OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Aaron Rodgers / QB / Green Bay Packers
The hand-wringing over the Packers not having team-organized practices during the lockout was just a bit overdone, as Rodgers and some of his teammates pointed out after showing no signs of rust in a 42-34 win over the Saints. Rodgers completed 27-of-35 passes for 312 yards in the Thursday-night opener, and he didn't throw a pick. "I thought Aaron was outstanding," head coach Mike McCarthy said. "Aaron commands the offense. He did an excellent job keeping us in favorable plays and no turnovers. He has set the standard and he's off to a great start." Rodgers spread the wealth, completing passes to nine different receivers and was on fire from the start — all three of his touchdown passes came in the first quarter. The defending champions look primed to make a run at another title.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Brian Urlacher / MLB / Chicago Bears
The Bears registered a statement win, blowing out the Falcons 30-12. The defense had Atlanta sputtering all afternoon. Urlacher led the Bears with 10 tackles, including one for loss, and also made a pick. He was aided by a disruptive defensive line, and especially DT Henry Melton, who had two sacks and seven QB hits, and DE Julius Peppers, who also had two sacks. It was Peppers who sacked Ryan and forced a fumble that Urlacher scooped up and returned 12 yards for a touchdown, putting the Bears ahead 30-6. Urlacher said he was more excited about a win than an eye-catching stat line, though. "Well, we won the game, that's all I care about," Urlacher said. "Stats, this and that, you can have all that. There were a lot of questions about our team coming into the season. We are starting 1-0. We just need to keep going."
SPECIAL-TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ted Ginn Jr. / RS / San Francisco 49ers
There were concerns that the league was going to minimize one of the game's most exciting plays when it passed a rule to move the kickoff line of scrimmage up five yards this offseason. There were plenty of touchbacks in Week One — no surprise there — but three kickoffs were returned for touchdowns, matching a league record for opening weekend. Ginn, a former first-round pick, had an electric fourth quarter for the 49ers. He took a kickoff back 102 yards for a TD to extend San Francisco's lead to 26-17. He then returned a punt 55 yards for a TD just 59 seconds later. "I got an opportunity to go out and show what I had," Ginn told reporters. "It's great. You do it on the video game a lot but you don't see it a lot in real life." His performance helped the Niners to a 33-17 win over the Seahawks.