Brady and the Patriots clinched home field advantage throughout the AFC
playoffs with a
31-0 victory against the Buffalo Bills Saturday at Foxboro.
The four-year veteran posted a season-best 122.9 passer rating by
connecting on 21 of 32 attempts (65.6 percent) for four touchdowns
without an interception. Brady's sparkling rating marked the sixth time
he surpassed a 100.0 rating in 2003.
"One of the things that Tom has really done a good job of the last
couple of years is managing the empty backfield, the 'no huddle'
procedure, and that really came into play Saturday," said Patriots head
coach Bill Belichick. "He made a lot of good decisions -- not only the
throws, but in terms of just orchestrating the whole procedure."
Brady engineered New England's no-huddle offense to perfection on its
opening drive, a nine-play, 62-yard march to paydirt as tight end Daniel
Graham pulled in a 1-yard touchdown reception for New England's first
score. The Patriots' quarterback was a flawless 5-for-5 on New England's
second drive which also resulted in a touchdown, this time a 9-yard
strike to rookie wide receiver Bethel Johnson.
Brady now owns the NFL record for most pass attempts at home in a season
without an interception (241) against 11 touchdowns, as the Patriots
possess the third-longest winning streak in league history (12 games) to
begin a postseason.
From Michigan, this is the 6-4, 225-pound quarterback's second Player of
the Week award of the season and the sixth of his career. New England
receives a bye this week and will host a Divisional Playoff during the
weekend of Jan. 11-12.
Baltimore's Lewis was a primary contributor on a defense that
stifled Pittsburgh in a 13-10 overtime victory as the Ravens earned
their first division title in their eight-year history.
One of eight AFC All-Stars on the Ravens (10-6), Lewis notched 15
tackles and an interception as Baltimore denied the Steelers an
offensive touchdown and limited their AFC North-rival visitors to 3 of
15 (20.0 percent) on third-down conversion attempts.
Seven of Lewis' tackles were recorded within 3 yards of the scrimmage
line. The heart of the NFL's No. 3-ranked defense (275.1 yards per game)
was central to a defensive display that allowed Pittsburgh's offense no
drive longer than 31 yards. The Steelers entered the game having posted
at least 20 points in three of their past four games.
"We just wanted to come in and make a mark going into the playoffs,"
said Lewis, who is a co-leader atop club's all-time interception list
(20). Lewis is the only linebacker to currently stand as a team's leader
or co-leader in career interceptions. "Today we came out and played as a
team all the way around.
|Tom Brady tossed four touchdowns to lead the Patriots to their 12th straight victory. || |
"It's not about boasting, it's not about bragging -- we're just a
physical football team. We love to play old school football."
In his eighth year from Miami, this is Lewis' fifth Player of the Week
honor. The Ravens host the Tennessee Titans Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET in
Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium.
33-13 home victory against Tampa Bay, Anderson was a perfect
4-for-4 in field goal tries to best all NFL kickers in Week 17 for most
field goals attempted without a miss. Sunday marked the 22nd time in his
career that Anderson has made four kicks in a game.
Leading 10-3 midway through the second quarter, Anderson gave his team
breathing room with three consecutive field goals for a 19-3 advantage.
The victory earned Tennessee a 12-4 record, the best mark among NFL
The Titans' kicker, who is 27 of 31 (87.1 percent) on the season, is the
oldest player to ever win a Player of the Week award at 44 years, five
months and 12 days.
In his 22nd year from Syracuse, this is the South African native's
seventh Player of the Week distinction and his first as a Titan.
Other nominees for AFC Offensive Player of Week 17 were:
Miami wide receiver Chris Chambers, who caught nine passes for 153
yards (17.0-yard average) and a touchdown in a 23-21 win against the
New York Jets.
Baltimore running back Jamal Lewis, who became only the fifth player
in NFL history to surpass 2,000 rushing yards. Lewis ran for 114 yards
on 27 carries (4.2-yard average) with a 25-yard touchdown.
Kansas City running back Priest Holmes, who scored two rushing TDs to
establish a record for most touchdowns in a season with 27 (all
rushing) in a 31-3 win against Chicago.
Pittsburgh wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, who caught six passes for
Cleveland rookie running back Lee Suggs, who ran for 186 yards on 26
attempts (7.2-yard average) with TD runs of 78 and 25 yards in a 22-14
win at Cincinnati. Suggs rushed for the most yards in a game by a
Browns player since Earnest Byner (188) in 1984.
San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who ran for a team-record
246 yards and two TDs on 31 rushing attempts (7.9-yard average) in a
21-14 win against Oakland. Tomlinson also caught eight passes for 17
Other nominees for AFC Defensive Player of Week 17 were:
New England linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who led the Patriots to their
third shutout of the season with a 31-0 win against Buffalo. Bruschi
totaled 10 tackles, 1.0 sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and
one pass defensed.
San Diego linebacker Donnie Edwards, who had an interception, a
game-high 14 tackles, half a sack and a pass defensed in a 21-14
victory against San Diego's AFC West rival Oakland Raiders. The
Raiders were stymied for zero net passing yards.
Pittsburgh linebacker Joey Porter, who racked up nine tackles, one
forced fumble and one pass defensed.
Kansas City defensive end R-Kal Truluck, who registered 2.0 sacks for
16 yards in losses.
Other nominees for AFC Special Teams Player of Week 17 were:
Kansas City punt-returner/kick-returner Dante Hall, who returned two
kickoffs for 70 yards (35.0-yard average) and four punt returns for 32
yards (8.0-yard average).
Pittsburgh special teamer Chris Hope, who scored on an 81-yard
touchdown reception off of a fake punt.