Rookies of the week: Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.
The rookie usually does his best work when chasing the quarterback. On Sunday, he pretended to do so before dropping into coverage and made an impressive interception that sparked an upset road win over the Giants.
It came with less than seven minutes in the first half. The Giants led the game, 6-3. On the second and six play that started at the New York 31, Hutchinson started to rush and then backpedaled, snatching the all at the line to gain and returning it inside the 20.
Hutchinson also recovered a fumble. The interception made him the second player since 1982 with at least five sacks and two interceptions in his first 10 career games, joining Leslie O’Neal, who did it in 1986.
Alim McNeill also gets an honorable mention for Defensive Player of the Week:
Defensive player of the week: Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons.
A week after being neutralized by a heavy running attack that kept the pass rush from getting going, the neo-Doomsday Defense shut down the Minnesota offense, sacking quarterback Kirk Cousins a career-high seven times. Parsons was the unquestioned leader of the pack.
It started on the opening drive. Parsons chased down Cousins and forced a fumble. Although the Cowboys scored only three points on the short field, it set the tone for what became a blowout — the biggest road win in franchise history.
Other finalists: Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (1.5 sacks), Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (interception, fumble recovery), Lions defensive lineman Alim McNeill (one sack, three tackles for loss), Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (two sacks, forced fumble), Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson (two sacks).