Not only did Tampa Bay running back Michael Pittman’s 128-yard, three touchdown performance help the Buccaneers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, but it earned him the NFC Player of the Week award on Wednesday.
“I’ve really got to thank my offensive linemen and my tight ends, fullbacks and all the guys blocking for me because, honestly, without them, I wouldn’t have gotten any yards and I wouldn’t have gotten Offensive Player of the Week,” said Pittman. “So they get the majority of the credit. I’m just happy; this is my first time ever getting NFC Offensive Player of the Week. It’s a good feeling right now.”
Pittman is the first Bucs running back to earn Player of the Week honors since Warrick Dunn did it in 2000. In order to win the Week 9 award, Pittman beat out the likes of Seattle RB Shaun Alexander (160 rushing yards, two touchdowns, Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme (299 yards passing, three touchdowns), Seattle wide receiver Darrell Jackson (114 yards receiving, two touchdowns) and teammate Brian Griese (296 yards passing and two touchdowns).
According to Bucs head coach Jon Gruden, Pittman was worthy of the award.
“It’s well deserved,” Gruden said of Pittman’s award. “As a runner and as a receiver, he’s really been outstanding. Between he and [Brian] Griese, those two guys really stepped up on Sunday. I think Mike would be the first to tell you that he benefited from the help of a lot of guys on offense. But I’m proud for him. I’m really happy for him. He deserves it.”
Pittman has a chance to win two more awards this week.
His 78-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was the longest run in franchise history, and that particular play has him nominated for the Levitra Play of the Week. To vote for Pittman and/or check out the other plays that were nominated, visit NFL.com.
Pittman’s overall performance against the Chiefs has been nominated for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week award. People wishing to vote for Pittman can do so by visiting NFL.com. Should Pittman win the award, a local Tampa Bay Children’s Hospital will receive $5,000. The winner will be announced Thursday.
After missing the first three games of the season due to a league-mandated suspension, Pittman has rushed 81 times for 397 yards (4.9 avg.) and four touchdowns. Over the past five games, Pittman has also caught 13 passes for 130 yards and one touchdown.
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