2011 Week 13 Thursday notebook: Players, rookies of November announced

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks for his receiver during the second half of their NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Michigan November 24, 2011. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook (UNITED STATES) – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers won a monthly award for a league-record fourth consecutive time as the NFC and AFC players of the month, and NFL rookies for November were announced by the NFL Thursday.

NFC NOVEMBER AWARD WINNERS: Rodgers (offense), Chicago defensive end Julius Peppers (defense) and Arizona punt returner-cornerback Patrick Peterson (special teams) were the November NFC players of the month.

Rodgers was the first player in NFL history to win the league’s monthly award four consecutive times since the awards were instituted in 1986. He has five career monthly NFC awards.

Rodgers completed 89 of 123 passes for 1,103 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception for a 131.6 passer rating, his career-high for any month. The Packers went 4-0 during November and are the second defending Super Bowl champion to start the following season 11-0. He has now registered a 100+ passer rating game in all 11 games, the longest streak in NFL history.

Peppers had four sacks, a forced fumble, 10 tackles and three passes defensed as the Bears went 3-1 in the month. His four sacks tied for the most in the NFC during the month, and his 33 sack yards were the most in the conference. He had at least one sack in three of the team’s four games.

This was Peppers’ fifth career player of the month Award and second with the Bears, and he is tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer John Randle for the second-most defensive player of the month awards (Pro Football Hall of Famer Bruce Smith holds the record with six).

Peterson led the NFL with two punt-return touchdowns (99 and 80 yards) during the month as the Cardinals posted a 3-1 record. Peterson’s 271 punt-return yards also topped the league. He is the first player in NFL history with four punt-return touchdowns of at least 80 yards in a single season.

He became the fifth player in Cardinals’ history to be named player of the month and the first since kicker Neil Rackers in 2005.

BRADY LEADS AFC NOVEMBER AWARDS: New England quarterback Tom Brady (offense), Houston linebacker Connor Barwin (defense) and Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski (special teams) were the AFC’s November players of the month.

Brady completed 93 of 149 passes for 1,266 yards, 10 touchdowns, two interceptions and a 106.3 passer rating as he helped the Patriots to a 3-1 record. Brady’s 1,266 passing yards led the NFL for the month and his 10 touchdown passes ranked first in the AFC and tied for second in the NFL.

This was Brady’s fifth career player of the month award and first since December 2010.

For the month, Barwin totaled 16 tackles and an NFL-best 6.5 sacks as he helped the Texans to a 3-0 record, and he registered at least one sack in each game during the month.

This was Barwin’s first career monthly award. He is the second Texans player to win AFC monthly defensive honors (Marcus Coleman in September 2003).

Janikowski made 10 of 11 field goals and all 10 extra points to help the Raiders to a 3-1 record. His 10 field goals for the month led the AFC and tied for second in the NFL.

This was Janikowski’s third career monthly award and second of 2011 (September).

ROOKIES OF THE MONTH ANNOUNCED: Dallas running back DeMarco Murray (offense) and Denver linebacker Von Miller (defense) were selected as the NFL’s November rookies of the month.

Murray, a third-round selection out of Oklahoma, rushed for 434 yards and one touchdown in November as the Cowboys posted a 4-0 record to take over first place in the NFC East. He had two 100-yard games during the month. For the month, he led the NFC with 590 scrimmage yards (434 rushing, 156 receiving) and finished second in the league with 434 rushing yards.

Murray is the fourth Cowboy to earn NFL rookie of the month honors and the first since DeMarcus Ware in 2005 (defense, October).

Miller, the No. 2 overall selection out of Texas A&M, recorded 31 tackles, 4.5 sacks and two passes defensed, helping the Broncos to a 4-0 mark. His 4.5 sacks tied for the most among rookies during the month, and he registered 2.5 of his 4.5 sacks in November in the fourth quarter of games.

Through Week 12, Miller leads the AFC and is tied for third in the NFL with 10.5 sacks. He was the fourth Denver player to win rookie of the month and the first since D.J. Williams in December 2004.

NEVER SAY NEVER: According to the NFL, since the current 12-team playoff format was instituted in 1990, 15 teams have reached the postseason despite having a losing record after 11 games. This includes an active streak of seven consecutive seasons in which a sub-.500 team after 11 games has reached the playoffs.

Six of those seven teams have gone on to win at least one playoff game. Seattle advanced to the divisional playoff round after a 5-6 start last season. Six of those seven had a 5-6 record after 11 games, except for 4-7 San Diego in 2008.

By the way, Buffalo is the only NFL team at 5-6 after 11 games. In the AFC, Cleveland, Kansas City and San Diego are 4-7, while Philadelphia, Washington, Tampa Bay, Seattle and Arizona are 4-7 in the NFC.

RODGERS LEADS PRO BOWL BALLOTING: The NFL announced, that with three weeks left in fan balloting, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers leads all vote-getters for the 2012 Pro Bowl.

Rodgers has 961,818 votes ahead of No. 2 and AFC leading vote-getter Tom Brady (873,424). Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson is third (743,335), New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker is fourth (684,591) and Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson (680,428) rounds out the top five.

Fan balloting on NFL.com concludes December 19 after the Monday Night Football game between Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

Rodgers leads 10 Packers who lead at their respective positions, the most in the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens have six players leading their positions, the second-most overall and tops in the AFC.

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