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DeAngelo Williams among NFL Players of the Week

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  • By Max Meyer NFL.com
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Things that get better with age: A nice bottle of red wine, the "Mission: Impossible" franchise and Week 1 AFC Offensive Player of the Week DeAngelo Williams.

Make no mistake, Williams did have two excellent seasons early on in his career with the Panthers. But after he failed to eclipse the 900-yard rushing mark in his final five seasons in Carolina, he has found his groove again in the Steel City.

Williams filled in admirably last season for the injured Le'Veon Bell, collecting more than 1,200 yards from scrimmage and 11 scores. He picked up where he left off in 2015 with Pittsburgh in a 38-16 win over Washington this past Monday, rushing for a crisp 143 yards and finding pay dirt twice.

The 33-year-old veteran, who also owns the title of oldest tailback in the NFL, was the oldest player to rush for at least 100 yards and two touchdowns since legendary Steelers running back Jerome Bettis in 2005. Williams' notable performance in the season opener goes to show that age is just a number, just like the Steelers' one victory to start 2016.

Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus and Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski were the other AFC players to gain Week 1 notoriety, picking up the defensive and special teams accolades respectively.

After not picking up a single sack in Houston's first five games last season, Mercilus recorded two takedowns of Jay Cutler in a 23-14 victory. Gostkowski nailed all three field-goal attempts and two extra points, while counterpart Chandler Catanzaro's inability to match that perfection was the difference in the Patriots' 23-21 win over the Cardinals.

On the other end, the NFC players who captured the awards on Week 1 were Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston for offense, Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks for defense and Lions punter Sam Martin for special teams.

Winston and Kendricks each started their sophomore campaigns with a bang. The 2015 No. 1 overall pick tossed four touchdowns in a Tampa triumph against the Falcons, while Kendricks' pick-six off of 2015 No. 2 overall selection Marcus Mariota gave the Vikings a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

As NFL Network's Rich Eisen would say, punters are people too, and therefore Martin deserves his own celebratory paragraph. In a game that featured a plethora of points, the Lions' punter managed to stand out in Detroit's 39-35 win over Indianapolis. He posted a 55.5-yard net average on his four punts. Two of them landed inside the Colts' 20-yard line, including a 63-yard beauty that went out of bounds at the 6 in the fourth quarter.

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