Two big-name players who were heavily criticized last season are off to fast starts in 2013. Now they have some hardware that recognizes their efforts.
The NFL announced Wednesday that San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams are the AFC Offensive Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively.
Rivers threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. He has seven TD passes and only one pick on the year, a nice return for a player who was mistake-prone last season. Rivers is getting the ball out of his hands quicker in new coach Mike McCoy's offense.
Williams had six tackles and a career-best 4.5 sacks against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in Week 2. It's safe to say that Williams' offseason foot concerns are long forgotten now. Williams looks like a great fit in new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's system.
The rest of the players of the week are rather familiar. Denver Broncos returner Trindon Holliday, who exploded in the playoffs last season, won the AFC Special Teams Player of Week 2. He had an 81-yard punt-return score in the "Manning Bowl."
In the NFC, the picks were somewhat predictable. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers won Offensive Player of the Week after scorching the Washington Redskins for 480 yards and four touchdowns. Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was honored with the Defensive Player of the Week award after blanketing Anquan Boldin in coverage on "Sunday Night Football."
And the Special Teams Player of the Week in the NFC was a familiar name. Devin Hester, who now focuses just on returns, won the award with 249 kick-return yards. He averaged nearly 50 yards per return against the Minnesota Vikings, setting up the Chicago Bears' offense for many points.
NFL Media will announce the players of the week every Wednesday. The list of nominees from Week 2 are right here.