If winning his individual battle with Devin Hester wasn’t enough, Tim Masthay threw a touchdown to spark the Green Bay Packers’ 23-10 victory over Chicago.
Doing double duty, Masthay was rewarded by being named NFC special teams player of the week on Wednesday.
Masthay punted five times for an average of 47.6 yards. More importantly, his net average was 42.0 as he limited the dangerous Hester to two returns for 8 yards. Three of Masthay’s punts pinned Chicago inside its 20-yard line, giving him a league-leading seven.
His 27-yard touchdown flip to Tom Crabtree was the Packers’ first by a punter since Ron Widby hit Dave Davis for a 68-yard score on Nov. 19, 1972.
Masthay, who also won the award in Week 8 in 2010 and Week 13 in 2011 is the first punter to win the award in each of his first three seasons in the league.
Meanwhile, Clay Matthews’ 3.5 sacks and seven tackles against Chicago weren’t good enough to win the defensive honor. That went to Arizona’s Calais Campbell, who had two sacks and 10 tackles as the Cardinals stunned New England. It was the Patriots’ first home-opening since the opening of Gillette Stadium in 2002.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.