New York, NY – Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, Denver corner Tracy Porter and New York Jets return specialist Jeremy Kerley have been selected the AFC's top players for Week 1 of the NFL season.
Flacco captured the offensive award after completing 21-of-29 passes for 299 yards with two touchdowns in Baltimore's 44-13 win over Cincinnati on Monday night. He helped the Ravens offense produce an AFC-best 430 yards for the week.
Porter was honored as the top defensive player after recording eight tackles with an interception that he returned 43 yards for a game-clinching touchdown in Denver's 31-19 win over Pittsburgh.
Kerley earned the special teams award after returning a punt 68 yards for a touchdown in New York's 48-28 rout of Buffalo. It was the first punt return for a score by the Jets since Santana Moss in 2002.
Others nominated for the AFC award included Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, who threw for 253 yards with two touchdowns against Pittsburgh; Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who threw for 266 yards with three scores and one interception; and Houston receiver Andre Johnson, who had eight receptions for 119 yards with a touchdown in a 30-10 win over Miami.
Defensive consideration went to Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who returned an interception 40 yards for a score against the Bills; Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who posted 11 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble against the Bengals; and New England rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, who notched five tackles, one sack and a forced fumble in a 34-13 win against Tennessee.
Also nominated for the special teams award were Miami returner Marcus Thigpen, who returned a punt 72 yards for the Dolphins' lone touchdown against Houston, and San Diego's Nate Kaeding, who connected on all five of his field goal tries in a 22-14 win over Oakland.