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Goodman, O-line honored
SAN DIEGO – Richard Goodman is the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against Oakland on Jan. 1.
Goodman returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown, besting a franchise record held by Darren Sproles and Keith Lincoln (103 yards). The return, which gave San Diego an 11-point lead in the second quarter of a 38-26 win, was the third-longest in the NFL in 2011 (Green Bay’s Randall Cobb 108; New York Jets’ Joe McKnight 107).
Considered by some to be the fastest player on the roster this season, Goodman finished fourth in the NFL with a 27.5-yard kickoff return average, 0.2 yards behind Cobb for second place. San Diego also finished tied for 10th with New England in average starting field position following a kickoff.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” Goodman said. “Actually doing it lets you know there’s plenty more to come. We can always get better.”
Goodman beat out Miami kicker Dan Carpenter, Baltimore kicker Billy Cundiff, Tennessee punter Brett Kern and Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee to win the award.
Rivers also was one of eight nominees for AFC Offensive Player of the Week, which went to Baltimore running back Ray Rice.
GREAT PROTECTION: San Diego’s offensive line neutralized Richard Seymour, Kameron Wimbley and Tommy Kelly on the Raiders’ defensive front during the Week 17 win.
“Their pass protection was great. They went into Oakland and won a game that the Raiders needed to win,” Hall of Fame coach John Madden said, selecting the Chargers for his weekly Madden Protectors Award.
Oakland, which sacked Philip Rivers six times Nov. 10, didn’t drop him once in the season finale and allowed just one quarterback hit.
The Chargers’ line committed just one penalty and didn’t allow a tackle for loss all game as Mike Scifres never punted. Rivers threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns, while the Chargers rushed for 153 yards and 4.9 yards per carry without starter Ryan Mathews.
“Jared (Gaither) came in and played great. I think Tyronne (Green) came in there and battled his (butt) off with a busted hand,” Kris Dielman said. “Coach (Hal) Hunter and Sully (Mike Sullivan) busted their (butts) to make sure everybody knew what they were doing and the end result was what you saw.”