Davis earns AFC special teams honors

January 3, 2008 2:05:42 PM PST
Houston Texans wide receiver André Davis was named AFC Specials Teams Player of the Month for December, the NFL announced Thursday.Davis becomes the second Texans player this season to earn player of the month honors, joining defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, who was named Defensive Rookie of the Month in September. Davis is the fifth Texans player to earn a player of the month award overall.

"I'm very excited. Most importantly, I'm glad for our whole special teams," Davis said. "I think it's an award we all deserve, not just myself. All of the other 10 guys on the team are just as deserving as I am. I'm just happy that the Texans were able to finish off this season strong, and hopefully this will be the foundation for something better next year."

The 6-foot-1, 194-pound Davis led the NFL with a 34.9-yard kickoff return average in December and topped the NFL with three kickoff returns for touchdowns in a month. He joins Vitamin Smith of the Los Angeles Rams (October 1950) as the only players in NFL history to return three kickoffs for touchdowns in the same month.

Davis joins the New York Jets' Leon Washington as the only players in the NFL to have three kickoff returns for touchdowns this season. Davis' 104-yard score against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday was tied for the longest return in the NFL in December.

Davis was named the Week 13 AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against Tampa Bay. Coming into the game, the Buccaneers ranked second in the NFL, allowing an average of 17.6 yards per return. Davis finished the game with a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, which was the second of the year for the Texans. He finished the game with a 57.5 return average on two returns.

The following Thursday against Denver, Davis returned four kickoffs for 116 yards, including a long of 50 yards. Houston traveled to Indianapolis in Week 16, where Davis returned six kickoffs for 165 yards against the Indianapolis Colts, with a long of 35 yards. Davis finished with an average of 27.5 yards per return. Davis completed the month by turning in perhaps the best performance of the season by a special teams player in the NFL. Against Jacksonville, who boasted the league's top-ranked kickoff coverage unit, Davis became just the seventh player in league history to return two kickoffs for a touchdown in the same game.

Davis' 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter was his second of the season and the third of his career. Davis returned the opening kickoff of the second half 104 yards for a touchdown. It was the first time in team history that a player returned two kickoffs for a touchdown in the same game. Davis averaged 46.8 yards per return for the game, setting a Texans single-game record.

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