Ravens Safety Eric Weddle Wins His First AFC Defensive Player of the Week


How has Ravens safety Eric Weddle never won a weekly honor from the NFL?

Weddle was named the AFC's Defensive Player of the Week after notching a pick-six and forcing a fumble in Sunday's 44-20 win over the Detroit Lions.

It's the first for a player who has gone to four Pro Bowls, named an Associated Press first-team All-Pro twice and won countless other awards during his 11-year career, all of which has been played in the AFC.

Weddle came off Matthew Stafford's blindside and clobbered the Lions quarterback in the first half of Sunday's game. The ball popped out and was recovered by defensive lineman Willie Henry, leading to a Ravens touchdown.

Weddle's pick-six came when cornerback Maurice Canady blitzed and slammed into backup Lions quarterback Jake Rudock, forcing a poor throw that Weddle somehow read and picked off with nobody around him.

What's crazy is that Weddle could have had two more interceptions in the game as well.

He nearly picked off Stafford in the back of the end zone in the first half, but couldn't quite get his second foot inbounds. Weddle also would have caught a second fourth-quarter interception had rookie cornerback Marlon Humphrey not jumped in front of him.

Weddle is now tied for the second-most interceptions in the league (five), only trailing the Tennessee Titans' Kevin Byard (six). Weddle has two forced fumbles while Byard has none.

Weddle has set the pace for a defense that leads the league in interceptions (20) and takeaways (29).

Weddle has said he was dealing with injuries at the start of the year, and feels healthy now. He's also been able to play more of a roving deep safety role as Tony Jefferson has often moved closer to the line of scrimmage.

A Ravens player has now been named an AFC player of the week in three straight weeks. Outside linebacker Matthew Judon got it in Week 11 against the Green Bay Packers and punter Sam Koch was honored after his Week 12 performance against the Houston Texans.

However, it's the first time a Ravens safety has been named the Defensive Player of the Week since Ed Reed in 2010.

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