AFC AND NFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
December 31, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Running back LE GARRETTE BLOUNT of the New England Patriots, cornerback DEE MILLINER of the New York Jets and kicker ADAM VINATIERI of the Indianapolis Colts are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the 17th week of the 2013 season (December 29), the NFL announced today.
OFFENSE: RB LE GARRETTE BLOUNT, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
- Blount rushed for 189 yards on 24 carries (7.9 average) with two rushing touchdowns in the Patriots’ 34-20 win over Buffalo. Blount also returned two kickoffs for 145 yards (72.5 average).
- Blount’s 189 rushing yards are the fourth-most by an NFL player in a game this season.
- He joined LE SEAN MC COY as the only players in the NFL to register at least 180 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in a game this season.
- His 189 rushing yards are the most by a Patriots player in a game since December 13, 1998 (ROBERT EDWARDS, 196).
- Blount’s 334 total yards are the most in a game by a Patriot in franchise history.
- His 83-yard kickoff return in the third quarter was a career-long.
- In his fourthseason from Oregon, this is Blount’s first career Offensive Player of the Week Award.
- Blount is the first Patriots running back to be named Offensive Player of the Week since CURTIS MARTIN in 1997 (Week 3).
DEFENSE: CB DEE MILLINER, NEW YORK JETS
- Milliner recorded four tackles, two interceptions and five passes defensed in the Jets’ 20-7 win at Miami.
- Milliner’s two interceptions tied for the most in the NFL in Week 17.
- Played a key role for a Jets defense that registered three interceptions, seven passes defensed and limited the Dolphins to 296 yards of total offense.
- With 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, Milliner registered his second interception of the game to seal a Jets victory.
- Milliner registered three interceptions in December, tied for the most in the AFC for the month.
- · In his rookie season from Alabama, this is Milliner’s first career Defensive Player of the Week Award.
- · Milliner is the second Jets rookie to win Defensive Player of the Week honors since the accolade was instituted in 1984 (RUSSELL CARTER in 1984, Week 15).
SPECIAL TEAMS: K ADAM VINATIERI, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
- Vinatieri converted all three field-goals (23, 26, 39) in the Colts’ 30-10 win over Jacksonville.
- On the final play of the first half, Vinatieri converted a 26-yard field goal and became the seventh player in NFL history to reach 2,000 career points.
- He surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer GEORGE BLANDA (2,002) and MATT STOVER (2,004) for the fifth-most points scored in NFL history.
- Vinatieri converted a career-high 35 field goals this season, the third-most in the NFL (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI, 38; JUSTIN TUCKER, 38).
- Totaled 139 points in 2013, the second-highest single-season point total of his career (141 in 2004).
- Improved his streak of consecutive games scoring at least one point to 161.
- In his 18th season from South Dakota State, this is Vinatieri’s 15th career Special Teams Player of the Week Award, the most since the award originated in 1984. He most recently won the award in Week 11.
Quarterback DREW BREES of the New Orleans Saints, defensive end GREG HARDY of the Carolina Panthers and kicker PHIL DAWSON of the San Francisco 49ers are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the 17th week of the 2013 season (December 29), the NFL announced today.
OFFENSE: QB DREW BREES, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
- Brees completed 24 of 31 passes (77.4 percent) for 381 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 157.4 passer rating in the Saints’ 42-17 win over Tampa Bay. He also had a nine-yard touchdown run. With the victory, the Saints clinched a playoff berth.
- It marked the 25th game in his career with at least four touchdown passes, the second-most in NFL history.
- Brees has five games in his career with a passer rating of at least 150.
- He is the first quarterback in NFL history to complete 75 percent of his passes with at least 350 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a rushing touchdown in a single game.
- Brees, who was selected to his eighth Pro Bowl, finished the season with 5,162 passing yards, his third consecutive 5,000-yard season and fourth overall. He is the only player with multiple 5,000-yard passing seasons and owns four of the eight such performances in NFL history.
- In his 13th season from Purdue, this is Brees’ 19th career Player of the Week Award and third this season (Weeks 4 and 10).
- Since joining the Saints in 2006, Brees has won 17 Player of the Week Awards, the most in franchise history. During that span, Brees’ 17 Player of the Week Awards are tied for the most in the NFL (TOM BRADY).
- Brees’ 19 Player of the Week Awards rank third all-time behind PEYTON MANNING (26) and Brady (24).
DEFENSE: DE GREG HARDY, CAROLINA PANTHERS
- Hardy had a franchise-record four sacks and six tackles in the Panthers’ 21-20 win at Atlanta. With the victory, the Panthers clinched the NFC South division title and a first-round bye.
- He finished the season with 15 sacks, tied for the most in team history (KEVIN GREENE, 1998).
- In the final two games of the season, Hardy had seven sacks. He is the first player to enter the postseason with consecutive three-sack performances in the team’s final two games.
- Hardy, who was selected to his first Pro Bowl, was part of a defensive unit that had a franchise-record nine sacks in the game. The Panthers finished the season with 60 sacks, tied for the most in a season in team history (1996).
- In his fourth year from Mississippi, this is Hardy’s second career Player of the Week Award (Week 3, 2013).
- The Panthers have won five Defensive Player of the Week Awards this season, the most in a season in franchise history. In addition to Hardy’s two, linebackers LUKE KUECHLY (two) and THOMAS DAVIS have been honored.
- Hardy is the fourth player in team history to be named Defensive Player of the Week multiple times. He joins Kuechly (three), JULIUS PEPPERS (three) and MIKE RUCKER (two).
SPECIAL TEAMS: K PHIL DAWSON, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
- Dawson kicked three field goals, including the game-winner as time expired, and two PATS in the 49ers’ 23-20 win at Arizona. With the win, San Francisco locked up the top Wild Card spot in the NFC.
- He scored 11 points, the most in the NFC by a kicker in Week 17.
- In the final 1:45 of the game, Dawson converted two field-goal attempts. He tied his career-long with a 56-yard field goal with 1:45 remaining to put San Francisco ahead 20-17. After the Cardinals tied the score, Dawson kicked the game-winner from 40 yards out as time expired to win the contest.
- · In his 15th season from Texas, this is Dawson’s fourth career Player of the Week Award and second this season (Week 14). He previously won twice with Cleveland (Week 3, 2001 and Week 15, 2005).
- · Dawson and DAVID AKERS (Weeks 16 and 17, 2011) are the only players in franchise history to be named Special Teams Player of the Week twice in the same season.