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Samuel named Defensive Player of the Week

Cornerback Asante Samuel, who's name means "thank you" in Swahili, said "thank you" to Bears quarterback Rex Grossman on three separate occasions last Sunday when he had three picks. He was named the NFL's AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the game.

The NFL named Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after he recorded three interceptions in the Patriots 17-13 win over the previously 9-1 Chicago Bears last Sunday.

The game marked just the second time a player has notched three interceptions in a game this season and Samuel was the first AFC player to do so.

The last Patriots player to intercept three passes in a regular-season game was Roland James, who had a hat trick of picks in the team's 31-0 victory over the Bills on Oct. 23, 1983. Samuel was just two years old at the time. The three interceptions ties the Patriots single-game franchise record, and marks the seventh time a Patriots player has grabbed that many in a single regular-season game.

This was the second multi-pick game for Samuel this season. He also had two against Miami in Week 5 in addition to recording two passes defensed. He is currently sitting on a career-high six interceptions this season.

Aside from stealing three passes from quarterback Rex Grossman in the Bears game, Samuel also tackled wide receiver Rashied Davis and held him to a 3-yard gain on a crucial third-and-9 play at the Patriots 17-yard line with 4:20 left in the game. The play held the Bears to a field goal and stopped a drive that could have potentially ended in a game-tying touchdown.

After the game, fellow defensive back Artrell Hawkins spoke about Samuel's performance, saying, "Asante Samuel's game was big today. I mean he had a Pro Bowl game today, straight up and down. He could've had five picks, I think."

"Man, I could have had six," said Samuel with a chuckle when he was informed of his teammate's earlier statement. "I dropped a couple."

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