Bleacher Report's NFL Awards Week 4: Handing out Hardware

Gordon BlockContributor IIIOctober 3, 2011

Bleacher Report's NFL Awards Week 4: Handing out Hardware

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    Another fantastic week of NFL football action is in the books, and now it's time to give out the awards.

    With record-breaking passing play, mind-blowing comebacks, and a few head-scratching plays, there was plenty of memorable action from around the league.

    In addition to naming the Most and Least Valuable Player awards, this week includes a tribute to a great special teams effort and the biggest injury scare.

    Here are the NFL awards for Week 4.

Game of the Week: Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys

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    For the undefeated Detroit Lions, Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys was a great opportunity to show whether or not it deserved the early attention they had received.

    However, things for the Lions began in the worst way possible, with the Cowboys jumping to a 20-3 lead at halftime.

    While the Lions marquee names rest on the offensive side of the ball, it was the team's defense who swung the momentum of the game with two third-quarter interception-return touchdowns.

    The Lions' offense then scored 17 unanswered fourth-quarter points to seal the huge comeback.

    The win has proven that the Lions can be major threats in the NFC, and the upcoming schedule looks pretty favorable leading into their bye week.

Stinker Game of the Week: Washington Redskins vs. St.Louis Rams

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    The Washington Redskins may be 3-1 for the first time since 2008, but they did it in the most boring way possible this week as they defeated the St. Louis Rams.

    Winning quarterback Rex Grossman lit up the scoresheet for a snooze-worthy 143 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

    Ryan Torain had a huge game, but the rest of the offense was flat.

    St.Louis struggled offensively for much of the afternoon, failing to score until the fourth quarter.

    Wins do look great in the standings, but that doesn't mean those wins are anything interesting to watch.

"What Was That?" Award: Ronnie Brown

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    There are some plays that prompt a singular response:

    "What was that?"

    Philadelphia Eagles running back Ronnie Brown ruined a red-zone opportunity with a ridiculous backward toss.

    Stuffed on a run near the San Francisco 49ers' 1-yard line, Brown turned around and whipped the ball backward to the ground.

    The failed lateral was promptly scooped up by the 49ers, ending the drive.

    In a game decided by a single point, the play would turn out to be incredibly costly.

"Nice Catch, Guy!" Award: Calvin Johnson

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    Few guys have the ability to make their quarterback look like a superstar like Calvin "Megatron" Johnson.

    Throw low. Throw high. Throw into triple-coverage. Odds are Johnson's coming away with it.

    While his quarterback Matthew Stafford is far from a slouch, Johnson's play Sunday made him look like a premier passer.

    That was the case in this late touchdown pass to move the Lions into striking distance in their comeback against the Dallas Cowboys.

    With the ball floating into triple coverage, Johnson went up and snagged it away from the defenders.

    "Nice catch, guy!"

Rookie of the Week: Andy Dalton

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    I admit I haven't been a huge fan of Andy Dalton's play, but he showed some real moxie in leading the Cincinnati Bengals to a win against the Buffalo Bills.

    After an underwhelming first half, Dalton and the Bengals outscored the Bills 20-3 to take the game 23-20.

    While he did throw two interceptions, Dalton finished the game with 298 yards passing, a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown.

    For a team in transition like the Bengals, solid performances like Dalton's on Sunday would be much appreciated.

Disappointment of the Week: Buffalo Bills

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    While the play of the Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton was impressive, there is no reason the Buffalo Bills should have lost their game Sunday.

    Taking a 17-3 lead at halftime, the Bills offense completely sputtered, only scoring three more points. Overall, the Bills had only 12 first downs, a tiny number compared to the Bengals 25 first downs.

    After their impressive start to the season, including last week's huge win against the New England Patriots, the Bills' play on Sunday left a lot to be desired.

Surprise of the Week: San Francisco 49ers

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    After struggling for most of the preseason and the regular season to establish their offense, the 49ers surprised many with an offensive explosion to beat the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Alex Smith, much maligned for his inconsistent play, led three stellar scoring drives.

    Smith was accurate on passes around the field and took advantage of his mobility to extend several plays. Most importantly for the offense, the line held off an aggressive Eagles pass rush long enough to move the ball effectively.

    The defense also stepped up, making just enough stops to seal the win.

    Defensive end Justin Smith made the play of the game, chasing down wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to force the game-winning turnover.

    Despite making several major changes to their coaching staff and lineup, the Niners have started the season with an impressive 3-1 record, leading the NFC West division.

Injury Scare of the Week: Andre Johnson

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    Houston Texans fans (and many fantasy football GMs) could only watch in horror as wide receiver Andre Johnson crumpled to the ground during the second quarter of the team's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Johnson, the team's leading receiver and major offensive weapon, was initially diagnosed with an injury to his right hamstring.

    "The way he went down was deflating," said Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, "because it was like he just got shot. So that scares the heck out of you."

    No word has been released about the severity of the injury, but Johnson underwent an MRI Sunday evening.

    His status for the Texans' upcoming game against the Oakland Raiders has not been determined.

Devin Hester Special Teams Award: Devin Hester

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    The prestigious Devin Hester Special Teams Award is given to the player whose special teams play stands out from his peers, named for Bears return master Devin Hester.

    This week, nobody reminded people more of Hester than the Chicago Bears' Devin Hester.

    In addition to a lengthy kickoff return, Hester also scored a 69-yard punt return touchdown.

    The punt return touchdown was the 11th of his career, which broke the record previously held by Eric Metcalf.

    Hester also holds the record for combined kick and punt return touchdowns, with 15 in his six year career.

LVP: Alex Henery

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    The Philadelphia Eagles' rookie kicker Alex Henery may not be Mr. Popularity in the locker room after his performance Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

    With not one but two opportunities to turn the Eagles' lead to two scores, Henery missed both make-able field goal attempts (both were within 40 yards).

    Henery's misses will bring back fond memories to the usual reliability of kicker David Akers, who was cut over the summer.

    He now plays for the 49ers.

MVP: Aaron Rodgers

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    In a week of dominant quarterback play, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was nothing short of spectacular.

    Rodgers clobbered the Denver Broncos, throwing for more than 400 yards and four touchdowns. He ran in another two touchdowns, which he seemed pretty chuffed about.

    "I enjoy those times, to try to make it look semi-athletic," Rodgers said.

    While much of the offseason talk circled around the exciting Philadelphia Eagles roster additions, it would be crazy to overlook how good the Packers are right now and how much of a contender they should be this season as they look to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

Special Interview

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    Listen to featured columnist Gordon Block talk about his awards on the Outside the Pocket podcast with Bleacher Report front page editor Thomas Emerick.