AFC North High Energy Player of the Week

December, 14, 2010
12/14/10
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 14.

This week's High Energy Player of the Week in the AFC North is no surprise. Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu became the second multi-time winner in the division for his performance in a 23-7 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. He trails only Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis, who was selected three times.

[+] EnlargeTroy Polamalu
Jason Bridge/US PresswireTroy Polamalu's interception return for a touchdown shifted momentum into Pittsburgh's favor.
With two interceptions -- including one returned 45 yards for a touchdown -- Polamalu once again ignited the Steelers on a day their offense couldn't get into the end zone. Trailing 7-0, Polamalu took matters into his own hands by picking off Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer and scoring Pittsburgh's first touchdown of the game. Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley added another pick-six in the second half, while the offense contributed three field goals.

Polamalu earned the right to be in the NFL MVP conversation. It's difficult for a defensive player to win the award, but no one on that side of the ball means more to his team than Polamalu. Last year, with Polamalu injured most of the season, the Steelers were 9-7. This year Pittsburgh is 10-3 with Polamalu playing in every game.

Pittsburgh's defense is getting stronger down the stretch, which gives this team a chance to make a postseason run. More big plays like this from Polamalu would certainly help the Steelers' cause.

AFC North High Energy Players

Week 1: Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore Ravens

Week 2: Polamalu, S, Steelers

Week 3: Brett Keisel, DE, Steelers

Week 4: Hillis, RB, Browns

Week 5: Ray Rice, RB, Ravens

Week 6: Lawrence Timmons, LB, Steelers

Week 7: Ed Reed, S, Ravens

Week 8: Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Steelers

Week 9: Hillis, RB, Browns

Week 10: Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers

Week 11: James Harrison, LB, Steelers

Week 12: Hillis, RB, Browns

Week 13: Terrell Suggs, DE/LB, Ravens

Week 14: Polamalu, S, Steelers

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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