Every Wednesday, the NFL honors six players for their efforts in the prior weekend’s game. For each conference, an offensive, defense, and special-teams player of the week is named.
This week, the NFC recognition goes to Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, and Packers kicker Mason Crosby.
Peterson had three rushing touchdowns — all in the first quarter — and 122 yards rushing in a 34-10 win over Arizona. He’s only the fifth player to do that since the merger, and the first since 1999.
Peterson has won the award five times, second in franchise history behind quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who won it eight times.
The other finalists for the award were Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, Lions running back Jahvid Best, Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, Packers receiver James Jones, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.
Willis made a whopping 18 tackles and recovered a fumble in a 48-3 blowout of the Bucs. It’s his first player of the week award, beating out a list of finalists that included Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner, Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons, Vikings defensive end Brian Robison, and Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford.
Crosby converted four field attempts in an 11-point win over the Falcons. The other finalists were Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, Vikings punter returner Marcus Sherels, and Seahawks punter Jon Ryan.