Lions' Johnson headlines NFC's top players

New York, NY ( - Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson headlined the NFC's top players for Week 8 of the NFL season and was joined on the honor roll by New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas and Minnesota kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson.

Johnson nearly set an NFL record with a 329 receiving yards in last week's 31-30 win over Dallas to garner the offensive award for the third time in his career. He caught 14 passes and came up seven yards shy of Flipper Anderson's 1989 mark of 336 receiving yards. The 14 catches tied the team record, set by Herman Moore in 1995.

Thomas was selected for the defensive honor after compiling a career-high 11 tackles with a sack and a forced fumble in a 15-7 win over Philadelphia. The sack and fumble stopped the Eagles inside the Giants' five and the unit went on to keep the Philadelphia offense out of the end zone.

Patterson earned the special teams nod after returning last week's opening kickoff against Green Bay 109 yards for a touchdown. It marked the longest kickoff return in NFL history and matched the longest play in league annals.

Others considered for the offensive award were New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, the Week 4 winner who completed 26-of-34 passes for 332 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions in a 35-17 win over Buffalo; Arizona rookie running back Andre Ellington, who ran for 154 yards with an 80-yard score in a 27-13 win over Atlanta; and Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who threw for 488 yards with one touchdown and rushed for the winning score in the final seconds against the Cowboys.

Defensive consideration went to Seattle linebacker Bruce Irvin, who notched nine tackles, an interception, a sack and a forced fumble in a 14-9 win over the Rams; and Dallas linebacker Sean Lee, who had 10 tackles with a pair of interceptions in the loss to Detroit.

Giants kicker Josh Brown was nominated for the special teams award after drilling all five of his field goal tries in the win over the Eagles.