AFC East 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 player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 12.

For the second straight week, readers responded decisively to my request to select the AFC East High Energy performer.

In a landslide, New York Jets all-purpose device Brad Smith beat out the other candidates I proposed: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne and the Dolphins' run defense.

[+] EnlargeBrad Smith
AP Photo/Bill KostrounBrad Smith was able to complete this 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown despite losing his shoe.
Smith was a game-changer in a Thanksgiving night triumph over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Jets were down in the third quarter when he took an end-around run 53 yards for a touchdown to give the Jets a lead they wouldn't surrender. He also delivered an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown right after the Bengals pulled within seven points in the fourth quarter.

"The whole atmosphere in the building just flipped once Brad made that run," Jets safety Jim Leonhard said. "That’s what he does. He's so explosive, and you know that you've got to get him touches because whenever he gets his hands on the ball that's what can happen.

"Sometimes offensively it's going to be a struggle for a while, trying to figure things out and how the defense is attacking you. But Brad was that spark."

On the kickoff, Smith slithered his way up the left side and then broke across the field. He lost his left shoe before making the TD-clinching cut at about the Bengals' 45-yard line.

Smith also had a reception for 23 yards and took a couple direct snaps. He played quarterback at Missouri and was the first player in Division I history to pass for 8,000 yards and run for 4,000 yards.

"He is an amazing guy and an amazing talent," Jets coach Rex Ryan said in his postgame news conference. "I'm definitely glad he was on our side. He's a phenomenal athlete. Everything we asked Brad to do, he does.

"Quite honestly, when our DBs were down, I was like, 'We'll put [running back] Joe McKnight in there, and we've always got Brad Smith.' He’s just a great football player."

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