Bush, Winfield awarded for dazzling performances

NEW YORK (TICKER) New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush and Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield wowed the Monday Night Football audience.

On Wednesday, the two were honored as NFC Special Teams and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively.

Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week, while Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took home the honors in the AFC. Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

However, all the water-cooler talk was about the exploits of Bush and Winfield. Bush tied an NFL record by returning two punts for touchdowns in a 30-27 loss to Winfield’s Vikings in a wildly entertaining game.

Bush ripped off a 71-yard return and a 64-yard TD to become the just the 12th player in NFL history to return two punts for scores in the same game. He is the first to do so since Eddie Drummond in 2004.

Bush finished with 269 all-purpose yards.

However, the Vikings got the last laugh thanks in part to Winfield, who returned a blocked punt 59 yards for a TD and also had a sack, forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Portis was honored after he ran for 145 yards and a touchdown in a 23-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Roethlisberger threw for 309 yards and three scores in leading the Steelers to a 26-21 win over Jacksonville, and Brackett returned a fumble 68 yards in helping the Colts rally for a stunning 31-27 win over the Houston Texans.

Prater converted all three field goals he attempted - including a 55-yarder - in a 16-13 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Updated Wednesday, Oct 8, 2008