Geno Smith’s performance Monday night paced the Jets to a stunning 30-28 upset over the Atlanta Falcons on the road. But it also earned the Jets quarterback the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Week award for Week 5.
He now joins RGIII as the only NFL rookie quarterbacks in 20 years to win POW honors in the first five weeks of the season.
Smith went 16-of-20 for 199 yards and three touchdowns. But, more impressively, he drove the Jets 55 yards downfield in 1:54 to set up Nick Folk’s 43-yard game-winning field goal.
Raiders safety Charles Woodson won the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Week award and Browns punt returner Travis Benjamin won the AFC’s special teams honors. The NFC POW awards went to 49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock, Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson and Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby.
And for those of you wondering: Yes, Mark Sanchez was once named the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Week.
In 2010, his second year in the NFL, Sanchez led the Jets to a dramatic 30-27 upset win over the Houston Texans. Sanchez, then a second-year QB, engineered a 72-yard game-winning drive in 45 seconds – capped by a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes. Sanchez finished the game 22-of-38 for 315 yards and the win improved the Jets to 8-2. That year, they advanced to the AFC Championship Game for the second straight season.