Week 11 featured an exciting crop of games all decided by big plays from star players. With that in mind, here at RealSport we are launching our first players of the week article. The players listed here were passed over in the NFL’s official players of the week votes, so our choices will always be an alternative set of players of the week. Let us know what you think in the comments!
Offensive Player of the Week:
AFC: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
Hopkins is rapidly emerging as one of the NFL’s best receivers. He embarrassed star corner Darelle Revis on an easy 61 yard touchdown catch in Houston’s game against the New York Jets. ‘Nuke’ Hopkins finished with five catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
NFC: Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Martin has struggled with injuries over the past two seasons, but is back with a vengeance this season. His hard running style carried the Bucs in their 45-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Martin dominated the game, rushing for 235 yards on 27 carries, averaging a whopping 8.7 yards per carry.
Defensive Player of the Week:
AFC: D’Qwell Jackson, LB, Indianapolis Colts
Jackson returned a Matt Ryan interception for a pick-six to tie the game at 21 apiece, allowing the Colts to kick a field goal to win the game. Jackson was initially deceived by the Falcons, but recovered to intercept the pass with Matt Ryan backed up in his own endzone. Jackson also recovered a fumble and registered a sack, enjoying a J.J. Watt-esque performance.
NFC: Bene Benwikere, CB, Carolina Panthers
Benwikere led the Panthers with five tackles, all solo hits. He tackled tight end Jordan Reed for a loss as well as sacking Kirk Cousins. Benwikere also forced one of Carolina’s five forced fumble and recovered it to set up the Panthers for an easy touchdown. Not bad for a rapidly emerging second year cornerback.
Special Teams Player of the Week:
AFC: Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens
Despite missing two field goals earlier in the game, Tucker came up clutch when it mattered and scored the game-winning field goal for the Ravens. He finished 3/5 to carry Baltimore to a difficult win after injuries to both quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Justin Forsett.
NFC: Andre Roberts, KR, Washington Redskins
Although the Redskins were dominated 44-16 by Carolina, Roberts provided a spark to keep the game level early. With Carolina up 14-7, Roberts broke off an astonishing 99 yard kick-off return to tie the game back up at 14 apiece. Roberts returned four kick-offs on the day, averaging 44 yards per return after rumours of being replaced in training camp after a quiet 2014 season.