PATRIOTS QB TOM BRADY, RAVENS S ED REED & JETS KR-WR BRAD SMITH NAMED AFC PLAYERS OF MONTH FOR DECEMBER/JANUARY
Quarterback TOM BRADY of the New England Patriots, safety ED REED of the Baltimore Ravens and kick returner-wide receiver BRAD SMITH of the New York Jets are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Month for December/January, the NFL announced today.
DEFENSE: S ED REED, BALTIMORE RAVENS
For the month, Reed registered 22 tackles and an NFL-best four interceptions as he helped the Ravens to a 4-1 record in December/January. In Weeks 16 and 17, Reed recorded back-to-back games with two interceptions. The Ravens are 11-0 when Reed has at least two INTs in a game.
Reed has 21 interceptions in December/January since entering the league in 2002, the most in the NFL during that span.
Led the NFL with eight interceptions in only 10 games this season.
· In his ninth year from Miami, this is Reed’s third Player of the Month Award. He most recently won the award in December of 2008.
· He is the second Raven to win Defensive Player of the Month this season (TERRELL SUGGS, November).
(Click on the 'Jump' to see the other Players of the Month for the AFC and the NFC as well)
OFFENSE: QB TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
For the month, Brady completed 88 of 136 passes (64.7 percent) for 1,197 passing yards with 13 touchdown passes versus zero interceptions and a 124.5 passer rating as he helped the Patriots to a 5-0 record.
Posted an NFL-best 13 touchdown passes and 124.5 passer rating in December/January.
In Week 13 on Monday Night Football, Brady completed 21 of 29 passes (72.4 percent) for 326 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 148.9 passer rating in the Patriots’ 45-3 win against the New York Jets.
In Week 16 at Buffalo, Brady (319) passed BERNIE KOSAR (308) and Pro Football Hall of Famer BART STARR (294) for the most pass attempts in a row without an interception in NFL history. He currently has an active streak of 335 passes without an interception.
Helped the AFC East champion Patriots post an NFL-best 14-2 record this season and earned homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
· In his 11th season from Michigan, this is Brady’s fourth Player of the Month Award. He most recently won the award in October of 2009.
SPECIAL TEAMS: KR-WR BRAD SMITH, NEW YORK JETS
Smith led the NFL with a 27.5 kickoff-return average (440 yards) and had one kickoff return-touchdown during the month.
In Week 15, Smith totaled 140 kickoff return yards, including a 97-yard kickoff return-touchdown in the Jets’ 22-17 win at Pittsburgh.
Smith ranked second in the NFL with a 28.6 kickoff return average this season (DAVID REED, 29.3).
In his fifth season from Missouri, this is Smith’s first career Player of the Month Award. He joins kick returner JUSTIN MILLER (October of 2006) and punter TOM TUPA (November of 1999) as the only Jets to win Special Teams Player of the Month.
PACKERS QB AARON RODGERS, BEARS LB BRIAN URLACHER & FALCONS KR-PR-ST ERIC WEEMS NAMED NFC PLAYERS OF MONTH FOR DECEMBER/JANUARY
Quarterback AARON RODGERS of the Green Bay Packers, linebacker BRIAN URLACHER of the Chicago Bears and kick returner-punt returner-special teamer ERIC WEEMS of the Atlanta Falcons are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Month for December/January, the NFL announced today.
OFFENSE: QB AARON RODGERS, GREEN BAY PACKERS
· Rodgers started four games during the month and posted a 3-1 record to help the Packers clinch a playoff spot.
· He completed 72 of 106 passes (67.9 percent) for 977 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions for a 114.4 passer rating, the best mark in the NFC. He averaged 9.22 yards per attempt, tops in the NFL.
· In Week 13, he threw for 298 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, becoming the first Packers QB since Pro Football Hall of Famer BART STARR in 1966 to not throw an interception in five consecutive games.
· In Week 16, he had a career-high 404 passing yards and threw four TDs. It was the 10th time in his career that he threw at least three TDs and no INTs in a game, the most by a QB within three seasons of his first start.
· He earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors twice during the month (Weeks 13 and 16).
In his sixth season from California, this is Rodgers’ second career Player of the Month Award (October 2009).
He joins BRETT FAVRE (five) as the only Packers to be named Offensive Player of the Month multiple times.
DEFENSE: LB BRIAN URLACHER, CHICAGO BEARS
Urlacher led the NFC with 49 tackles during the month. He added 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and three passes defensed as the Bears won the NFC North and secured a first-round bye in the playoffs.
He was selected to his seventh Pro Bowl, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers MIKE SINGLETARY (10), DICK BUTKUS (eight) and BILL GEORGE (eight) as the only Bears LBs to be named an All-Star at least seven times.
Urlacher had his two highest tackle totals of the season during the month, recording 17 tackles in Week 13 and 11 tackles in Week 14.
Urlacher led the team in tackles for the eighth time in his career.
In his 11th year from New Mexico, this is Urlacher’s first career Player of the Month Award. He is the second consecutive Bear to be honored (JULIUS PEPPERS, November).
He joins WILBER MARSHALL (December 1986), TRACE ARMSTRONG (September 1990) and Peppers as the only Bears to be named Defensive Player of the Month.
SPECIAL TEAMS: KR-PR-ST ERIC WEEMS, ATLANTA FALCONS
· Weems was the only player during the month to return both a kickoff (102 yards) and a punt (55 yards) for a touchdown. He is the only player in the NFC to record both this season and the first player in franchise history to accomplish the feat.
· Weems, who was selected to his first Pro Bowl as the special teamer, also recorded six special teams tackles in the month and led the team on the season with 16.
· He averaged 30.9 yards per kickoff return, including a 102-yard TD in Week 13, the longest in club history.
· He averaged 12.0 yards per punt return, including a 55-yard TD in Week 17.
· In his third year from Bethune-Cookman, this is Weems’ first career Player of the Month Award. He was named NFC Special Teams Player of Week 13.
· This is the third consecutive month a Falcon has been honored (RODDY WHITE, Offense, October and MATT RYAN, Offense, November), the first time Atlanta has won three monthly awards in a single season.