NFL players of the week: Cam Newton shines against Minnesota

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers' quarterback is often criticized, but he was the best in the NFL for one week.

Week 6 in the NFL didn't give the passing performances we've seen in the first five weeks of 2013, but there were some extremely impressive individual performances around the league.

Passer of the week: Cam Newton, 20/26, 242 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT

Cam Newton didn't throw for the most yards this week, but he put together one of the best games of this three-year career. The Carolina Panthers secured an impressive win over the Minnesota Vikings on the back of Newton's 77 percent completion percentage and four total touchdowns, including one he ran in to secure the victory.

Newton is often criticized for his lack of accuracy, but made every throw required of him to win the game. Most importantly he didn't turn the ball over, something he did four times against the Arizona Cardinals.

Rusher of the week: Arian Foster, 20 attempts, 141 yards

It's tempting to give this award to Brandon Jacobs' surging comeback performance on Thursday Night Football, but instead it's Arian Foster who did everything he could in a Texans' loss.

Foster averaged more than 7.0 yards per attempt on Sunday, despite playing without the threat of a passing game. He did everything he could to keep Houston's ship afloat, but it was't enough.

Receiver of the week: Vernon Davis, 8 receptions, 180 yards, 2 TD

The poor Jacksonville Jaguars can't catch a break. For a while it looked like they could knock off the vaunted Denver Broncos on the back of a 190-yard day from Justin Blackmon -- but he was upstaged by Vernon Davis' amazing game.

Davis accounted for 71 percent of San Francisco's passing offense against the Arizona Cardinals. There was no answer for Davis while he carved up the center of the field and took the focus away from the Cardinals' talented cornerbacks.

Defender of the week: Tamba Hali, 3 tackles, 3.5 sacks

The Kansas City Chiefs ran all over the Oakland offensive line, sacking quarterback Terrelle Pryor 10 times on Sunday. Veteran outside linebacker Tamba Hali led the charge with 3.5 sacks on the day and, more importantly, proved that the Chiefs can have a dominant pass rush when Justin Houston isn't playing at his best.

Houston finished with one sack, which is good by most players' metrics -- but pedestrian based on this 2013 season. This was a defining game for Kansas City as the team proved it could succeed on a day where Alex Smith played poorly and Houston didn't decimate the backfield.

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