Player of the Veek

AP Photo-Bill Kostroun

Linebacker Kawika Mitchell has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his exceptional performance Sunday in Buffalo.

Mitchell had six tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown as the Giants clinched a playoff berth with their victory over the Bills. The Giants trailed, 21-17, early in the fourth quarter, when Eli Manning lost a fumble at the Buffalo 12-yard line. Two plays later, Mitchell changed the momentum of the game, intercepting a Trent Edwards pass and returning it 20 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. It was his second touchdown of the season; he scored on a 17-yard fumble return vs. Philadelphia on Sept. 30. The Giants never relinquished the lead after Mitchell's touchdown.

This is the third time this season a Giants player has won the Defensive Player of the Week award. Osi Umenyiora captured the first two, in Week 4 (after a six-sack performance vs. Philadelphia) and Week 7 vs. San Francisco (when he returned a fumble 75 yards for a touchdown).

*Four Giants did not practice today, including running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who rushed for 151 yards at Buffalo, and has a bruised calf. "It is a day to day thing," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "We will see how it is tomorrow."

Also sitting out were cornerback Kevin Dockery (hip flexor), wide receiver Sinorice Moss (back) and defensive tackle Manny Wright (back).

*The NFL has arranged with broadcast television partners CBS and NBC for an unprecedented three-way national simulcast of the NFL Network telecast of Saturday night's Giants-Patriots game. CBS and NBC will carry the NFL Network feed of the game with Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collinsworth in the broadcast booth. The game also will be televised by WWOR (Channel 9) in New York and WCVB-ABC (Channel 5) in Boston.

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