(Sept. 14, 2005) -- Running back Willie Parker of the Pittsburgh Steelers, linebacker Gary Brackett of the Indianapolis Colts and kicker Josh Scobee of the Jacksonville Jaguars are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played on NFL Kickoff 2005 Weekend (Sept. 8, 11-12).
OFFENSE: RB WILLIE PARKER, PITTSBURGH STEELERS
The Steelers' Parker, in his first-career NFL start, was the league's top rusher of Kickoff Weekend to help Pittsburgh upend Tennessee 34-7. The 5-foot-10, 209-pounder gained 161 yards on 22 carries (7.3-yard average) with a touchdown and also caught one pass for 48 yards. With his team ahead 27-7, a coaching decision was made to remove Parker from the game with 4:18 remaining in the third quarter. A rookie free agent in 2004, Parker's rushing total was the highest by a Steelers player in Heinz Field's five-year history.
In his second year from North Carolina, Parker is the second Steelers running back to earn Player of the Week honors in the past 10 weeks (Jerome Bettis, Wk. 9, 2004).
DEFENSE: LB GARY BRACKETT, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Indianapolis linebacker Gary Brackett posted his first two-interception game along with nine tackles and a quarterback pressure as the Colts defeated the Ravens 24-7 at Baltimore. The Ravens did not score a point until 13 seconds remained in regulation as Brackett snared interceptions on the Colts' 23- and 1-yard lines to thwart scoring threats. Making only his second-career start, Brackett was part of a defense that limited a strong Baltimore rushing attack to 77 yards.
In his third year from Rutgers, the one-time rookie free agent is the first Colts linebacker to win a Player of the Week distinction since Tony Bennett in Week 13 of 1995.
SPECIAL TEAMS: K JOSH SCOBEE, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
In a 26-14 home victory, Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee was four of five in field goal attempts and booted four kickoffs into Seattle's end zone for touchbacks. The second-year player's field goals were good from 23, 41, 29, and 41 yards respectively, with his only miss coming from 43. Scobee opened the scoring with a pair of first-quarter field goals for a 6-0 Jacksonville advantage and accounted for the game's final six points, extending a 20-14 Jaguars lead to the eventual final score.
This marks the second Player of the Week award in the past 12 weeks for the 23-year-old kicker from Louisiana Tech (Week 7, 2004).
Other nominees for AFC Offensive Player of Week 1 were:
- New England quarterback Tom Brady, who completed 24 of 38 pass attempts for 306 yards with a pair of touchdowns without an interception for a 105.8 passer rating in a 30-20 win against Oakland.
- Miami quarterback Gus Frerotte, who completed 24 of 36 attempts for 275 passing yards and two touchdowns against one interception for a 96.4 passer rating in a 34-10 win over Denver.
- Kansas City running back Larry Johnson, who carried the ball nine times for 110 yards (12.2-yard average) and two touchdowns in a 27-7 win against the Jets. Johnson has now scored two touchdowns in six consecutive games -- one game shy of the NFL record of seven held by Pro Football Hall of Famer John Riggins.
- Cincinnati running back Rudi Johnson, who rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries (4.8-yard average) in a 27-13 win at Cleveland.
- Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning, who tossed two touchdown passes, completing 21 of 36 attempts for 254 yards without an interception for a 98.6 passer rating.
- Buffalo running back Willis McGahee, who posted a game-high 117 yards on 22 carries for his eighth-career 100-yard rushing performance in a 22-7 win against Houston.
- Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer, who posted a 107.5 passer rating on 26 of 34 passing for 280 yards and a pair of TDs against one interception.
- Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating by completing nine of 11 attempts for 218 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
- Jacksonville wide receiver Jimmy Smith, who caught seven passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. In addition to his touchdown catches of 30 and seven yards, the 13-year veteran also had receptions of 45 and 24 yards.
Other nominees for AFC Defensive Player of Week 1 were:
- Pittsburgh linebacker James Farrior, who registered six tackles and forced a fumble which led to a Steelers field goal.
- Kansas City rookie linebacker Derrick Johnson, who had nine tackles, one sack and a forced fumble in his first NFL game.
- New England defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who led the team with eight tackles and rushed the passer consistently to help limit Oakland's offense to a 45.0 pass completion percentage (18 of 40).
- Miami linebacker Zach Thomas, who chalked up 16 tackles, including three stops on a key second-quarter goal-line stand.
- Buffalo safety Troy Vincent, who posted two interceptions. The Bills allowed only 25 net passing yards and 120 total yards on the day.
Other nominees for AFC Special Teams Player of Week 1 were:
- Jacksonville punter Chris Hanson, who kicked four punts for a 42.8 net average. All four of Hanson's punts were downed inside the 20-yard line.
- Buffalo kicker Rian Lindell, who was five for five in field goal attempts, splitting the uprights from 35, 21, 42, 39, and 31 yards, respectively.
- Pittsburgh kicker Jeff Reed, who was successful on field goal tries of 44 and 27 yards without a miss. Reed has made 19 consecutive field goal attempts, tying Gary Anderson for the club record.
- Miami kick returner Wes Welker, who returned four punts for a 16.0-yard average along with two kickoffs for an average of 25.5 yards.