The NFL has announced New England Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his fantastic performance against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Hightower finished the day with a team-leading 13 tackles, 1.5 sacks, a safety, and two additional quarterback hits. The 5th year linebacker stepped up in the absence of LB Jamie Collins and delivered one of the best games in his career.
This is the Patriots first AFC Defensive Player of the Week award since ED Chandler Jones won it in week 2 of 2014. Hightower is the first Patriots linebacker to win the award since Mike Vrabel won it in 2007.
This is the fifth league award for the Patriots this season. Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week in week 1, while P Ryan Allen won that same title in week 3. RB LeGarrette Blount won AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September. QB Tom Brady was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week in week 5 against the Browns.
Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi won Offensive Player of the Week for his incredible performance against the Steelers defense. Perhaps this is a good sign for the coming week.