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Game Ball of the Week: Adrian Clayborn

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This game ball could go to a lot of players this week. Earnest Graham is the obvious choice: he rushed for over 100 yards, iced the game with a couple of runs late in the game and was the foundation of the run game. Josh Freeman could make a bid for the game ball, too. The quarterback wasn't perfect on the day, but it was just his second game throwing for over 300 yards, and he added two touchdowns while contributing with key throws at key moments. 

But I'm going to go another way, today. Those guys get plenty of the credit, but one player who had an outstanding game barely gets mentioned: Adrian Clayborn. The rookie defensive end didn't show up in the stat sheet, notching just two tackles and a quarterback hit, but he was a key player in stopping Drew Brees.

Adrian Clayborn ran circles around New Orleans left tackle Jermon Bushrod, especially in the first half. It was only when the Saints went to a mix of three-step drops and keeping in extra protection that they could consistently move down the field. But that limited their passing game, and the Bucs secondary took advantage with three eventual turnovers. 

Clayborn did seem to tire a little in the second half, but the rookie played his best game of the season. So here's to you Adrian, have a game ball!