Favre Named NFC Offensive Player Of The Week

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Quarterback Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers, safety Tony Parrish of the San Francisco 49ers and kicker Billy Cundiff of the Dallas Cowboys are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the sixteenth week of the 2003 season (December 20-22), the NFL announced Tuesday.

One day after the death of his father and high school football coach, Irvin Favre, the Packers' quarterback took the field on Monday night knowing a win was vitally important to Green Bay's playoff chances. Favre responded with one of the best performances of his storied career, leading the Packers to a 41-7 road-victory over the Oakland Raiders.

Favre completed 22 of 30 attempts for 399 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions for a Week 16-high 154.9 passer rating, the best of his career. His 399 passing yards was his second-most ever, and never before has Favre started as quickly as he did against the Raiders.

In the first-half alone, the Kiln, Mississippi native helped put the game out of reach, completing 15 of 18 attempts for 311 yards and four touchdowns for a 158.3 passer rating, the highest possible rating a passer can achieve. Favre's performance helped stake the Packers to an insurmountable 31-7 halftime lead.

Favre's four touchdown passes gives him 345 in his career, moving him past Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (342) for second-most in NFL history. Dan Marino is the all-time leader with 420.

"I knew that my dad would have wanted me to play," Favre said. "I love him so much and I love this game. It's meant a great deal to me, to my dad and to my family. I didn't expect this kind of performance tonight, but I know my dad was watching."

In his 13th season from Southern Mississippi, this is Favre's eighth career Player of the Week Award.

Parrish earned defensive honors for his play in helping the 49ers to a 31-28 overtime win over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The victory improved San Francisco's record to 7-8 and was the team's first triumph on the road this season.

Tied for the NFL lead with nine interceptions, Parrish finished the game with five tackles, two interceptions, three passes defensed and a forced fumble in the win.

Parrish made his presence felt immediately, intercepting the Eagles' first pass attempt of the game at the San Francisco 18-yard line and returning it 34 yards to the Philadelphia 48. Then in the second quarter, Parrish's work saved a touchdown, forcing a fumble at the 49ers' one-yard line that resulted in a touchback and preserved a 7-7 tie.

After the Eagles had rallied for a game-tying touchdown with 1:02 remaining to force overtime, Parrish responded. On Philadelphia's first play from scrimmage after winning the overtime coin toss, the Los Angeles native intercepted a pass and returned it 29 yards to the Eagles' four. Two plays later, kicker Todd Peterson connected on a 22-yard field goal for the win.

"Tony's had a lot of really good games for us," said 49ers head coach Dennis Erickson. "But for him to get two interceptions and force that fumble, I gave him the game ball. There's nobody who deserved it more than he did."

In his sixth season from Washington, this is Parrish's second-career Player of the Week Award.

Cundiff helped the Cowboys to their first playoff berth since 1999, connecting on four-of-four field goals (24, 42, 21, 49) in the club's 19-3 win over the NFC East-rival New York Giants.

Dallas improved to 10-5 with the win and can clinch the division championship and earn a first-round bye with a victory against the New Orleans Saints and a Philadelphia loss to the Washington Redskins.

Cundiff connected on 11 of 12 field goal attempts against the Giants this season, the most field goals by a kicker against a single opponent in one season in NFL history. His NFL record-tying seven field goals in the Cowboys' 35-32 overtime win over the Giants in Week 2 earned him his first Special Teams Player of the Week Award of 2003.

In his second season from Drake, this is Cundiff's third career Player of the Week Award.

Other nominees for NFC Offensive Player of Week 16 were:

  • The Atlanta Falcons' Offensive Line, who paved the way for the club to gain 148 yards rushing and did not surrender a sack in the Falcons' 30-28 road-win over Tampa Bay.
  • San Francisco running back Kevan Barlow, who gained 154 yards on 30 carries, including a one-yard touchdown run. He also added three receptions for 33 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown catch.
  • Minnesota quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who completed 20 of 29 attempts for 260 yards and three touchdowns for a 117.0 passer rating in the Vikings' 45-20 win against Kansas City.
  • St. Louis running back Marshall Faulk, who carried 22 times for 121 yards, including a one-yard touchdown run. He also contributed five receptions for 33 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown catch in the Rams' 27-10 win over Cincinnati.
  • St. Louis wide receiver Torry Holt, who had 10 receptions for 124 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown catch.
  • Tampa Bay wide receiver Keenan McCardell, who totaled six receptions for 122 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown catch.
  • Minnesota rookie running back Onterrio Smith, who rushed for 146 yards on 21 carries, including touchdown runs of one, 11 and 10 yards. He also added four receptions for 37 yards.

Other nominees for NFC Defensive Player of Week 16 were:

  • Detroit rookie linebacker Boss Bailey, who totaled 13 tackles and returned a fumble 62 yards for his first-career touchdown against Carolina.
  • Atlanta cornerback Juran Bolden, who scored his first-career touchdown on a 41-yard interception return and added five tackles against the Buccaneers.
  • Atlanta linebacker Keith Brooking, who posted 17 tackles, the third-highest total of his career.
  • Green Bay defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, who had a career-high tying three sacks.
  • Minnesota safety Brian Russell, who had two interceptions, one fumble recovery and three tackles.
  • St. Louis defensive end Grant Wistrom, who had 12 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

Other nominees for NFC Special Teams Player of Week 16 were:

  • Philadelphia punt returner Brian Westbrook, who returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown against the 49ers.
  • St. Louis kicker Jeff Wilkins, who connected on field goals of 26 and 50 yards.

2003 NFC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Wk 1

QB Joey Harrington, Det.

S Corey Chavous, Minn.

RB Terry Jackson, SF

Wk 2

RB Stephen Davis, Car

S Ken Hamlin, Sea

K Billy Cundiff, Dal

Wk 3

QB Kerry Collins, NY

S Dexter Jackson, Ariz

P Tom Tupa, TB

Wk 4

RB Ahman Green, GB

CB Champ Bailey, Was

K David Akers, Phi

Wk 5

RB Stephen Davis, Car

CB Ahmed Plummer, SF

K Paul Edinger, Chi

Wk 6

QB Brad Johnson, TB

DE Simeon Rice, TB

WR Randal Williams, Dal

Wk 7

QB Aaron Brooks, NO

DE Lance Johnstone, Min

PR Brian Westbrook, Phi

Wk 8

RB Stephen Davis, Car

DE Michael Strahan, NY

KR Jerry Azumah, Chi

Wk 9

WR Amani Toomer, NY

DE Willie Whitehead, NO

KR Cedrick Wilson, SF

Wk 10

RB Warrick Dunn, Atl

DT Brian Young, StL

K Jason Hanson, Det

Wk 11

QB Donovan McNabb, Phi

LB Nick Barnett, GB

PR Bobby Engram, Sea

Wk 12

RB Ahman Green, GB

CB Brian Williams, Min

K Paul Edinger, Chi

Wk 13

RB Deuce McAllister, NO

DE Leonard Little, StL

K David Akers, Phi

Wk 14

QB Jeff Garcia, SF

S Aeneas Williams, StL

K Ryan Longwell, GB

Wk 15

QB Aaron Brooks, NO

CB Terence Newman, Dal

K John Kasay, Car

Wk 16

QB Brett Favre, GB

S Tony Parrish, SF

K Billy Cundiff, Dal

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