The first week of the NFL season is officially over. The Patriots are winless, the Jaguars are undefeated and several rookie running backs made quite a splash. But it was a pair of veteran quarterbacks and an Italian kicker who had been waived seven times who were named the NFL Players of the Week by the league on Wednesday.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. Smith passed for 368 yards -- completing 28 of 35 passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions -- in leading Kansas City to a 42-27 upset of New England. Two of his scores went for 75 yards and more, including a 75-yard bomb to Tyreek Hill and a 78-yarder to rookie Kareem Hunt. Who says Smith can't throw the deep ball?
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell took home AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. In his first game with Jacksonville after signing a four-year, $60 million contract in the offseason, the 10-year veteran absolutely terrorized the Texans, setting a franchise record with four sacks in a stunning 29-7 victory over Houston. Somewhere, Tom Savage is still having nightmares of Campbell.
The AFC Special Teams Player of the Week was Oakland Raiders kicker Giorgio Tavecchio. The Milan-born Tavecchio was a perfect 4 for 4 on field-goal attempts -- including a 52-yard bomb and a 43-yarder to ice the game -- as Oakland defeated Tennessee, 26-16, in Nashville. "I have been dreaming about this moment for a very long time," the 27-year-old rookie told the Raiders' official website. "It is special."
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. The former first-overall pick ripped the Saints apart with pinpoint passes -- completing 27 of 32 attempts for 346 yards and three scores -- as Minnesota topped New Orleans and spoiled Adrian Peterson's homecoming on Monday night.
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Johnson returned an interception 39 yards for a score and forced a fumble to lead Los Angeles to a 46-9 victory over the hapless Colts. Johnson's pick Sunday was his 17th career interception since entering the league in 2012.
The NFC Special Teams Player of the Week was Lions kicker/punter Matt Prater. Not only did Prater boot a 58-yard field goal, but he was also 2 for 2 in extra-point attempts and punted four times with an average of 35 yards to help Detroit defeat Arizona, 35-23. Quarterback Matthew Stafford is the highest-paid player in the NFL, but Prater definitely earned his cheddar on Sunday.