Matthews Honored

Quarterback Shane Matthews of the Chicago Bears was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week Wednesday, for games played the seventh week of the 2001 season (October 25, 28-29).

Matthews came off the bench to replace injured starter Jim Miller in the second quarter and completed 25 of 31 passes (80.6 percent) for 166 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 107.8 passer rating in the Bears' 37-31 overtime win over San Francisco.

In the second half, after the Bears fell behind by a score of 28-9, Matthews led Chicago on a 19-point comeback that tied the game in the closing seconds of regulation, forcing overtime. He completed 13 of his final 14 attempts in the Bears' two fourth-quarter consecutive touchdown drives. Matthews' only incompletion was a spike to stop the clock on the Bears' final drive. The 19-point comeback was Chicago's largest since overcoming a 20-point deficit at Tampa Bay in 1987 (October 25).

In his eighth season out of Florida, this is Matthews' first Player of the Week Award.

Other nominees for NFC Offensive Player of Week 7 included Bears rookie running back Anthony Thomas, who rushed for 127 yards and one touchdown.

Chicago safety Mike Brown, who had a game-winning 33-yard INT-TD return, was nominated for NFC Defensive Player of Week award. However, the honor went to safety Sammy Knight of the New Orleans Saints.

Knight had eight tackles, two interceptions with 34 return yards and one sack in the Saints' 34-31 win over St. Louis. Trailing the previously undefeated Rams 24-6 at halftime, the Saints scored 28 second-half points, capitalizing on three second-half interceptions, two by Knight.

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