Week 9 game balls: Antonio Brown, Cam Newton, LeGarrette Blount, Marcus Mariota among Sunday's stars

Each week, NFL Nation team reporters award a game ball to a player, coach or unit. Here are the game balls for Week 9:


Damarious Randall. He put the Packers in position to pull off a comeback when he intercepted Panthers quarterback Cam Newton with 3 minutes, 38 seconds remaining. It marked the second consecutive week that Randall, the Packers’ first-round draft pick, had an interception. -- Rob Demovsky

Cam Newton. He threw three touchdown passes and rushed for another, his first such game since the 2013 season. He was having a nearly flawless day until a fourth-quarter interception. Newton finished 15-of-30 for 297 yards. -- David Newton


Will Blackmon. It's not like he was great all day, but Blackmon did what you need to do early versus a great offense: create turnovers. He caused and recovered a fumble to give the offense a chance. He defended well on a fade to Rob Gronkowski in the end zone. -- John Keim

LeGarrette Blount. On a day the Patriots lost fellow running back Dion Lewis to what looked like a serious left knee injury, and the short-handed offensive line played the second half without starting left tackle Sebastian Vollmer, Blount ran with a vengeance, gaining 129 yards on 29 carries and settling down an uncharacteristically sloppy offense that committed two first-quarter turnovers. -- Mike Reiss


Marcus Mariota. In his return to the lineup, Mariota had his best day as a pro. He completed 28 of 39 passes for 371 yards and four touchdown passes, giving interim coach Mike Mularkey his first victory running the Titans. -- Paul Kuharsky

Drew Brees. Brees and the passing game have definitely found their rhythm after a sluggish start this year. He followed up his 505-yard, seven-TD performance last week with another 389 yards and three TD passes on Sunday. He threw TDs on the first two drives, including a gorgeous 38-yarder to Brandin Cooks. But the offense stalled a bit after, and Brees’ interception in the end zone in the third quarter proved costly in such a tight game. -- Mike Triplett


Lamar Miller. He was the Dolphins' only consistent threat on offense in Sunday’s loss to the Bills. He had a season-high 97 receiving yards on seven receptions and also added 44 rushing yards and a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs. -- James Walker

Sammy Watkins. Despite being listed as questionable for the game with an ankle injury, Watkins exploded for a career-high 168 receiving yards on eight catches, including a 44-yard touchdown. It was the Bills’ most receiving yards since Terrell Owens had 197 in 2009. -- Mike Rodak


Tavon Austin. On a day when the Vikings did what they could to take away Todd Gurley, Austin was the Rams' best source of offense, particularly as a threat in the run game. He had a costly third-quarter drop on a deep pass but also ran for 66 yards on eight carries to keep the Rams in it and give them a chance late. -- Nick Wagoner

Linval Joseph. He’s had a fantastic year on the Vikings’ defense and was at his best Sunday, posting 10 combined tackles, including three for loss, and splitting a sack with Andrew Sendejo. -- Ben Goessling


Allen Robinson. He caught six passes for 121 yards. He didn’t score, but he did his damage against Darrelle Revis, the best cornerback in the game. He made several leaping catches over Revis, including one that went for 44 yards and set up a field goal. -- Michael DiRocco

Calvin Pace. With the game hanging in the balance, Pace – the oldest member of the team – made the biggest defensive play of the year. He made a strip-sack and recovered the fumble, helping the Jets preserve a five-point lead. Pace contributed to a defensive effort that yielded five sacks and two takeaways. -- Rich Cimini


Derek Carr. He was the best Oakland player on the field. He threw for 301 yards and four touchdown passes and has thrown 11 TDs in the past three games. It’s the first time since Rich Gannon in 2001 that an Oakland quarterback had three consecutive games of throwing three or more touchdown passes. -- Bill Williamson

Antonio Brown. Yes, he fumbled a punt late. And, yes, DeAngelo Williams was excellent. But Brown’s 180 first-half receiving yards set the tone, sparking two long touchdown drives and a lead the Steelers never relinquished. Brown finished with a franchise-record 17 catches for 284 yards. He also had 22 rushing yards. -- Jeremy Fowler


Jason Pierre-Paul. No, he didn’t have a sack, but he was able to play about 75 percent of the Giants’ defensive snaps in his first game since the July 4 fireworks accident that cost him his right index finger. His presence was a factor in the fourth quarter, when he was able to beat Bucs LT Donovan Smith with speed and get near Jameis Winston a few times. Regardless of his impact, though, Pierre-Paul gets the game ball for making it back to the field at all. -- Dan Graziano

Jameis Winston. The rookie played composed from the pocket again. He completed 19 of 36 passes for 249 yards, but his numbers could have been better without some bad drops by his receivers downfield. He has gone four consecutive games without an interception. His arrow continues to point up. -- Andrew Astleford


Vic Beasley. The rookie first round draft pick has had minimal impact this season. But his late fourth-quarter interception at least gave the Falcons a chance to remain in the game and possibly win it. -- Vaughn McClure

Blaine Gabbert. Gave the Niners moribund offense a spark with two touchdown passes in the first half and a clutch run for a third-down conversion in the fourth quarter. He threw for 185 yards and also had two interceptions on 15 of 25 passing replacing Colin Kaepernick. -- Paul Gutierrez


Omar Bolden. Trailing 17-0 in the second quarter, the Broncos needed a big play to get them back in the game and Bolden provided it. His 83-yard punt return for a touchdown sparked the Broncos to 17 unanswered points. -- Jeff Legwold

Andrew Luck. He looked like the Andrew Luck of old against the Denver Broncos. Luck, who entered the game with 12 interceptions, didn’t turn the ball over and finished 21 of 36 for 252 yards and two touchdowns under new offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. -- Mike Wells


Jordan Matthews. He spent the bye week trying to figure out why he was having so much trouble dropping passes. On Sunday night, Matthews caught nine passes on 11 targets for 133 yards, including the biggest play of his career. Matthews caught a Sam Bradford pass and sprinted to the end zone for the 41-yard, game-winning touchdown in overtime. -- Phil Sheridan

Cole Beasley. With all of the attention on Dez Bryant and how well he would play in his second game back from a broken foot, Beasley made the big plays. He had the first 100-yard game of his career, finishing with nine catches for 112 yards. He also scored on touchdowns of 5 and 17 yards for the second multi-touchdown game of his career and the first this season by a Cowboys wide receiver. Beasley entered the game without having a catch in Matt Cassel’s first two starts at quarterback. -- Todd Archer


Jeremy Langford. He had a career night in place of Matt Forte. Langford showed his versatility when he made a beautiful 31-yard catch in the second quarter. He also scored on a key two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter. Langford finished with 72 yards on 18 carries and had three receptions for 70 yards. -- Jeff Dickerson

Philip Rivers. He completed 26 of 42 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown. Rivers went over 3,000 yards for the 10th consecutive season, tied for fourth longest all time, and is on pace for 6,000 passing yards, which would be an NFL record. -- Eric Williams