Pats OG Connolly earns award for long return

Posted Dec. 22, 2010 @ 10:24 a.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Patriots OG Dan Connolly has been the named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after the 6-foot-4, 313-pounder returned a kickoff 71 yards in the first half of New England's 31-27 win over the Packers.

His return is the longest in NFL history by an offensive lineman, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Connolly becomes just the second offensive lineman to win the award. Raiders OT Langston Walker won in Week 12 of 2004 after blocking a kick.

The Patriots have now picked up four Player of the Week Awards. S James Sanders won Defensive Player of the Week in Week 10 before QB Tom Brady won back-to-back awards on the other side of the ball in Weeks 12 and 13.

The way we see it

It was a memorable week in special teams, what with Devin Hester breaking the NFL record for kicks returned for touchdowns and DeSean Jackson's spectacular punt return at the end of regulation to cap off a stunning Eagles comeback win over the Giants. Connolly's unexpected return was fun to watch, especially seeing him cut back inbounds near the end of the run to pick up extra yardage. Definitely well-deserved recognition for Connolly.