With 233 former Big Ten standouts on the opening day rosters of National Football League (NFL) teams, conference student-athletes have a major impact on the road to the Super Bowl. Every Wednesday, the Big Ten football blog will highlight the top conference performers in the previous week of NFL action. Below is the list of top performers from the previous week.
Tom Brady, QB, New England (Michigan): Was 19 of 33 for 215 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots' 20-17 overtime loss at Denver.
Tyrone Carter, S, Pittsburgh (Minnesota): Forced a fumble and made three tackles in the Steelers' 28-20 win over Detroit.
Na'il Diggs, LB, Carolina (Ohio State): Forced a fumble and made three tackles in the Panthers' 20-17 win against Washington.
Braylon Edwards, WR, New York Jets (Michigan): Caught five passes for 64 yards and a touchdown in the Jets' 31-27 loss to Miami on Monday night.
Ted Ginn, WR, Miami (Ohio State): Had two receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown in the Dolphins' 31-27 win over the Jets on Monday night.
Chad Greenway, LB, Minnesota (Iowa): Had a team-high six solo tackles and forced a fumble in the Vikings' 38-10 win over St. Louis.
Leon Hall, CB, Cincinnati (Michigan): Had three tackles and an interception as the Bengals came from behind to beat the Ravens 17-14.
Chad Henne, QB, Miami (Michigan): Threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns in 20 of 26 passing in Miami's 31-27 victory over the New York Jets on Monday night.
Dhani Jones, LB, Cincinnati (Michigan): Made three tackles and had a sack in the Bengals' 17-14 come from behind win at Baltimore.
James Laurinaitis, LB, St. Louis (Ohio State): Made six tackles and had an interception in the Rams' 38-10 loss to Minnesota.
Mario Manningham, WR, New York Giants (Michigan): Caught two passes for 36 yards and a touchdown in the Giants' 44-7 win over Oakland
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh (Illinois): Had 15 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown, along with two receptions for 16 yards, in the Steelers' 28-20 win at Detroit.
Rob Ninkovich, DE, New England (Purdue): Recorded a sack for the Patriots in their 20-17 overtime defeat at Denver.
Kyle Orton, QB, Denver (Purdue): Completed 35 of 48 passes for 330 yards and two touchdowns in the Broncos' 20-17 overtime victory over New England.
Julian Peterson, LB, Detroit (Michigan State): Recorded three tackles with a sack in the Lions' 28-20 loss to Pittsburgh.
Mike Vrabel, LB, Kansas City (Ohio State): Had two tackles and caught a one-yard touchdown pass in the Chiefs' 26-20 overtime loss to Dallas.
Eugene Wilson, S, Houston (Illinois): Made five tackles and forced a fumble in the Texans' 28-21 loss to Arizona.
LaMarr Woodley, LB, Pittsburgh (Michigan): Recorded four tackles and 1.5 sacks for the Steeler defense in a 28-20 win over the Detroit Lions.