Green Named Player of the Week in NFC

Running back Ahman Green of the Green Bay Packers was named NFC offensive player of the week for for games played on NFL Kickoff 2001 Weekend (Sept. 9-10), the NFL announced today.

Safety Sammy Knight of the New Orleans Saints and kicker Jose Cortez of the San Francisco 49ers were named the defensive and special teams players of the week.

Green rushed for 157 yards on 17 carries (a 9.2-yard average) and scored two touchdowns -- including a career-long 83-yard TD which tied for the third-longest run in Packers history -- in Green Bay's 28-6 win over Detroit. Green's other TD came on a 31-yard run. He also added three catches for 20 yards for 177 scrimmage yards.

In his fourth season out of Nebraska, this is Green's first player of the week award.

Knight tied a New Orleans record and had a Week 1 league-high three interceptions, as well as 40 interception-return yards, in the Saints' 24-6 win over Buffalo. He was the first Bills opponent to record three interceptions since Miami's Louis Oliver in 1992.

In his fifth season out of Southern California, this is Knight's first player of the week award.

Cortez scored 10 points on an extra point and three field goals, including a 24-yarder in overtime to defeat Atlanta 16-13, and a 20-yarder with eight seconds remaining to force overtime.

In his first NFL season, Cortez is from Oregon State.

Other nominees for NFC offensive player of Week 1 were: New Orleans quarterback Aaron Brooks, who completed 18 of 29 passes (62.1 percent) for 209 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for a 118.3 passer rating; Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre, who completed 22 of 28 attempts (78.6 percent) for 260 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 129.2 passer rating; and Carolina rookie quarterback Chris Weinke, who completed 13 of 22 passes (59.1) for 223 yards with one touchdown and one interception for an 89.8 passer rating in the Panthers' 24-13 road win over Minnesota.

Other nominees for NFC Defensive Player of Week 1 were: Green Bay defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, who had a career-high 3.0 sacks and a forced fumble, and Packers safety Darren Sharper, who had two interceptions, including one in the end zone and one in the final minutes of the fourth quarter; New Orleans defensive end Joe Johnson, who had 3.0 sacks; and San Francisco defensive tackle Bryant Young, who had 2.0 sacks.

Other nominees for NFC Special Teams Player of Week 1 were: Carolina punter Todd Sauerbrun, who averaged 49.0 yards on six punts, and Panthers kick returner Steve Smith, who had three returns for 134 yards (a 44.7-yard average), including a 93-yard touchdown on the opening kickoff for the 2001 season's first TD. Smith also returned three punts for 25 yards for an 8.3-yard average; St. Louis kicker Jeff Wilkins, who kicked the game-winning 26-yard field goal in the Rams' 20-17 overtime win over Philadelphia; and New York Giants punter Rodney Williams, who averaged 55.1 yards on eight punts, including a 90-yarder, in the Giants' 31-20 loss to Denver. Quarterback Brian Griese of the Denver Broncos, linebacker Zach Thomas of the Miami Dolphins and punt returner Tim Dwight of the San Diego Chargers are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played on NFL Kickoff 2001 Weekend.

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