NFC West High Energy Player of the Week

November, 30, 2010
11/30/10
3:00
PM ET
NFC High Energy: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 12.

Setting aside this space for St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford seemed like a sure bet before Brian Westbrook's surprise 136-yard rushing performance for the San Francisco 49ers.

[+] EnlargeBrian Westbrook
AP Photo/Paul JasienskiBrian Westbrook rushed 23 times for 136 yards and one touchdown Monday night.
Bradford still came out OK.

Westbrook provided the more significant boost relative to expectations.

The 31-year-old running back had carried only five times for 9 yards this season before Frank Gore's hip injury forced the 49ers to alter course during the first quarter of their 27-6 victory over Arizona on Monday night. Westbrook posted the third-highest single-game rushing total of his career as the 49ers gained 261 yards on the ground.

"I felt good, I felt very young, I was fresh," Westbrook said.

Maintaining a similar level of performance across multiple games seems unrealistic. The 49ers will face tougher defenses. Teams will prepare for Westbrook's style. Westbrook won't be as fresh after taking punishment each week.

For one game, at least, Westbrook provided the boost his team needed.

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