See this week's players of the week in the NFL.
OFFENSE: QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER, PITTSBURGH STEELERS
In a divisional match-up against Cleveland, Roethlisberger was a major catalyst as the Steelers rallied from a 21-6 deficit to defeat the Browns 31-28. Roethlisberger completed 23 of 34 passes (67.6 percent) for 278 yards with two touchdowns and a 99.9 passer rating. The fourth-year veteran also rushed for a career-best 49 yards (9.8 average) on five carries, including a career-long 30-yard touchdown run. Roethlisberger led the Steelers on scoring drives of 66 and 78 yards in the fourth quarter and improved his record as a starting quarterback at home to 20-5 (.800). In his fourth year from Miami (Ohio), this is Roethlisberger’s second Player of the Week Award (Week 6 in 2004).
DEFENSE: CB ANTONIO CROMARTIE, SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Cromartie tied a team record with three interceptions (DWAYNE HARPER on 11/27/95) as the Chargers defeated the Colts 23-21. Cromartie registered all three of his interceptions in the first half, and the Chargers finished the game with six interceptions, tying a franchise record (11/30/75 against Denver). Through Week 10, the second-year cornerback leads the league with six interceptions, posting all six in the past four games. The last player to have six interceptions in a four-game span was DARREN SHARPER for the Vikings from November 6-27 in 2005. In his second season from Florida State, this is Cromartie’s first Defensive Player of the Week Award. Cromartie was named Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 9.
SPECIAL TEAMS: KR-PR DARREN SPROLES, SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Sproles accounted for two of the Chargers’ three touchdowns as San Diego won for the fourth time in five games and climbed into first place in the AFC West. Reaching the end zone for the first time in his career, Sproles became the ninth player in NFL history to score on a kickoff and punt return in the same game and the first player since DANTE HALL (12/8/02) to accomplish the feat. Sproles registered his first touchdown on an 89-yard kickoff return on the opening play of the game. His second score of the night came midway through the first quarter on a 45-yard punt return. In his third season from Kansas State, this is Sproles’ first Player of the Week Award. He is the third Charger in a row to win Special Teams Player of the Week (MIKE SCIFRES, ANTONIO CROMARTIE). This is the third time Chargers teammates earned honors in the same week and the first time it has happened since Week 5 in 1996 (JOHN CARNEY, JUNIOR SEAU).
Other nominees for AFC Offensive Player of Week 10 were:
- Kansas City rookie wide receiver DWAYNE BOWE, who had nine catches for 105 yards in a 27-11 loss to Denver.
- Denver rookie running back SELVIN YOUNG, who rushed for 109 yards on 20 carries with one touchdown in a 27-11 win over the Chiefs.
Other nominees for AFC Defensive Player of Week 10 were:
- Denver defensive end ELVIS DUMERVIL, who had two tackles, one sack and a forced fumble.
- Kansas City linebacker DERRICK JOHNSON, who had 11 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble.
- Jacksonville defensive end REGGIE HAYWARD, who had eight tackles, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble in a 28-13 win against Tennessee.
- Jacksonville linebacker MIKE PETERSON, who had a team-high 15 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery.
Other nominees for AFC Special Teams Player of Week 10 were:
- Cleveland punt-kick returner JOSHUA CRIBBS, who returned four kickoffs for 204 yards (51.0 average), including a 100-yard TD return in a 31-28 loss to Pittsburgh.
- Denver kicker JASON ELAM, who made both two field goals (44, 50) and three PATs.
- Cincinnati kicker SHAYNE GRAHAM, who made all seven field goals in a 21-7 win over the Ravens.
- Kansas City kicker DAVE RAYNER, who made three of four field goals.
OFFENSE: QB MARC BULGER, ST. LOUIS RAMS
The veteran quarterback led the Rams to their first win of the season by completing 27 of 33 passes (81.8 percent) for 302 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 125.0 passer rating. Bulger became only the fifth quarterback since 2004 to complete at least 80 percent of his passes for 300 yards with at least two touchdowns and no interceptions and post a 125.0+ rating in a game, joining DREW BREES, TOM BRADY, PEYTON MANNING and DONOVAN MC NABB. Bulger guided an offense that gained 409 yards and had four drives of at least 60 yards in the team’s 37-29 win at New Orleans. He threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to ISAAC BRUCE in the third quarter and added a three-yard score to DREW BENNETT in the fourth, the 100th touchdown pass of his career. In his seventh season from West Virginia, this is Bulger’s third career Player of the Week Award. He was last honored in Week 17 of the 2004 season. Bulger is the third Rams quarterback (JIM EVERETT, KURT WARNER) to win the award at least three times.
