Adrian Phillips’ game-changing performance in the New England Patriots’ latest victory earned him AFC Player of the Week honors for Week 9.
The veteran safety intercepted two Justin Herbert passes in the Patriots’ 27-24 win over the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium, including a go-ahead pick-six in the fourth quarter.
Phillips’ other interception led to a Patriots field goal just before halftime.
“Obviously, the two picks were a really big difference in the game,” head coach Bill Belichick said postgame. “Really counted for 10 points right there.”
This is the first weekly honor for Phillips, who’d played 87 career games before Sunday and never recorded multiple interceptions. In fact, he’d never tallied more than two picks in any of his first seven pro seasons. He now has three on the campaign.
“AP works his butt off, and to have the kind of game that he had today was huge,” fellow safety Devin McCourty said. “He’s a key part of our defense. I think everyone here saw that last year, the impact that he had, and he’s continuing to do that.”
The last Patriots player to win Defensive Player of the Week was linebacker Kyle Van Noy in 2019. The last Patriots defensive back to do so was James Sanders in 2010. Kicker Nick Folk was honored as the AFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week after New England’s Week 5 win over the Houston Texans.
The 4-4 Patriots will visit the 4-4 Carolina Panthers this Sunday.