Wednesday, November 30, 2011
NFC West-enabled players of the week
By Mike Sando
The NFL named Arizona's Patrick Peterson its special-teams player of the week in the NFC after the rookie scored for a fourth time this season on a punt return.
Baltimore's Terrell Suggs was named top defensive player in the AFC. Washington's DeAngelo Hall won the top defensive weekly honors for the NFC. Beanie Wells arguably should have been a fourth.
That means half the AFC and NFC weekly award winners earned special commendation for their efforts against teams from the NFC West. No asterisks, either.
Peterson's 80-yard touchdown return, his second score on a punt return against St. Louis this season, helped the Cardinals beat the Rams, 23-20. Suggs' three-sack game against San Francisco helped the Ravens beat the 49ers on Thanksgiving, 16-6. And Hall's performance against Seattle, featuring seven passes defensed and a clinching interception, was enough for him to get notice as well.
My early favorites for NFC West-enabled honors for Week 13:
- Demarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys: He has 14 sacks heading into a game against Arizona and one of the NFL's most frequently sacked quarterbacks, either Kevin Kolb or John Skelton.
- Justin Smith, San Francisco 49ers: He gets to work against a Rams offensive line featuring Adam Goldberg subbing at left tackle.
- Aldon Smith, 49ers: Like Smith, he also gets to work against the left side of the Rams' line.
- Frank Gore, 49ers: He faces the Rams' league-worst run defense one week after Arizona's Beanie Wells rushed for 228 yards.
- Jason Babin, Eagles: Babin has 10 sacks this season. He'll be working against the reconfigured right side of the Seahawks' offensive line.
Wells set a franchise record for rushing yards and it wasn't enough for him to beat out New Orleans' Drew Brees as offensive player of the week in the NFC.