Quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, rookie linebacker Jyles Tucker of the San Diego Chargers and kicker Rob Bironas of the Tennessee Titans are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the 17th week of the 2007 season (December 29-30) the NFL announced today.
OFFENSE: QB TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
In a Saturday night primetime thriller, Brady led the charge as the Patriots became the first team in history to post a 16-0 regular-season record and completed the NFL's first undefeated and untied season since 1972 in the NFL. The Pro Bowl quarterback recorded his 28th career fourth-quarter comeback as New England rallied from a 28-16 deficit in a 38-35 road win over the New York Giants. Brady completed 32 of 42 passes (76.2 percent) for 356 yards with two touchdowns and a 116.8 passer rating. Brady surpassed PEYTON MANNING's NFL record 49 touchdown passes in the fourth quarter on a 65-yard strike to RANDY MOSS for his 50th touchdown pass of the year. Moss (23 TD receptons) also set the league record for most touchdown receptions in a single-season on the play. In a storied regular season for the Patriots franchise, Brady led the league with 4,806 passing yards and helped the club set a NFL record with 589 points.
In his eighth year from Michigan, this is Brady's 12th Player of the Week Award and fifth this season. This is the 10th Player of the Week award for a Patriot this season.
DEFENSE: LB JYLES TUCKER, SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Signed by the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in the offseason, Tucker has made an immediate contribution since making his NFL debut on November 25 against Baltimore. In a bid to secure the third-seed in the AFC playoffs, Tucker led the defense with four tackles, a career-high three sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for a touchdown as the Chargers defeated Oakland 30-17. Tucker, a 6-3, 258-pound linebacker scored his first touchdown of his career in the third quarter on a fumble recovery in the end zone. The New Jersey native has totaled 3.5 sacks in 6 games this season.
In his rookie season from Wake Forest, this is Tucker's first career Player of the Week Award. Tucker is the third Charger to win Defensive Player of the Week honors this season (ANTONIO CROMARTIE and SHAWNE MERRIMAN).
SPECIAL TEAMS: K ROB BIRONAS, TENNESSEE TITANS
The NFL leader with a career-high 35 field goals in 2007, Bironas was a key component on special teams as Tennessee clinched its first playoff spot since 2003 in a 16-10 win over the Colts. For the game, Bironas notched all three field goal attempts (40, 54 and 33 yards) in the second-half and converted one extra-point attempt. With 7:33 remaining in the fourth quarter and the score knotted at 10, Bironas sealed the Titans victory with a 54-yard field goal. Bironas capped off his night with a 33-yard boot late in the fourth quarter. The Pro Bowl kicker finished second in the AFC with 133 points (second most in franchise history).
In his third season from Georgia Southern, this is Bironas' third career Player of the Week Award and second of the season. Bironas also earned Player of the Month honors in October. He is the fourth Titan to be named Player of the Week this season.