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Broncos' Peyton Manning among Players of the Week

Sometimes, the Players of the Week awards surprise with a few eyebrow raisers. Other weeks, we look at the list, nod and move forward.

Week 3 was a nodding week.

In the AFC, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning got the nod on offense for his surgical dissection Monday of the Oakland Raiders. On defense, Justin Houston's monstrous 4.5-sack performance for the Kansas City Chiefs on "Thursday Night Football" wasn't forgotten.

Perhaps the most deserving special-teams winner we'll see this season is Cleveland Browns punter Spencer Lanning. Lanning did about as much in Week 3 as a punter can possibly do. His punts were on the mark, he kicked off, he converted an extra point, oh, and he also threw a touchdown pass.

Over in the NFC, tight end Jimmy Graham's nine catches, 134 yards and two scores in the New Orleans Saints' dominant Week 3 got him the nod.

Of course, the NFC defensive player of the week had to be a Carolina Panther. Greg Hardy got the nod with his eight tackles and three sacks while leading the Panthers in their 38-0 dismantling of the New York Giants.

The special-teams award in the NFC went to Detroit Lions punter Sam Martin. Martin averaged more than 52 yards per punt in Week 3, including a ridiculous 72-yarder. Martin has been well worth the fifth-round draft pick, so far.

We have a feeling Rich Eisen will be happy about this week's special-teams winners.

NFL Media will announce the players of the week every Wednesday. The list of Week 3 nominees are right here.

*The "Around the League" Podcast broke down every Week 3 game. Click here to listen and subscribe. *

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