FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Patriots S Kyle Dugger has been named AFC Defensive Player of the Week by the National Football League for his performance in the Patriots' 23-21 victory over the Miami Dolphins last Sunday. It is the first AFC Defensive Player of the Week honor for Dugger.
Dugger recorded his third touchdown of the season after returning a third quarter interception 39 yards for a score to give the Patriots a 16-14 lead. He is the first New England Patriots player in the Super Bowl era with three defensive touchdowns in a single season. Dugger had a 59-yard fumble returned for a touchdown vs. Detroit on Oct. 9 and a 16-yard interception returned for a touchdown at Las Vegas on Dec. 18. The Patriots set a team record with seven defensive touchdowns in 2022 and Dugger played a major role in four of them. In addition to his three scores, he forced a fumble at Arizona on Dec. 12 that was returned 23 yards for a touchdown by LB Raekwon McMillan.
It is the fifth time in 2022 that the Patriots have been awarded a player of the week honor. In addition to Dugger, LB Matthew Judon was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his 2-sack performance in the Patriots win vs. Detroit in Week 5, and LB Josh Uche was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his 3-sack performance in the win at Arizona in Week 14. K Nick Folk was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 8 at the New York Jets, and DB Marcus Jones was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 11 vs. the New York Jets. The five AFC Player of the Week honors are the most by the Patriots since they had five recipients in 2017.