DEFENSE: LB KARLOS DANSBY, ARIZONA CARDINALS
Dansby was a major force on defense as the linebacker recorded four tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble in the Cardinals’ 31-21 win over Detroit. Dansby posted his first interception in the first quarter, which he returned nine yards to set up an Arizona field goal. On the Lions’ opening drive of the second half, Dansby stopped a reverse for a 15-yard loss and forced a fumble on the play, which was recovered by teammate ANTONIO SMITH and led to a Cardinals touchdown three plays later. In the fourth quarter, Dansby added his second interception and returned the ball 18 yards to give Arizona good field position in Detroit territory. The Cardinals’ defense limited the Lions to minus-18 rushing yards, the lowest single-game total since the NFL adopted modern statistical rules regarding rushing plays in 1947. In his fourth year from Auburn, this is Dansby’s first career Player of the Week Award. Dansby is the second Arizona player to be honored on defense this year (ROD HOOD, Week 5) and the first Cardinals linebacker to be honored since 1998 (RONALD MC KINNON, Week 6).
SPECIAL TEAMS: K MORTEN ANDERSEN, ATLANTA FALCONS
The league’s oldest player (47 years old), Andersen converted both field goal attempts and two PATs to become the first player in NFL history to score 2,500 points. Andersen, who scored eight points in the Falcons’ 20-13 win, had a PAT in the first quarter and then kicked a 36-yard field goal in the third to reach the 2,500 mark. He finished the day by tying his season long with a 47-yard field goal and adding a PAT in the fourth. Andersen is the NFL’s all-time leading scorer with 2,504 points. In his 25th season from Michigan State, this is Andersen’s ninth career Player of the Week Award. He was last honored in Week 4 of the 2006 season. Andersen has won the award seven times as a Falcon, the most in franchise history.
Other nominees for NFC Offensive Player of Week 10 were:
- Green Bay quarterback BRETT FAVRE, who completed 33 of 46 passes (71.7 percent) for 351 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 115.4 passer rating in the Packers’ 34-0 win over Minnesota.
- Arizona wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD, who had eight catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns.
- Green Bay running back RYAN GRANT, who rushed for a career-high 119 yards and one touchdown against the NFC’s top run defense.
- Seattle wide receiver D.J. HACKETT, who had eight catches for 101 yards and one touchdown in the Seahawks’ 24-0 win over San Francisco on Monday night.
- Seattle quarterback MATT HASSELBECK, who completed 27 of 40 passes (67.5 percent) for 278 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for a 93.5 passer rating.
- Dallas wide receiver TERRELL OWENS, who caught six passes for 125 yards (20.8 average) and two touchdowns in the Cowboys’ 31-20 victory against the New York Giants.
- Philadelphia running back BRIAN WESTBROOK, who had 183 total scrimmage yards and three touchdowns, including a game-winning 57-yard reception, in the Eagles’ 33-25 win at Washington.
Other nominees for NFC Defensive Player of Week 10 were:
- Seattle safety JORDAN BABINEAUX, who had three tackles, his first career sack, a forced fumble and a pass defensed in the Seahawks’ shutout win.
- Seattle linebacker KEVIN BENTLEY, who had a team-high 10 tackles as Seahawks posted shutout.
- Atlanta defensive tackle ROD COLEMAN, who had three tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble.
- Green Bay linebacker A.J. HAWK, who had a team-high seven tackles in the Packers’ shutout victory.
- Chicago defensive end ADEWALE OGUNLEYE, who had six tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble in the Bears’ 17-6 victory at Oakland.
Other nominee for NFC Special Teams Player of Week 10 was:
- Arizona rookie punt returner-kick returner STEVE BREASTON, who averaged 17.3 yards per punt return and 34.5 yards per kickoff return.