Ravens Rice Named AFC Offensive Player of the Week

The Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for week 15 of the 2010 NFL season. Rice has a career best game with 153 rushing and 80 receiving yards to go along with two touchdwns in the team's 30-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

In addition, the Ravens punter, Sam Koch was nominated for but did not receive the award for Special Teams Player of the Week, as Koch punted five times for 193 yards (38.6 average) with two punts inside the 20-yard line.

The NFL gave its AFC Special Teams Player of the Week to an offensive guard, Dan Connolly of the New England Patriots, for his surprising 71 yard return of a kickoff against the Green Bay Packers in the Pats 31-27 victory.

(See the entire lineup of the Players of the Week for both conferences after the 'Jump')

RAVENS RB RAY RICE, CHIEFS LB DERRICK JOHNSON & PATRIOTS G DAN CONNOLLY NAMED AFC PLAYERS OF WEEK 15
 
Running back RAY RICE of the Baltimore Ravens, linebacker DERRICK JOHNSON of the Kansas City Chiefs and guard DAN CONNOLLY of the New England Patriots are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the 15th week of the 2010 season (December 16, 19-20), the NFL announced today.
 
OFFENSE:  RB RAY RICE, BALTIMORE RAVENS
Rice recorded a career-best 233 scrimmage yards (153 rushing, 80 receiving) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Ravens’ 30-24 win against New Orleans.
Rice’s 233 yards from scrimmage marked the third-most scrimmage yards in a game in franchise history.
Rice led the NFL in Week 15 with a season-high 153 rushing yards.
Ranked first in the NFL in Week 15 among running backs with 80 receiving yards.
Registered second 100-yard rushing game of season and seventh of career.
Rice leads all NFL running backs with 556 receiving yards this season.
In his third season from Rutgers, this is Rice’s first career Player of the Week Award. 
Rice joins ANQUAN BOLDIN (Week 3) as the second Raven to win AFC Offensive Player of the Week this season.  He is the first Ravens running back to win Offensive Player of the Week since WILLIS MC GAHEE in Week 17 of 2009.
 
DEFENSE:  LB DERRICK JOHNSON, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
In a key victory for the Chiefs playoff aspirations, Johnson registered a career-best 17 tackles and a career-high four passes defensed in the Chiefs’ 27-13 win at St. Louis.
Johnson helped limit the Rams to 69 rushing yards (224 total) and was part of a defensive unit that recorded two interceptions.
Played a pivotal role in the Chiefs limiting the opponent to 14 points or less for the seventh time this season.  Kansas City has a 7-0 record in such games.
Johnson has a team-high 134 tackles in 2010.
Through Week 15, the Chiefs are in first place in the AFC West with a 9-5 record (4-12 in 2009), tied for the largest single-season improvement in franchise history.
·         In his sixth year from Texas, this is Johnson’s third career Player of the Week Award.  He most recently won the award in 2009 (Week 17).  
·         He joins TAMBA HALI (Week 3) as the second Chiefs player to win Defensive Player of the Week this season.
 
SPECIAL TEAMS:  G DAN CONNOLLY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
In the Patriots 31-27 win against Green Bay, Connolly returned a kickoff 71 yards for the longest kickoff return by an offensive lineman in NFL history.
Connolly’s return late in the second quarter set up a TOM BRADY two-yard touchdown pass to AARON HERNANDEZ that trimmed the Packers’ lead to 17-14 before the half.
His 71-yard kickoff return passed Atlanta’s MAL SNIDER (48-yard KR-TD on November 16, 1969) for the longest kickoff return by an offensive lineman in NFL history.
In his fifth season from Southeast Missouri State, this is Connolly’s first career Player of the Week award.
·         Connolly is the second offensive lineman ever to win AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.  Oakland tackle LANGSTON WALKER won the award in 2004 (Week 12) after blocking a field goal attempt.

EAGLES QB MICHAEL VICK, FALCONS CB BRENT GRIMES &BEARS PR-KR-WR DEVIN HESTER NAMED NFC PLAYERS OF WEEK 15
 
Quarterback MICHAEL VICK of the Philadelphia Eagles, cornerback BRENT GRIMES of the Atlanta Falcons and punt returner-kick returner-wide receiver DEVIN HESTER of the Chicago Bears are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the 15th week of the 2010 season (December 16, 19-20), the NFL announced today.
 
OFFENSE: QB MICHAEL VICK, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Vick passed for 242 yards with three touchdowns and rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ 38-31 win at the New York Giants
He orchestrated a 21-point fourth-quarter comeback, the ninth time in NFL history in which a team trailed by at least 21 points in the fourth quarter and won the game. 
Vick threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score in the fourth quarter as the Eagles scored 28 points in the final period, the most in franchise history. 
He is the first player in NFL history to throw for 240 yards and rush for 130 yards in the same game. 
Vick joins TOBIN ROTE (November 22, 1951) and RANDALL CUNNINGHAM (November 4, 1990) as the only players in NFL history to throw three touchdown passes and rush for at least 100 yards in a game.
In his ninth season from Virginia Tech, this is Vick’s seventh career Player of the Week Award and third this season (Weeks 9 and 10). 
He is the first player in franchise history to be named Offensive Player of the Week three times in a season.
 
DEFENSE: CB BRENT GRIMES, ATLANTA FALCONS
Grimes had three tackles, an interception and five passes defensed in the Falcons’ 34-18 win at Seattle. 
Atlanta’s defense held the Seahawks to 234 total net yards and 143 net yards passing. 
Grimes was part of a defensive unit that held Seattle’s quarterbacks to a 41.7 passer rating for the game. 
This season, Grimes leads the NFL with 22 passes defensed.  He is tied for fourth in the NFC with five interceptions.  With the victory, Atlanta clinched a playoff spot and is tied with New England for the best record in football at 12-2.
·         In his third year from Shippensburg, this is Grimes’ first career Player of the Week Award.  
·         He joins DEION SANDERS (Weeks 4 and 12, 1991 and Week 15, 1993) and RAY BUCHANAN (Week 11, 1998) as the only cornerbacks in franchise history to be named Defensive Player of the Week. 
 
SPECIAL TEAMS: PR-KR-WR DEVIN HESTER, CHICAGO BEARS
Hester set the NFL record for the most career combined kick-return touchdowns in the Bears’ 40-14 win at Minnesota. 
He had a 64-yard punt-return touchdown which marked the 14th combined kick-return touchdown of his career, surpassing BRIAN MITCHELL (13) for the most in NFL history. 
It was his 10th career punt-return touchdown, tied with ERIC METCALF (10) for the most in league annals. 
He added a 79-yard kickoff return in the game and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass.  Since 2000, only four players have recorded a 75+ yard kickoff return and 60+ yard punt return in the same game and Hester is the only one to accomplish the feat multiple times.
In his fifth season from Miami, this is Hester’s ninth career Player of the Week Award and second this season (Week 10).   
Hester’s nine career Special Teams Player of the Week Awards are the most ever by a return specialist.
His nine total Player of the Week Awards are the most in franchise history. 
 

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