RB Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, ILB Derrick Johnson of the Kansas City Chiefs and G Dan Connolly of the New England Patriots are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the 15th week of the 2010 season (Dec. 16, 19-20).
Here’s a look at Rice’s accomplishments:
* Rice recorded a career-best 233 scrimmage yards (153 rushing, 80 receiving) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Ravens’ 30-24 win against New Orleans.
* Rice’s 233 yards from scrimmage marked the third-most scrimmage yards in a game in franchise history.
* Rice led the NFL in Week 15 with a season-high 153 rushing yards.
* Ranked first in the NFL in Week 15 among running backs with 80 receiving yards.
* Registered second 100-yard rushing game of season and seventh of career.
* Rice leads all NFL running backs with 556 receiving yards this season.
* In his third season from Rutgers, this is Rice’s first career Player of the Week Award.
* Rice joins ANQUAN BOLDIN (Week 3) as the second Raven to win AFC Offensive Player of the Week this season. He is the first Ravens running back to win Offensive Player of the Week since WILLIS MC GAHEE in Week 17 of 2009.
Here’s a look at Johnson’s performance:
* In a key victory for the Chiefs playoff aspirations, Johnson registered a career-best 17 tackles and a career-high four passes defensed in the Chiefs’ 27-13 win at St. Louis.
* Johnson helped limit the Rams to 69 rushing yards (224 total) and was part of a defensive unit that recorded two interceptions.
* Played a pivotal role in the Chiefs limiting the opponent to 14 points or less for the seventh time this season. Kansas City has a 7-0 record in such games.
* Johnson has a team-high 134 tackles in 2010.
* Through Week 15, the Chiefs are in first place in the AFC West with a 9-5 record (4-12 in 2009), tied for the largest single-season improvement in franchise history.
· In his sixth year from Texas, this is Johnson’s third career Player of the Week Award. He most recently won the award in 2009 (Week 17).
· He joins TAMBA HALI (Week 3) as the second Chiefs player to win Defensive Player of the Week this season.
Here’s a look at Connolly’s performance:
* In the Patriots 31-27 win against Green Bay, Connolly returned a kickoff 71 yards for the longest kickoff return by an offensive lineman in NFL history.
* Connolly’s return late in the second quarter set up a TOM BRADY two-yard touchdown pass to AARON HERNANDEZ that trimmed the Packers’ lead to 17-14 before the half.
* His 71-yard kickoff return passed Atlanta’s MAL SNIDER (48-yard KR-TD on November 16, 1969) for the longest kickoff return by an offensive lineman in NFL history.
* In his fifth season from Southeast Missouri State, this is Connolly’s first career Player of the Week award.
· Connolly is the second offensive lineman ever to win AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Oakland tackle LANGSTON WALKER won the award in 2004 (Week 12) after blocking a field goal attempt.
-- Adam Caplan