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Week 11 NFL players of the week: Bobby Rainey busts out to earn NFC honors

Bobby Rainey was the breakout star of Week 11, and earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts. Also among the weekend's stars: Ben Roethlisberger, Jason Pierre-Paul and Vontaze Burfict.

Al Messerschmidt

Bobby Rainey earned NFC Offensive Players of the Week honors after rushing for 163 yards and notching three touchdowns during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The Bucs are down their top two running backs — Doug Martin and Mike James — because of injury. The once-unknown Rainey stepped up admirably, however. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry on 30 carries. The rookie out of Western Kentucky had not had more than eight carries in an NFL game until Sunday.

In the AFC, a more familiar face was honored for his offensive performance. Ben Roethlisberger soldiered through bad weather to throw for 367 yards and four touchdowns on 29-for-45 passing and help the Pittsburgh Steelers upset the Detroit Lions. The win moved the Steelers to 4-6 on the season, keeping them in the picture for what is shaping up to be a hotly-contested battle for the AFC's final wild card spot.

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had an interception return for a touchdown to go with three tackles to help the New York Giants beat the Green Bay Packers. He was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. Vontaze Burfict earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his 15-tackle performance Sunday. Burfict also recovered a fumble for a touchdown to help the Cincinnati Bengals to a 41-20 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Adam Vinatieri was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his three-field goal performance during the Indianapolis Colts' comeback win over the Tennessee Titans. Philadelphia Eagles punter Donnie Jones was the NFC's special teams honoree. He placed four of his six punts inside the Washington Redskins' 20-yard line Sunday.

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