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Week 15 Players of the Week

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By PFW staff

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Adrian Peterson / RB / Minnesota Vikings

After rushing for a season-high 212 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries in the Vikings’ 36-22 win over the Rams in Week 15, Peterson had made another bold statement in his pursuit of the NFL’s single-season rushing record. He was not satisfied with his performance, however. “I look at today’s game and I could have had 300,” he said. However, it’s safe to say the Vikings are plenty pleased with Peterson’s play — in the past eight games, Peterson has rushed for 1,313 yards, which are the most rushing yards over any eight-game span in a single season in league history. His eight consecutive games with 100 yards or more are a franchise record, and Eric Dickerson’s 28-year-old record for rushing yards in a single season (2,105) is within reach given Peterson’s recent pace.

 

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

J.J. Watt / DE / Houston Texans

The Texans bounced back from their blowout Week 14 loss to the Patriots, and Watt led the way defensively with another dominant performance in their 29-17 AFC South-clinching win over the Colts. Watt beat up on an injury-riddled Colts offensive line and was credited with a career-high 10 solo tackles, six of which resulted in a loss of yards. He sacked Colts QB Andrew Luck three times to move into a tie with 49ers OLB Aldon Smith for the league lead with 19½ sacks and put himself in position to break Michael Strahan’s record for sacks in a single season (22½). He also forced a fumble for the third game in a row. “I don’t even know the stats,” Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said. “But it seemed like every time I looked up, he was making a play.”

 

SPECIAL-TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Blair Walsh / PK / Minnesota Vikings

Walsh, Minnesota’s rookie placekicker, continued his impressive first season in Week 15, making all five of his field-goal attempts (50, 38, 42, 53, 51) in the Vikings’ 36-22 win at St. Louis. He also had six of his eight kickoffs result in touchbacks, which garnered the attention of one key Vikings observer. “He’s been incredible,” Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said of Walsh. “Not only his field goals and the fact that he set a Vikings record today with three 50-plus (yard) field goals, but the kickoffs. That’s a big part of our defensive improvement. Being able to have drives start inside the 20 has helped our team tremendously. He has been everything we had hoped for when we drafted him. We’re just very, very happy that he’s a part of our team. He doesn’t play like a rookie.”

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