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Manning, Mathis and Wire honored in AFC

(Sept. 20, 2006) -- Quarterback Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, cornerback Rashean Mathis of the Jacksonville Jaguars and safety Coy Wire of the Buffalo Bills are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the second week of the 2006 season (September 17-18), the NFL announced.

OFFENSE: QB PEYTON MANNING, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Directing an offensive fireworks display worthy of choreographed music, Manning completed 26 of 38 (68.4 percent) passes for 400 yards with three touchdowns for a 129.3 passer rating in a 43-24 win against Houston. Manning connected with each of his primary wideouts -- Reggie Wayne (135) and Marvin Harrison (127) -- for more than 100 yards. The leader of the 2-0 Colts reached 400 passing yards for the seventh time in his career, tying Pro Football Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Warren Moon for the second-most such performances in a career as only Hall of Famer Dan Marino (13) has more. Adding to the victory was Manning's (2,820) surpassing of Hall of Famer John Unitas (2,796) for most completions by a Colt.

In his ninth year from Tennessee, this is Manning's 13th Player of the Week award.

DEFENSE: CB RASHEAN MATHIS, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
A dominating performance by the Jaguars (2-0), keyed by a pair of Mathis fourth-quarter interceptions and his two additional passes defensed, earned Jacksonville a physical 9-0 shutout victory at home on Monday Night Football against Pittsburgh. Mathis, who leads the league with three interceptions, increased his career total to 15, tying Aaron Beasley (1996-01) for the most in club history. The game marked the first time since 1981 that a defending Super Bowl champion was shutout (Oakland) as well as the fewest rushing yards gained by the Steelers (26 on 14 carries) in Bill Cowher's 15 years as head coach. Mathis and the Jacksonville defense did not allow a single rushing first down in the game, nor did they permit Pittsburgh to advance the ball beyond the Jaguars' 46-yard line the entire evening. Mathis' coverage and ball-hawking skills were a large reason as to why the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger posted a 38.7 passer rating. The Jaguars (10) are tied with Seattle for the most wins in their last 11 games. Jacksonville travels to Indianapolis next week to face Manning and the Colts in a battle of AFC South unbeatens.

In his fourth season from Bethune-Cookman, this is the 6-1, 195-pound Mathis' second Player of the Week honor.

SPECIAL TEAMS: S COY WIRE, BUFFALO BILLS
Wire broke through Dolphins blockers to register his first career blocked punt to help Buffalo earn a hard-fought 16-6 divisional win at Miami. With 2:02 remaining in the third quarter and the Bills leading 13-0, Wire burst in the Miami backfield to smother the punt on the Dolphins' 30-yard line, which was recovered by teammate Andre' Davis. Bills kicker Rian Lindell turned Wire's stirring play into three points for a 16-0 advantage. Wire also added a special teams tackle on the afternoon.

In his fifth season from Stanford, this is the first Player of the Week distinction for Wire. He is the third Bills player to earn the AFC's special teams honor in the past 10 weeks.

Other nominees for AFC Offensive Player of Week 2 were:

  • New England running back Corey Dillon, who rushed 20 times for 80 yards and a touchdown in a 24-17 road win against the Jets.
  • Indianapolis wide receiver Marvin Harrison, who caught seven passes for 127 yards (18.1-yard average). Harrison (943) passed Art Monk (940) for the fifth-most receptions in NFL history.
  • Kansas City running back Larry Johnson, who ran the ball 27 times for 126 yards (4.7-yard average) and caught five passes for 41 yards in a 9-6 overtime loss at Denver. Johnson (14) is now tied with Christian Okoye for the second-most 100-yard rushing games as a Chief (Priest Holmes, 24).
  • Cincinnati running back Rudi Johnson, who rumbled for 145 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries for a 5.6-yard per carry average in a 34-17 home-opening win against Cleveland.
  • Baltimore running back Jamal Lewis, who totaled 70 rushing yards on 19 attempts, six of which were good for first downs, in a 28-6 home victory against Oakland.
  • San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who piled up 122 total scrimmage yards (71 rushing, 51 receiving) with two touchdown runs in a 40-7 win against Tennessee. Tomlinson (83) is currently tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth for the most touchdowns scored in team history.

Other nominees for AFC Defensive Player of Week 2 were:

  • Buffalo defensive end Ryan Denney, who notched 3 sacks -- all in the first half -- and posted the fourth forced fumble of his career.
  • Pittsburgh linebacker James Farrior, who led his team with 10 tackles and a pass defensed on Monday night.
  • Buffalo linebacker London Fletcher-Baker, who was the Bills' leading tackler Sunday with 14, including a crucial tackle on third-and-one in the third quarter to end a Miami drive, leading to a blocked punt on the next play.
  • Indianapolis defensive end Robert Mathis, who chalked-up 2 sacks, seven tackles, and a forced fumble.
  • Cincinnati linebacker Brian Simmons, who was credited with a club-best nine tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble on the day.
  • Baltimore linebacker Adalius Thomas, who posted six tackles including 2 sacks -- one of which was a safety -- and an interception.
  • New England defensive lineman Ty Warren, who led the Patriots with 11 tackles.

Other nominees for AFC Special Teams Player of Week 2 were:

  • Kansas City punter Dustin Colquitt, who punted six times, placing three inside the 20 -- including two inside the five-yard line.
  • Denver kicker Jason Elam, who was good on three of four field goal attempts (23, 22, and 39), including the game-winner (39 yards) in overtime for a 9-6 victory against Kansas City.
  • San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding, who was a perfect four-for-four in field goal tries from 28, 31, 35, and 44 yards.
  • New England rookie running back-kick returner Laurence Maroney, who averaged 32.5 yards on a pair of kickoff returns.
  • Buffalo punter Brian Moorman, who tied a club record and set a personal best with five punts inside the 20. Moorman is the first Bills punter to place five punts inside the 20-yard line in a single game since Chris Mohr did it on September 1, 1996 on the road against the Giants.
  • Baltimore kick returner-punt returner B.J. Sams, who averaged 40.8 yards on four kickoff returns, including a 72-yarder to open the game. Sams also returned one punt for 16 yards.
  • Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee, who accounted for every point in Monday night's game, making all three of his field goal attempts from 31, 31, and 42 yards. Scobee has now made 10 field goals in a row and needs one more to surpass Mike Hollis (1999) for the longest streak of consecutive field goals made in club history.

2006 AFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Week Offense Defense Special Teams
1 QB Chad Pennington
NY Jets
LB Ray Lewis
Baltimore
K Adam Vinatieri
Indianapolis
2 QB Peyton Manning
Indianapolis
CB Rashean Mathis
Jacksonville
S Coy Wire
Buffalo

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