Odafe Oweh Wins AFC Defensive Player of the Week

OLB Odafe Oweh

Remember when folks said Odafe Oweh was going to be a "project"?

After just his second NFL game, the Ravens rookie outside linebacker took home AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his huge performance against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Late in the fourth quarter, with the Chiefs threatening to kick a game-winning field goal, Oweh punched the ball out of the hands of Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and recovered the fumble himself, preserving the Ravens' 36-35 win.

Late in the third quarter, Oweh's near sack of quarterback Patrick Mahomes forced a game-changing interception, Mahomes' first of his career in the month of September.

Oweh played 38 of 51 defensive snaps (75 percent) against the Chiefs, the most of any Ravens outside linebacker and sixth-most of any Baltimore defender.

"[He's made] a huge impact. We don't win the game without the way he played," Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday.

"Obviously, the last play on defense, but the rest of the game, too. He played 38 snaps out of less than 50 snaps, and he was all over the field. He was involved in coverage. He was involved in second-level rushes, first-level rushes [and] run defense. Then to come up with that play, it was just a phenomenal football play. So, he's well on his way."

Oweh has gotten off to a torrid start in his young career. He recorded his first NFL sack in his first game, tracking down Raiders quarterback Derek Carr as he tried to find someone open during a scramble outside the pocket.

Oweh was a key part of Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale's new wrinkle for the Chiefs. Oweh was sometimes used to get physical with tight end Travis Kelce at the line of scrimmage and then break loose on a delayed pass rush, allowing him to use his elite athleticism to find a seam and close. That's what Oweh did on the play in which he nearly brought down Mahomes.

All the talk after the Ravens drafted Oweh with the 31st-overall pick was that he was a high-potential player who needed a lot of work considering he didn't have a sack in his final college season at Penn State.

Oweh never seemed to let any of the talk bother him. He worked diligently in training camp, taking coaching and soaking up advice from veterans such as Justin Houston. After Sunday night's game, Oweh was asked whether he expected to make such an impact so early in his NFL career.

"I just try to work hard every day in practice, try to work on what I'm going to see in the game and then just try to ball out and put it all in God's hands in the game," Oweh said. "So, obviously, I want to impact the game, every game I play, but I'm just out there 'hooping,' just trying to play."

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