STEELERS S TYRONE CARTER, DOLPHINS QB CHAD PENNINGTON &
PATRIOTS P CHRIS HANSON NAMED AFC PLAYERS OF WEEK 17
Safety TYRONE CARTER of the Pittsburgh Steelers, quarterback CHAD PENNINGTON of the Miami Dolphins, and punter CHRIS HANSON of the New England Patriots are the AFC Defensive, Offensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the 17th week of the 2008 season (December 28), the NFL announced today.
DEFENSE: S TYRONE CARTER, PITTSBURGH STEELERS
· In his second start of the season at safety for an injured RYAN CLARK, Carter registered two interceptions, including an interception-touchdown return in a 31-0 shutout victory against the Cleveland Browns. Carter posted his first interception of the season in third quarter on a pass from Browns quarterback BRUCE GRADKOWSKI intended for running back JEROME HARRISON. In the fourth quarter, the ninth year safety recorded his second interception of the game on a short pass intended for running back JAMAL LEWIS and raced 32 yards for his first career INT-TD return. Carter helped the league's top ranked defense record its first shutout of the season and last since November 26, 2007 against Miami (3-0).
In his ninth year from Minnesota, this is Carter's first Defensive Player of the Week Award. Carter joins TROY POLAMALU (Week 2), JAMES HARRISON (Week 11) and AARON SMITH (Week 15) as the fourth Steelers defensive player to win the award this season.
OFFENSE: QB CHAD PENNINGTON, MIAMI DOLPHINS
· With the Dolphins' playoff hopes riding on a win against the Jets, Pennington completed 22 of 30 passes (73.3 percent) for 200 yards with two touchdowns versus zero interceptions and a 113.2 passer rating in a 24-17 win. Pennington helped Miami clinch its 13th AFC East title and first since 2000 with the victory. On Miami's two touchdown drives, Pennington completed 10 of 11 passes for 139 yards. His 113.2 passer rating for the game marked the fourth consecutive week and eighth time this season that he posted a rating of 100.0 or more. Pennington recorded a 70.0-plus (73.3) completion percentage for the second consecutive week and the eighth time this season. The veteran quarterback finished the season with a career-high 3,653 passing yards and a NFL-best 67.4 completion percentage.
In his ninthseason from Marshall, this is Pennington's sixth AFC Offensive Player of the Week Award and second this season. He most recently won the award in Week 8. He is the first Dolphins quarterback since DAN MARINO in 1999 to win the award twice in a season.
SPECIAL TEAMS: P CHRIS HANSON, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
· Facing winds of 35-50 miles per hour at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, Hanson punted three times for 135 yards (45.0 average) in a 13-0 win against the Bills. Hanson's best punt of the day changed field position and set up the Patriots' only touchdown drive. With the Patriots leading 3-0 in the third quarter and facing a fourth down on its own 18-yard line, Hanson connected on a 46-yard punt against the wind to give the Bills possession on their own 36. Five plays later, JARVIS GREEN forced a TRENT EDWARDS fumble and the Patriots recovered at the Bills' 43-yard line, which set up New England's only touchdown of the game by running back LA MONT JORDAN to take a 10-0 lead.
In his 10th season from Marshall, this is Hanson's second career Special Teams Player of the Week Award. He previously won the award with Jacksonville in 2002 (Week 11). Hanson is the first New England punter to win Special Teams Player of the Week sinceKEN WALTERin 2001 (Week 15).
*2008 AFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
|Wk 1||RB Willie Parker, Pittsburgh||CB Cortland Finnegan, Tennessee||WR-KR Roscoe Parrish, Buffalo|
|Wk 2||WR Brandon Marshall, Denver||S Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh||LB Keith Bulluck, Tennessee|
|Wk 3||RB Ronnie Brown, Miami||CB Antonio Cromartie, San Diego||K Josh Scobee, Jacksonville|
|Wk 4||QB Brett Favre, New York||LB Derrick Johnson, Kansas City||K Jeff Reed, Pittsburgh|
|Wk 5||QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh||LB Gary Brackett, Indianapolis||K Matt Prater, Denver|
|Wk 6||QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis||CB Eric Wright, Cleveland||WR-PR Jacoby Jones, Houston|
|Wk 7||QB Matt Cassel, New England||LB Terrell Suggs, Baltimore||K Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland|
|Wk 8||QB Chad Pennington, Miami||S Chris Hope, Tennessee||WR-PR Jacoby Jones, Houston|
|Wk 9||QB Joe Flacco, Baltimore||DT Kris Jenkins, New York||K Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis|
|Wk 10||QB Jay Cutler, Denver||LB Ray Lewis, Baltimore||P Craig Hentrich, Tennessee|
|Wk 11||QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis||LB James Harrison, Pittsburgh||KR-RB Leon Washington, New York|
|Wk 12||QB Matt Cassel, New England||S Ed Reed, Baltimore||PR-WR Johnnie Lee Higgins, Oakland|
|Wk 13||RB Steve Slaton, Houston||DE Robert Mathis, Indianapolis||CB Maurice Leggett, Kansas City|
|Wk 14||QB Matt Schaub, Houston||S Ed Reed, Baltimore||K Dan Carpenter, Miami|
|Wk 15||QB Philip Rivers, San Diego||DE Aaron Smith, Pittsburgh||KR-CB Ellis Hobbs, New England|
|Wk 16||QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis||CB Leon Hall, Cincinnati||P Sam Koch, Baltimore|
|Wk 17||QB Chad Pennington, Miami||S Tyrone Carter, Pittsburgh||P Chris Hanson, New England|