Bears return specialist Devin Hester and Bengals wide out Chad Johnson highlight the NFL’s Players of the Week for Week 12. Hester earned the NFC special teams honor for his performance in Chicago’s 37-34 overtime win over Denver last Sunday. Hester returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown then took a kickoff back 88 yards for a score to earn his third special teams award this season and sixth of his career. Johnson won the AFC offensive award for his three touchdown performance in the Bengals’ 35-6 victory over Tennessee. Johnson finished with a career-high 12 catches for 103 yards.
San Francisco running back Frank Gore won the NFC offensive award, while Minnesota safety Dwight Smith earned the defensive award. Gore rushed for 116 yards and two TDs, plus caught 11 balls for 98 yards and a score in the 49ers’ 37-31 overtime win in Arizona. Smith took home the defensive honors for recording two interceptions, including a 93-yard return for a touchdown, in the Vikings’ 41-17 rout over the Giants.
Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel and Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee were also honored in the AFC. Samuel notched two picks in the Pats’ 31-28 win over Philadelphia to earn defensive honors. He intercepted A.J. Feeley in the first quarter and took it back 40 yards for a touchdown, then sealed the deal with a pick in the end zone with under four minutes to play. Scobee won the special teams award after he racked up a career-high 18 points in the Jags’ 36-14 triumph over Buffalo. He nailed five field goals and was 3-of-3 on extra points.