Rice, Polamalu, Goodman named AFC Players of the Week

Posted Jan. 04, 2012 @ 3:05 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Ravens RB Ray Rice, Steelers S Troy Polamalu and Chargers KR-WR Richard Goodman are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for Week 17.

Rice rushed for 191 yards on 24 carries with two touchdowns in Baltimore's 24-16 win over Cincinnati. Both of his touchdown runs were of a length greater than 50 yards, as he posted a career-long 70-yard touchdown run to give the Ravens a 7-0 lead, followed by a 51-yard burst into the end zone in the fourth quarter. His efforts helped the Ravens clinch their first AFC North title since 2006. He also joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk as the only players in NFL history to register at least 1,200 rushing yards and 700 receiving yards in multiple seasons. The accolade is Rice's third such honor. He most recently was named Offensive Player of the Week in Week 13, when he posted 204 rushing yards in a win over Cleveland.

Polamalu recorded two tackles, one interception, and three passes defended in Pittsburgh's 13-9 win over Cleveland. With his interception, the 29th of his career, Polamalu passed Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Lambert for the ninth most picks in franchise history. His efforts helped the Steelers hold the Browns to just 240 yards of total offense. Their defense's performance in their regular season finale capped a marvelous year in which they led the NFL in points per game (14.2), yards per game (271.8) and passing yards per game (171.9). This is Polamalu's sixth career Defensive Player of the Week Award, and marks the first time a Steeler has won the award this season.

Goodman gained 35.8 yards per kickoff return, highlighted by a 105-yard kickoff-return touchdown, in San Diego's 38-26 victory at Oakland. With his 105-yard sprint to the house, Goodman passed former Charger Darren Sproles for the longest kickoff-return touchdown in franchise history. His return ranked third in the NFL this season, behind Randall Cobb's 108-yard return and Joe McKnight's 107-yard return. In his rookie campaign out of Florida State, this marks Goodman's first career Special Teams Player of the Week Award, and marks the Chargers' first since Sproles won it in Week 10 of 2007.