NFL players of the week: Carson Palmer bounces back

Sam Greenwood

Four players, two games. The top performers in Week 11 came on the back of two stellar team performances.

The best individual performances in Week 11 came from unlikely places -- Arizona and Tampa Bay. Carson Palmer led his team to victory and kept the Cardinals' playoff hopes alive, while the Buccaneers won their second straight game and looks like they might able to salvage some respectability with Mike Glennon at the helm.

Passer of the week: Carson Palmer, 30-of-42, 419 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, 119.0 passer rating

Carson Palmer had five 400-yard passing games in his career entering Week 11, and then added one more. His outing against the Jacksonville Jaguars was the second-best of his career, and one of the most accurate performances.

This was the kind of game the Cardinals had hoped would be the norm when they traded for Palmer in the offseason. The veteran quarterback has struggled for much of the season, often finding opponents before teammates resulting in far too many turnovers -- but on Sunday he was almost perfect. If this can continue the Cardinals will be on track for a playoff push.

Rusher of the week: Bobby Rainey, 30 attempts, 163 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 receiving touchdown

Running back Bobby Rainey was the biggest surprise of the week. The second-year running back totaled more yards on Sunday than he did over the span of his career, and the Atlanta Falcons had to way of stopping him.

Part of Rainey's success is attributable to Atlanta's inability to stop running backs, but he deserves credit for finding gaps and being the biggest reason his team won on Sunday.

Receiver of the week: Michael Floyd, 6 receptions, 193 yards, one touchdown

Returning to Arizona we find the biggest benefactor from Palmer's huge day. Michael Floyd had a career afternoon against the Jacksonville Jaguars en route to the largest game of his career.

Floyd averaged more than 30 yards per catch, and hauled in the longest catch of the season on a 91-yard bomb from Palmer. It was a hugely impressive day, and he deserves to be one of the top players in Week 11.

Defender of the week: Gerald McCoy, 5 tackles, 3.0 sacks

Often overlooked in the conversation of best defensive tackles is Gerald McCoy. He was sensational in the Buccaneers' win over Atlanta, and is easily living up to his billing when he was selected with a top-five draft pick.

This season McCoy has totaled 30 tackles and a career-high 6.0 sacks. He is tied for fourth among defensive tackles, and hasn't had any time in the spotlight due to the other issues surround the Buccaneers organization. It's unclear whether the team's coaching staff will be present in 2014, but McCoy is a defensive centerpiece any staff can build around.

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