Here are the people I'd like to propose a toast to after a high-scoring, record-breaking NFL Sunday. I'm not as filled with love for the game as I was last week, due to the Redskins and Bears simultaneously losing one-score games, but I'm here to spread good feelings.
1) Here's to you, Adrian "All Day" Peterson. What a performance on the road against a defense that is supposed to be good. Most yards against the Bears in history. Most yards by a Viking in history. And on only 20 carries? You have to be joking. 11.2 YPC, people. That's insane. Remember Jamal Lewis' record 295-yard day against the Browns in 2003? He "only" had 9.8 YPC.
2) Here's to you, Devin "Whenever I get a Chance" Hester. Now you have a TD catch too, for 81 yards. It's ridiculous that you were only the second most electrifying player on Soldier Field.
3) Here's to you, Tom Brady. I'm sure you're going home thinking "I can't believe I threw 15 incomplete passes. I have to work on that." Meanwhile, MVP voters are wondering what they're going to do with the rest of that day.
4) Here's to you, LaDainian Tomlinson. You're back.
5) Here's to you, Ryan Longwell. You kicked it long, and you kicked it well. The longest field goal of your life couldn't have come at a better time: against a division rival, on the road, ensuring that there isn't a blemish on the memory of AD's record-setting day.
6) Here's to you, the defenses of Tennessee and Tampa Bay. In a weekend where some games had combined scores of 75, 72, 65, and 54, you played an actual football game the way it's supposed to be. Honorable mention to the Eagles, Redskins, Jets, and Packers for keeping the scores under 20, but to me, the Titans and Bucs were the most impressive.
7) Here's to you, Charles Woodson and Phillip Buchanon. You used to be a troublesome duo in the Oakland secondary, who never lived up to potential and the team gave up on you. You both made key turnovers this week, and are playing great every week (at least from what the stat lines show).
8) Here's to you, Sean Taylor. Your two interceptions, including Brett Favre's record-breaker, would have been enough to lead the entire team last year. Now the 2007 Redskins have as many interceptions as the 2006 Redskins, and you've got 11 games to play.
9) Here's to you, Drew Brees. In one of the hardest places to win in the NFL, you finally played like the quarterback we expect you to be, and gave your team its first win.
10) Here's to you, Matt Stover. 16 of your team's 22 points? Buy yourself a nice ottoman to prop that leg on.
11) Here's to you, David Garrard. You still haven't thrown a pick yet, and in my book are an MVP candidate, though of course no one's touching Brady this year.
12) Here's to you, Kevin Walter. In one game you matched your 2006 receiving yards. You guys are trying so hard to not need Andre Johnson, and it was a great effort.
13) Took me a while to get to you, sorry, but here's to you, Tony Gonzalez. You've had an amazing career, and if you're not a first-ballot Hall of Famer, something's wrong with the voting process.
14) Here's to you, Ravens' defense. 13 players who had either a sack, forced fumble, recovered fumble, interception, or pass defensed, and none of them was named Bart Scott. What a great bunch of playmakers.
15) Here's to you, DeAngelo Williams. You actually had MORE YPC than AD.
16) Here's to you, Vinny Testaverde. You've been a Panther for a week, and here you are, 43 years old, starting, winning, throwing no interceptions and completing 10 passes to Steve Smith including the score that gave you a TD in your 21st consecutive NFL season. That's a record even Brett Favre probably won't touch.
17) Here's to you, Ronnie Brown. You didn't win, but you're only the second Dolphin ever to run for 100 yards in four straight games. Two more, and you get Ricky Williams' name off the books. And to think I'd written you off at the start of the season.
18) Here's to you, Derek Anderson. I have to wonder what would have happened if you'd started in week 1 against Pittsburgh.
Well, it worked. After writing that, I'm full of good feelings now. I hope it has a similar effect on anyone else who's mourning a defeat today. Football is an amazing sport, and we're lucky to have it.
If you have anyone you would like to toast that I've overlooked, add it in the comments section.