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Gbaja-Biamila Named NFC Defensive Player Of The Week


Defensive end KABEER GBAJA-BIAMILA of the Green Bay Packers, Quarterback MARC BULGER of the St. Louis Rams and defensive end TONY BRYANT of the New Orleans Saints are the NFC Defensive, Offensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the 17th week of the 2004 season (January 2), the NFL announced Wednesday.


Gbaja-Biamila led the defensive charge for the Packers, who earned a 31-14 victory over the rival Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. The defensive end posted a career-high 4.0 sacks, finishing with seven tackles and one forced fumble. His 4.0-sack performance ties for the third-best in franchise history and is the most since VONNIE HOLLIDAY set the club mark with a 5.0-sack effort against the Buffalo Bills on December 22, 2002. Gbaja-Biamila entered the game with 9.5 sacks and now takes his place alongside the legendary REGGIE WHITE as the only players in Packers' history with four 10.0-sack seasons. White accomplished the feat in 1993, 1995 and 1997-98, while Gbaja-Biamila has done it in each of the last four seasons.

In his fifth season from San Diego State, this is Gbaja-Biamila's first Player of the Week Award.


Bulger guided the Rams to a thrilling 32-29 overtime victory against the visiting New York Jets, helping St. Louis clinch a playoff berth. Bulger completed 29 of 39 attempts for 450 yards and three touchdowns, posting a 116.4 passer rating. Playing perhaps his best football in overtime, Bulger completed six of nine passes for 93 yards in the extra session, including three of three attempts for 42 yards on the game-winning drive, culminating in a 31-yard field goal by kicker JEFF WILKINS. His 450 yards was the second-highest total of his career and fifth-highest in team history, as he completed passes to nine different receivers in the win. Bulger's three touchdowns marked his fourth-career three touchdown game and helped the Rams to their 13th consecutive December home victory, the second-longest active streak in the NFL (Kansas City, 16).

In his fourth season from West Virginia, this is Bulger's second Player of the Week Award.


Bryant played an important role in keeping the Saints playoff hopes alive in Week 17, helping New Orleans to a 21-18 road-win against the NFC South rival Carolina Panthers. With the Saints clinging to a three-point advantage, Carolina lined up for a potential game-tying 60-yard field goal to force overtime. But Bryant rose to the occasion, blocking the attempt by kicker JOHN KASAY - who had connected on a 54-yard field goal earlier in the game - to seal the victory. Bryant also contributed on defense, recording 1.0 sack as the Saints held the Panthers to their lowest point in more than two months (17, October 31, at Seattle).

In his fifth season from Florida State, this is Bryant's first Player of the Week Award and marks the fourth consecutive week a Saints player has captured the NFC Special Teams honor.


Wk 1

QB Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota

LB Nick Barnett, Green Bay

S Bracy Walker, Detroit

Wk 2

QB Michael Vick, Atlanta

LB Brian Urlacher, Chicago

P Tom Rouen, Seattle

Wk 3

QB Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota

CB Ken Lucas, Seattle

K John Carney, New Orleans

Wk 4

RB Tiki Barber, New York

S Adrian Wilson, Arizona

K David Akers, Philadelphia

Wk 5

QB Tim Rattay, San Francisco

DE James Hall, Detroit

K Steve Christie, New York

Wk 6

QB Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota

CB Lito Sheppard, Philadelphia

P Sean Landeta. St. Louis

Wk 7

RB Ahman Green, Green Bay

DT Shaun Rogers, Detroit

K Neil Rackers, Arizona

Wk 8

QB Michael Vick, Atlanta

LB Brian Urlacher, Chicago

WR David Tyree, New York

Wk 9

RB Michael Pittman, Tampa Bay

DE Alex Brown, Chicago

WR James Thrash, Washington

Wk 10

QB Brett Favre, Green Bay

DE Bertrand Berry, Arizona

PR Eddie Drummond, Detroit

Wk 11

RB Nick Goings, Carolina

S Michael Boulware, Seattle

K Ryan Longwell, Green Bay

Wk 12

TE Alge Crumpler, Atlanta

DT Kevin Williams, Minnesota

DE Jevon Kearse, Philadelphia

Wk 13

QB Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia

LB Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay

K John Kasay, Carolina

Wk 14

WR Darrell Jackson, Seattle

LB Dan Morgan, Carolina

P Mitch Berger, New Orleans

Wk 15

QB Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota

CB Sheldon Brown, Philadelphia

KR Aaron Stecker, New Orleans

Wk 16

RB Shaun Alexander, Seattle

DE Bryce Fisher, St. Louis

KR Michael Lewis, New Orleans

Wk 17

QB Marc Bulger, St. Louis

DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, GB

DE Tony Bryant, New Orleans

Other nominees for NFC Offensive Player of Week 17 were:

New York running back TIKI BARBER, who rushed for 94 yards, including the game-winning three-yard touchdown run in a 28-24 win against Dallas. He also added three receptions for 24 yards and one touchdown. Barber set club records for single-season rushing yards (1,518) and became the franchise career rushing leader (6,927) in the victory.

Washington running back LADELL BETTS, who started his first game of the season and rushed for a career-high 118 yards, including a one-yard touchdown run, in a 21-18 home win over Minnesota.

New Orleans running back DEUCE MC ALLISTER, who rushed for 140 yards on 28 carries, including a one-yard touchdown run. His 140 yards pushed him over the 1,000-yard mark this season (1,074), becoming the first player in franchise history with three consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns.

Washington quarterback PATRICK RAMSEY, who completed 17 of 26 attempts for 216 yards and two touchdowns, posting a 100.8 passer rating.

Other nominees for NFC Defensive Player of Week 17 were:

Seattle linebacker CHAD BROWN, who led the team with 11 tackles and added 1.0 sack and one forced fumble, helping prevent a two-point conversion attempt to seal a 28-26 win over Atlanta.

New York safety CURRY BURNS, who had nine tackles, one sack and one interception.

Arizona rookie defensive tackle DARNELL DOCKETT (third-round, Florida State), who became only the third rookie in NFL history with a sack, interception and fumble recovery in the same game, helping Arizona to a 12-7 victory against Tampa Bay.

New Orleans defensive end CHARLES GRANT, who had six tackles, 2.0 sacks and one forced fumble.

New Orleans defensive end DARREN HOWARD, who posted three tackles, 1.5 sacks and one fumble recovery.

Green Bay safety DARREN SHARPER, who scored his third defensive touchdown of the season on a 43-yard interception return against Chicago.

Tampa Bay safety DWIGHT SMITH, who posted eight tackles and had one interception against Arizona, giving him a career-high 104 tackles this season.

New Orleans rookie defensive end WILL SMITH (first-round, Ohio State), who finished with five tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Washington cornerback SHAWN SPRINGS, who had three tackles and one pass defensed, notching his team-leading sixth sack of the season in the victory.

New York defensive end OSI UMENYIORA, who totaled nine tackles, 1.0 sack and one forced fumble that led to a touchdown.

Other nominees for NFC Special Teams Player of Week 17 were:

Washington running back ROCK CARTWRIGHT, who led the team with four special teams tackles.

New York punter JEFF FEAGLES, who averaged 43.6 yards on five punts, with a 35.4-yard net average.

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