BOSTON (CBS) — Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower has been named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after his dominant effort in the Patriots’ 35-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. It is the first time in his career that he has earned the honor.
Hightower totaled 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks, one of which resulted in a safety against Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton that appeared to shift the momentum in the game in the Patriots’ favor. New England outscored Cincinnati 23-3 from that point on in the game.
Hightower is the first Patriot to earn Defensive Player of the Week since Chandler Jones in Week 2 of the 2014 season.
This is the fourth time this season that a Patriots player has been named Player of the Week. Tom Brady earned the honor in his Week 5 return against the Cleveland Browns, while Stephen Gostkowski and Ryan Allen each earned Special Teams Player of the Week honors in Week 1 and Week 2, respectively. LeGarrette Blount earned AFC Player of the Month after a strong September to start the 2016 season.