Winfield Gets NFL Honor

Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield was named the NFL's defensive player of the week for wild-card weekend. He led the Vikings will 11 tackles and added an interception.

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne of the Indianapolis Colts, cornerback Antoine Winfield of the Minnesota Vikings and kicker Doug Brien of the New York Jets are the NFL offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week for Wild Card Weekend (January 8-9).


Indianapolis' Wayne had a career-best receiving day, hauling in 10 passes for 221 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Colts defeated Denver in Sunday's AFC Wild Card game, 49-24. Wayne's 221 yards account for the third-greatest playoff receiving yard total in NFL history and surpassed the franchise-high mark of 178 yards set by Pro Football Hall of Famer RAYMOND BERRY. Berry established his towering total in the Colts' 23-17 1958 NFL Championship Game overtime victory in New York against the Giants. In addition to his two touchdown catches, Wayne also took receptions to the Denver nine- and one-yard lines. The fourth-year receiver form Miami now has four postseason touchdowns – the most by any player in franchise history. Sunday's contest also was the New Orleans native's first career 200+ yard game.

This is the first Player of the Week Award for Wayne.


Winfield played a vital role for the Vikings in an impressive 31-17 win against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. In his first year with Minnesota after spending five seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Winfield helped the Vikings to their first playoff victory since the 2000 season, totaling a team-leading 11 tackles and one interception. After Minnesota seized a 14-0 first-quarter advantage, Winfield intercepted a pass on the Packers ensuing possession, giving the Vikings excellent field position at their own 43-yard line. Six plays later, kicker MORTEN ANDERSEN converted a 35-yard field goal for a 17-0 advantage they would never relinquish. Winfield was a major factor in limiting the Packers to 201 passing yards, 76 below their 277.6-yard average this season, third-best in the NFL.

In his sixth season from Ohio State, this is Winfield's first Player of the Week Award.


The Jets' Brien displayed his veteran prowess by kicking a game-winning 28-yard field goal in overtime to earn the Jets a pulse-pounding 20-17 win in San Diego Saturday night. The victory advances New York to this Saturday's AFC Divisional playoff in Pittsburgh. The possessor of a Masters of Business Administration degree from Tulane, Brien made the game-winner with five seconds remaining in the first overtime period. He had earlier connected on a 42-yard field goal with 1:23 remaining in the third quarter to give the visiting Jets a 17-7 lead. Brien missed a 33-yard attempt in the first quarter on a damp field with wind gusts of up to 25 miles per hour. In postseason play, Brien is six-for-seven in field goal attempts.

In his 11th year from California Berkeley, this is Brien's fifth-career Player of the Week Award and his second as a member of the Jets (Week 10, 2003).

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