Quarterback MATT HASSELBECK of the Seattle Seahawks, cornerback AL HARRIS of the Green Bay Packers and punt returner R.W. MC QUARTERS of the Detroit Lions are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the fifth week of the 2005 season (October 9-10), the NFL announced Wednesday.
OFFENSE: QB MATT HASSELBECK, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
MATT HASSELBECK led the Seahawks to a 37-31 road win over the NFC West-rival St. Louis Rams, ending a four-game losing streak (including playoffs) to the Rams and helping Seattle to its first win in St. Louis since 1997. Hasselbeck completed 27 of 38 attempts for 316 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, posting a 113.5 passer rating. In his fifth year as Seattle's starting quarterback, Hasselbeck has not thrown an interception since Week 1 and extended his streak of consecutive passes without an interception to 146. He trails only JIM ZORN for the longest such streak in franchise history, as Zorn tallied 153 attempts without a pick from October 21 through December 2, 1979. Hasselbeck passed for 300 yards for the 12th time, surpassing DAVE KRIEG for the most 300-yard passing games in franchise history.
In his seventh season from Boston College, this is Hasselbeck's second Player of the Week award (Week 12, 2002).
DEFENSE: CB AL HARRIS, GREEN BAY PACKERS
AL HARRIS was a top performer on a Green Bay defense that helped the team to its first win of the season, a 52-3 triumph over the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. With the Packers leading 7-3 late in the first quarter, Harris intercepted a pass and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown, his third-career interception return for a score. Then on the Saints next series, Harris picked off a pass at the Green Bay 32-yard line. The Packers promptly drove 68 yards in 10 plays, culminated by a four-yard NAJEH DAVENPORT touchdown run for a 21-3 advantage. In addition to the first two-interception game of his career, Harris added one sack and three passes defensed.
In his eighth season from Texas A&M-Kingsville, this is Harris' first Player of the Week honor in the regular-season. He was previously recognized for his performance during 2003 Wild Card weekend.
SPECIAL TEAMS: PR R.W. MC QUARTERS, DETROIT LIONS
R.W. MC QUARTERS' special teams performance helped the Lions even their record on the season at 2-2 and move the team into a one-game lead in the NFC North, as Detroit earned a convincing 35-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens at Ford Field. With the Lions holding a slim 14-10 third-quarter lead, McQuarters prevented a punt from going out of bounds inside the Detroit 10-yard line and returned it 18 yards to the 27. The offense then used the improved field position to begin an 18-play, 73-yard touchdown drive resulting in a 21-10 lead. After the defense forced a punt on the ensuing Ravens possession, McQuarters' 49-yard punt return set the Lions up for another touchdown drive and a 28-10 advantage. He finished the game with four punt returns for 75 yards, an 18.8-yard average.
In his eighth season from Oklahoma State, this is McQuarters' second career Player of the Week award. He captured defensive honors with the Chicago Bears in Week 17 of 2000.
2005 NFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
QB Drew Bledsoe, Dallas
DT Bryant Young, San Francisco
K John Carney, New Orleans
WR Santana Moss, Washington
LB Shelton Quarles, Tampa Bay
PR Bobby Wade, Chicago
RB Shaun Alexander, Seattle
DT Rod Coleman, Atlanta
P Josh Bidwell, Tampa Bay
WR Plaxico Burress, NY Giants
DE Darren Howard, New Orleans
K Neil Rackers, Arizona
QB Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle
CB Al Harris, Green Bay
PR R.W. McQuarters, Detroit
Other nominees for NFC Offensive Player of Week 5 were:
The DALLAS COWBOYS OFFENSIVE LINE, who played a key role in the team totaling 456 yards and recording 28 first downs while not allowing a sack in a 33-10 win against Philadelphia.
Green Bay quarterback BRETT FAVRE, who completed 19 of 27 attempts for 215 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, posting a 130.9 passer rating.
St. Louis wide receiver TORRY HOLT, who had eight receptions for 126 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown catch.
Seattle wide receiver JOE JUREVICIUS, who posted career highs with nine receptions for 137 yards, adding a 24-yard touchdown reception.
Carolina wide receiver STEVE SMITH, who totaled eight receptions for 119 yards, including touchdown catches of 65 and four yards, in a come-from-behind 24-20 victory at Arizona.
Other nominees for NFC Defensive Player of Week 5 were:
Detroit cornerback DRÉ BLY, who had two interceptions, five tackles, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Carolina cornerback KEN LUCAS, who deflected a pair of passes that led directly to interceptions, posted five tackles, defended four passes and recovered a fumble.
Tampa Bay linebacker RYAN NECE, who recorded his first career sack and led the team with 11 tackles against the New York Jets.
Seattle rookie LB LOFA TATUPU, who led the team with nine tackles and added one interception.
San Francisco cornerback BRUCE THORNTON, who made his first NFL start against the explosive Indianapolis offense, making his first career interception and adding two tackles and one pass defensed.
Other nominees for NFC Special Teams Player of Week 5 were:
Tampa Bay punter JOSH BIDWELL, who punted five times for a 51.8-yard average with a long punt of 59 yards and a net average of 42.0.
Tampa Bay kicker MATT BRYANT, who connected on four of four field goal attempts from 35, 36, 43 and 30 yards.
St. Louis Rams kickoff returner CHRIS JOHNSON, who returned six kickoffs for 202 yards, including a 99-yard touchdown return on the game's opening kickoff.