Week 1 Big Ten NFL standouts
Every week during the NFL season, BTN.com will spotlight some of the best individual performances by Big Ten products. See our Week 1 offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week in this post.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans – 25-38, 304 yards, 2 TD. Brees was up to his normal self in his first game back with head coach Sean Payton, who was suspended for the 2012 season. The Purdue product rallied New Orleans past rival Atlanta, 23-17.
Honorable mention: Owen Daniels, Houston (5 rec., 67 yards, 2TD); Brian Hartline, Miami (9 rec., 114 yards, 1 TD).
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Shaun Phillips, LB, Denver – 4 tackles, 2.5 sacks. You might not have noticed it due to Peyton Manning’s seven touchdown passes, but Phillips was a huge force in his Denver debut. The former Purdue standout racked up 2.5 sacks and finished with four tackles.
Honorable mention: Cameron Wake, Miami (4 tackles, 2.5 sacks); Rob Ninkovich (8 tackles, 1 FR)
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Robbie Gould, K, Chicago – 3-3 XP, 1-1 FG (career-long 58-yarder). Gould is as accurate as they come, and in Sunday’s season opener, he hit all three of this extra points and drilled a career-long 58-yard field goal.
Honorable mention: Brandon Fields, Miami (5 punts, 53.8 AVG); Brad Nortman, Carolina (5 punts, 47.8 AVG)