Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, September 11, 2012

Every Tuesday morning during the NFL season, Brent Yarina singles out the best offensive, defensive and special teams performances by Big Ten products and links to their highlights. View all the former Big Ten players on NFL active rosters. See Brent's Week 1 winners in this post.

OFFENSE: Tom Brady, QB, New England – It wasn't a great week for Big Ten offensive standouts, by any means, but Brady completed 23-of-31 passes (74 percent) for 236 yards and two touchdowns (Watch TD No. 1 | TD No. 2) in New England's road 34-13 victory at Tennessee. Best of all, the former Wolverine also broke the 40,000-yard passing plateau.

J.J. Watt

CO-DEFENSE: Tracy Porter, CB, Denver – The Indiana product had a night to remember, becoming only the fourth player in the last 18-plus years with at least eight tackles, five pass breakups and an interception return for a touchdown. As he did in Super Bowl XLIV, then with New Orleans, Porter sealed Sunday night's win over Pittsburgh with a pick-six (Watch the pick-six).

J.J. Watt, DE, Houston – The former Wisconsin star was a beast in Houston's convincing 30-10 victory over Miami, registering 1.5 sacks and deflecting three passes, two of which resulted in Texans' interceptions (Watch first tip-pick | Watch second tip-pick).

SPECIAL TEAMS: Marcus Thigpen, KR/PR, Miami – It came in a losing effort, but Thigpen was a monster in the return game for the Dolphins. The former Hoosier returned a punt 72 yards to account for Miami's lone touchdown (Watch the return TD) and totaled 213 return yards.

If you like keeping up with Big Ten products in the pros, BTN's "The Next Level" is for you. Watch the show at 8 p.m. ET every Tuesday during the football season. web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men's basketball for He writes the popular uniform feature "Clothes Call," which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina's RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.