For the second time in three weeks, a Detroit Lions rookie has won the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award. After safety Kerby Joseph won it following his two-interception performance against the Green Bay Packers, defensive end Aidan Hutchinson has now nabbed the award following the team’s 31-18 victory over the New York Giants.
On Sunday, Hutchinson had a ridiculous fingertip interception, a key fumble recovery, and three tackles. Those turnovers turned out to be huge, as the interception led to a Lions touchdown and a 10-6 lead they would never relinquish. His fumble recovery—forced by defensive back Will Harris—came in the fourth quarter, and led to Detroit’s game-sealing touchdown, making the score 31-12 with just six minutes remaining.
While Hutchinson’s performance was critical in Detroit’s win, it’s a little bit surprising that defensive tackle Alim McNeill didn’t walk away with the honors this week. McNeill produced a record-breaking 10 pressures on the day to go along with three tackles for loss. Even PFF named McNeill Defensive Player of the Week (for both conferences).
Either way, things are looking good for the Lions’ young defense. Joseph, Hutchinson, and McNeill are all 22 years old, and Detroit also has been getting big plays out of Malcolm Rodriguez (23), Josh Paschal (22), Derrick Barnes (23), and Jeff Okudah (23). If these young players can continue their upward trajectory, the rest of 2022 and beyond could be much brighter for this Detroit Lions defense.
Let’s get Hutchinson to tally up the awards by making sure he wins Rookie of the Week. Vote for him here.