Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson has been named the NFC Week 3 Defensive Player of the Week. On Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, Hutchinson logged four tackles, 2.0 sacks, two passes defended, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and one of the best stanky leg celebrations I’ve ever seen.
Hutchinson entered the game tied with the league lead in pressures forced, but hadn’t logged a sack in the team’s previous two games. Getting home twice on Desmond Ridder was a nice weight off his shoulders.
“It’s hard, man, when you feel like you’re playing at a high level but the numbers, or just the production, doesn’t come,” Hutchinson said after the Falcons game. “So it’s frustrating. That’s just the game of football. I thought I was – I did have to get a little mentally tough today. You’re so proud of the boys for producing, for getting after it, and I also wanted to be a part of it.”
Coach Dan Campbell was not surprised when the sacks finally started coming for Hutchinson.
“Any time Hutch rushes I think he’s going to get there because it’s the nature of the way he rushes,” Campbell said. “He’s high-motor, he’s got craft about what he does, he’s not a one-trick pony, he’s got a couple of different moves and he’s got ability, so I always expect it.”
This is the second time in Hutchinson’s young career in which he has won NFC Defensive Player of the Week. He also won it back in Week 11 against the New York Giants, when he tallied three tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble.
Hutchinson is the first Lions player to win two NFC Defensive Player of the Week awards since Darius Slay did it in 2016, 2017, and 2018.