AFC North High Energy Player of the Week

A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 16.

Of all the High Energy Players of the Week in the AFC North this season, this by far was the most surprising.

Cincinnati Bengals third-year receiver Jerome Simpson, who entered Week 16 with three career receptions, exploded with six catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns in Cincinnati's 34-20 upset win over the San Diego Chargers. Simpson is the first Bengals player to be selected this season as the division's High Energy Player.

Simpson, a second-round pick in 2008, has been slow to develop and spent a majority of this season inactive or on the bench behind veteran receivers Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens. But with both starters injured, Simpson is taking advantage of the opportunity and making a case to be part of Cincinnati's rebuilding efforts in 2011.

Surprisingly, the Bengals are on a two-game winning streak with quarterback Carson Palmer throwing to younger receivers Simpson, Andre Caldwell and Jordan Shipley. It makes you wonder how the coaching staff wasn't aware of players like Simpson until the final weeks of the season.

Previous AFC North High Energy Players

Week 1: Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore Ravens

Week 2: Troy Polamalu, S, Steelers

Week 3: Brett Keisel, DE, Steelers

Week 4: Peyton Hillis, RB, Browns

Week 5: Ray Rice, RB, Ravens

Week 6: Lawrence Timmons, LB, Steelers

Week 7: Ed Reed, S, Ravens

Week 8: Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Steelers

Week 9: Hillis, RB, Browns

Week 10: Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers

Week 11: James Harrison, LB, Steelers

Week 12: Hillis, RB, Browns

Week 13: Terrell Suggs, DE/LB, Ravens

Week 14: Polamalu, S, Steelers

Week 15: Rice, RB, Ravens

Week 16: Simpson, WR, Bengals