Collins Named NFC Player of the Week

Near-perfect performance in win over Rams earns QB first POW of season.

Quarterback Kerry Collins of the New York Giants, linebacker Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears, and kick returner Mar Tay Jenkins of the Arizona Cardinals are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played the second week of the 2002 season (September 15-16), the NFL announced today.

Collins completed 22 of 26 attempts for 307 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the Giants' 26-21 win over the NFC Champion-St. Louis Rams. Collins had a 112.7 passer rating on the day and his 84.6 completion percentage is a club-record.

Collins became only the fourth player in NFL history - joining Joe Montana, Kurt Warner and Steve Young- to pass for 300 yards in five consecutive games. He can tie Warner and Young's NFL record (six) for consecutive 300-yard outings when the Giants return home to face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Collins helped the Giants to a 17-7 halftime lead by completing 11 of 12 attempts for 146 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown to rookie tight end JEREMY SHOCKEY. Then, with the Rams closing the gap to 23-21 in the fourth quarter, the Giants gained possession with 8:19 remaining. Collins then drove the team 72 yards, completing both of his passes for 58 yards, culminating in a 25-yard field goal by rookie kicker Matt Bryant for a 26-21 advantage.

"Kerry was outstanding," said Giants head coach Jim Fassel. "He threw the ball well and I thought he played a really smart game. My opinion coming out of two games is that we can throw the ball on people. We'll have the best passing attack we've had around here for a while."

In his eighth season out of Penn State, this is Collins' third Player of the Week Award.

Urlacher had a team-leading 13 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery in the Bears' 14-13 road win over the Atlanta Falcons. His play helped limit the Falcons to 78 yards and three points in the game's decisive second-half.

Both of Urlacher's sacks came in the fourth-quarter with the Bears nursing a one-point lead. His second sack of Falcons quarterback MICHAEL VICK caused a 16-yard loss and forced an Atlanta punt with 3:06 remaining. Then, with 1:10 to go, Urlacher stopped Vick on a third-and-one to force a 45-yard field-goal attempt that failed. Earlier in the third quarter, Urlacher recovered a fumble at the Chicago 21-yard-line to end an Atlanta scoring threat.

"The Falcons are a good team," said Urlacher. "In the NFL, a win's a win. We don't care how we get it or what the stats look like, we'll always take a win."

In his third season from New Mexico, this is Urlacher's third Player of the Week Award.

Jenkins earned honors for his play in the Cardinals' 24-13 win over Seattle.

After the Seahawks had taken a 13-10 fourth-quarter lead, Jenkins returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, giving Arizona a 17-13 advantage they would never relinquish. The 95-yarder was his second career kick-return score.

"That's what MarTay's job is," said Cardinals head coach Dave McGinnis of Jenkins, who returned four kickoffs for 161 yards in the game, averaging 40.3 yards per return. "He's been blessed with speed."

In his fourth season out of Nebraska-Omaha, this is Jenkins' first Player of the Week honor.

Other nominees for NFC Offensive Player of Week 2 were: New Orleans wide receiver Joe Horn, who had six receptions for 120 yards in the Saints' 35-20 win over Green Bay, and Saints running back Deuce McAllister, who carried 21 times for a career-high 123 yards, including touchdown runs of four and two yards. He also had a 62-yard run and a 5.9 yards-per-carry average; Tampa Bay quarterback Brad Johnson, who completed 24 of 31 attempts for 211 yards for a 95.0 passer rating in the Buccaneers' 25-0 win over Baltimore; Arizona running back Thomas Jones, who set career highs with 24 carries and 173 yards. He also added a career-long 58-yard touchdown run and two receptions for 18 yards; Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb, who completed 26 of 38 attempts for 292 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 108.7 passer rating in the Eagles' 37-7 defeat of Washington. He also rushed for 36 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown run; and Carolina quarterback Rodney Peete, who completed 21 of 32 attempts for 310 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for a 107.6 passer rating in the Panthers' 31-7 win over Detroit.

Other nominees for NFC Defensive Player of Week 2 were: Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks, who had four tackles, two passes defensed and a 97-yard interception-return touchdown, the second longest play in team history; New Orleans linebacker Charlie Clemons, who had six tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed; Dallas linebacker Dexter Coakley, who finished with eight tackles and a 52-yard interception return touchdown, his fifth career defensive score, in the Cowboys' 21-13 win over Tennessee; Carolina rookie defensive end Julius Peppers, who had five tackles, three sacks, one pass defensed and one forced fumble; and New Orleans linebacker Darrin Smith, who totaled a team-leading 12 tackles and one interception.

Other nominees for NFC Special Teams Player of Week 2 were: Chicago special teamer Rabih Abdullah, who led the club with three special teams tackles and recovered a fumble on the punt-coverage team that led to the go-ahead touchdown; New York rookie kicker Matt Bryant, who connected on four-of-four field-goal attempts; and Tampa Bay punt returner Karl Williams, who returned two punts for 62 yards, including a 56-yarder for a touchdown.
Sept 18, 02