NFL players of the week: Philip Rivers shines, Knowshon Moreno makes a statement

Jamie Squire

Two players who deserve more credit are rewarded as our top players of the week.

It took the better part of the season, but it's time to really appreciate Philip Rivers. The Chargers quarterback has quickly become an NFL Swiss Army knife, who offers not only some of the league's best GIFs, but happens to be the best quarterback nobody seems to talk about. In Week 12 he was the best passer in the NFL, and it wasn't close.

Passer of the week: Philip Rivers, 27-for-39, 392 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions, 127.3 passer rating

There are plenty of reasons why Rivers is overlooked. He plays in the AFC West along with Peyton Manning and he doesn't have the rings of Tom Brady -- nor is he a controversial and polarizing figure like Tony Romo. Instead Rivers sails along the middle, routinely left out of "elite" conversation because of his inoffensive nature.

The Chargers faced a stingy Kansas City defense and Rivers had one of his best games of the season. Yes, he was able to play against a unit missing Tamba Hali and Justin Houston for much of the game, but he did what it took to allow San Diego to win.

Rusher of the week: Knowshon Moreno, 37 attempts, 224 yards, one touchdown

Knowshon Moreno's performance on Sunday Night Football was special. The fifth-year running back was charged with picking up Denver's offensive slack on a rare night when Peyton Manning was ineffective.

It's fair to start questioning whether Moreno should be in the running for the comeback player of the year award. The perpetually-injured running back appeared in eight games in 2012, and is on pace to set career highs in every important statistic.

Moreno has a total of 1,166 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns. He sustained a minor injury in overtime, but the Broncos believe it won't be serious -- even though he's questionable in Week 13.

Receiver of the week: Josh Gordon, 14 receptions, 237 yards, one touchdown

Second-year receiver Josh Gordon set a franchise record in Cleveland when he finished with 237 yards receiving against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a loss.

It wasn't just that he caught 14 passes, but that Gordon showed he was a rare receiver who could make his mediocre quarterbacks better. Both Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden struggled, but Gordon did everything he could to keep Cleveland in the game.

A true 1,000 yard receiver was almost traded at the deadline for a rumored second round pick. It's astonishing to think about now.

Defensive player of the week: Von Miller, eight tackles, 2.0 sacks, one forced fumble

The Denver Broncos suffered a disappointing loss at the hands of the Patriots on Sunday Night Football, but it wasn't for lack of trying by Von Miller.

Miller was a huge reason why the Broncos got out to an early lead, but the team was unable to fend off New England. He has been very solid since returning from suspension, recording 22 tackles and 4.0 sacks in five games.

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