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Dan Connolly wins AFC special teams player of week award

Dan Connolly, Charlie Peprah, Sergio Brown

New England Patriots offensive lineman Dan Connolly (63) straight arms Green Bay Packers safety Charlie Peprah, center, on his way to the end zone on his touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday Dec. 19, 2010. The Patriots won 31-27. At right is Patriots safety Sergio Brown.(AP Photo/Tim Cook)


For his record-setting 71-yard kickoff return on Sunday night against the Packers, during which he looked a little like a Bumpus hound making off with Christmas turkey, Patriots guard Dan Connolly has been named the AFC special teams player of the week.

The effort topped by 23 yards the prior record for a kick return by an offensive lineman, which had been set in 1969 by Mal Snider of the Falcons.

Connolly is the first offensive lineman to win the award since Langston Walker of the Raiders, who blocked a field goal in Week 12 of the 2004 season.