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Week 17 Players of the Week

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By PFW staff

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Alfred Morris / RB / Washington Redskins

He was among the deserving players left off the NFC Pro Bowl roster, but Morris certainly looked like he belonged in Week 17. The Redskins’ rookie running back had 33 carries for 200 yards (6.1 average) and three touchdowns in an NFC East-title clinching 28-18 win over the Cowboys. “I could never imagine coming in here my rookie year and doing what I’ve been able to do,” said Morris, a sixth-round pick from Florida Atlantic. “It’s better than my wildest dreams.” He set the Redskins’ single-season rushing record with the former record holder, Clinton Portis, on hand to watch Morris make history. Each time the Cowboys struck, Morris had an answer, including in the fourth quarter, when he responded to each score by Dallas with a touchdown run, including a game-icing, one-yard plunge with 1:09 left in the game.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Everson Griffen / DE / Minnesota Vikings

A week after he made his first career start, Griffen recorded a career-high three sacks in Minnesota’s wild-card-clinching playoff win over Green Bay. He delivered four hits on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers with a playoff spot on the line for the Vikings, who would have had their season end with a loss. It was another very positive sign from Griffen, who has been delivering quite a few of them in his third season. There were questions about his discipline and mental makeup after he didn’t interview well at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2010, and those questions appeared to be very much justified when he was arrested twice in three days in late January 2011. The Vikings say Griffen has done a lot of growing up this season, though, and his future is looking as bright as ever after Week 17.

SPECIAL-TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Darius Reynaud / RS / Tennessee Titans

It was a disappointing season for Tennessee, but Reynaud was among the Titans that made sure it ended on a high note with a 38-20 win over the Jaguars. The game was tied at 14 in the final minute of the first half when Reynaud broke free on a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown. He didn’t cool off at halftime. The fourth-year veteran returned a punt 81 yards for a score less than two minutes into the third quarter. Tennessee didn’t need much from its offense Sunday — Reynaud’s touchdowns were bookended by interception returns for TDs by Titans LB Zach Brown, as the Titans became first team in league history to have two players score twice on returns. They did it all in about a five-minute span of game time, and Reynaud’s 160 yards on punt returns set a franchise record.

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