AFC Defensive Player of the Week went to Indianapolis Colts cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who’s showing out in the early going for his new squad. The veteran defensive back was a leading force in the Colts’ shutdown of the New York Jets, 36-7, on Sunday. Rhodes had two interceptions, with one of the pick-six variety as he returned it 44 yards for a score. He also had two passes defended and picked up his second POTW honor, with his first coming all the way back in Week 11 of 2016.
Seemingly far removed from his Week 1 travails, Tennessee Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski is looking like his old self and kicked his way to AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. It’s Gostkowski’s seventh POTW honor, his previous six coming with the New England Patriots, and he’s now been voted player of the week in three decades, with his first coming in 2009. His latest honor came on the strength of hitting six field goals for the Titans, with three from more than 50 yards, which included the 55-yard game-winner in the Titans’ 31-30 win over the Minnesota Vikings. In total, Gostkowski scored 19 points and made all seven of his kicks.
Shaquil Barrett terrorized his former team on Sunday as he helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers down the Denver Broncos, 28-10, and collected NFC Defensive Player of the Week. Barrett posted three tackles for loss, two sacks, a safety and six tackles. It was the second such honor for Barrett in his seven-season career, though both have come in his two seasons with the Bucs.
The Detroit Lions pulled off a 26-23 upset of the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday for their first win and it wouldn’t have come to fruition had it not been for the phenomenal foot of Matt Prater, who earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Prater piled up 14 points as he was perfect on both his extra points and all four of his field goals, including a game-winning 39-yard effort. It is Prater’s 12th player of the week as he’s collected the honors now in three decades.