Rookie defensive end gets award

Giants rookie defensive end Osi Umenyiora has been selected the NFC's Special Teams Player of the Week for the final week of the NFL regular season. <BR><BR>

Umenyiora made big plays that led to all three Giants touchdowns in Sunday's season-ending 37-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers. He blocked two punts and on defense had a sack and forced fumble that Keith Washington picked up for another score.

That prompted former coach Jim Fassel to say that Umenyiora "had a Hall-of-Fame year in one day."

"Osi was phenomenal," Michael Strahan said. "He had two blocked punts and then a sack that ended up in a touchdown. He pretty much scored 21 points. It shows the upside of what he can do and I'm excited about playing with him next season."

It was the first time the Giants blocked two punts in one game since Oct. 9, 1943 against the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Steegles, a team made up of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia players during World War II. The Giants had not blocked a punt since Marcellus Rivers knocked one down at Indianapolis on Dec. 22, 2002.

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