Merriman, Brees up for weekly awards

San Diego Chargers rookie linebacker Shawne Merriman and Drew Brees are up for separate weekly awards. Merriman has been nominated for Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Week and Brees has been nominated for FedEx Air Player of the Week.

A closer look at the Rookie of the Week finalists:

• Dallas' Marion Barber ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in the Cowboys' 34-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Barber scored on a 28-yard run to give the Cowboys a 7-3 lead in the first quarter. He added a 10-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and caught two passes for 15 yards.

• Houston's Jerome Mathis caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from David Carr on the first drive of the game to help the Texans to a 19-16 victory over the Cleveland Browns. In addition to his one reception, Mathis returned five kickoffs for a total of 177 yards, putting the Texans in good starting field position most of the game.

• San Diego's Shawne Merriman recorded four tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the Chargers' 28-20 victory over the AFC West-rival Kansas City Chiefs. Merriman sacked Trent Green for a four-yard loss early in the third quarter and later forced Green to fumble after a nine-yard sack. The ball was recovered by the Chargers.

• Pittsburgh's Heath Miller caught three passes for 18 yards and two touchdowns in the Steelers' 20-19 victory over the AFC North-rival Baltimore Ravens. Miller scored the game's first touchdown on a four-yard catch and put Pittsburgh ahead 17-10 in the third quarter with an eight-yard score. He has six touchdown catches this season.

• Chicago's Kyle Orton completed 17 of 31 passes for 230 yards and one touchdown in the Bears' 19-13 overtime victory over the NFC North-rival Detroit Lions. Orton threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Muhsin Muhammad while recording his fourth NFL victory and helping move the Bears into first place in the division.

A closer look at the FedEx Express NFL Player of the Week finalists:

• San Diego's Brees completed 25 of 43 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns in the Chargers' 28-20 victory over the AFC West-rival Kansas City Chiefs. Brees threw touchdown passes of 19, 20 and 35 yards.

• Carolina's Jake Delhomme threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns (one, 13 and 25 yards) on 21 of 30 passing for a passer rating of 141.1 in the Panthers' 38-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

• Denver's Jake Plummer completed 22 of 35 passes for 309 yards, four touchdowns (two, three, six and 44 yards) and a 129.3 passer rating in the Broncos' 49-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

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