AFC West player of the week

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

With all due respect to Chargers punter Mike Scifres - who had the best punting game in NFL playoff history - the AFC West player of the week award has to go to his teammate, Darren Sproles.

Sproles had a spectacular game in the Chargers' 23-17 win over the Colts in the wild card round. The game ended on a 22-yard touchdown run by LaDainian Tomlinson's diminutive backup.

Sproles, one of the best return men in the NFL, had 328 all-purpose yards in the game. Sproles, who had 105 yards rushing, had the third most all-purpose yards in NFL playoff history.

Sproles' play couldn't have been timelier. San Diego starter LaDainian Tomlinson didn't play in the second half against the Colts because of a groin injury. The Chargers needed Sproles.

He had to come through and he did. Sproles is a free agent and his performance against the Colts will only enhance his value on the open market. It was a big game, indeed, for the 5-foot-6, 181-pound Sproles and for that he is the AFC West player of the week