwell is an analyst for FootballOutsiders.com.