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Cardinals’ Baker is NFC Defensive Player of the Week for big Monday

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker (32) strips the ball from Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury sees that the friendly, quiet personality of safety Budda Baker turns when he steps foot on the field. Baker has a “savage switch” that he flips, Kingsbury said Wednesday.

It showed on Monday Night Football when Baker recorded a sack, a forced fumble and his first career interception, which earned the Cardinals safety the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award for Week 6.

Baker’s big game against the Dallas Cowboys came in his team’s 38-10 victory at AT&T Stadium, and it happened a day after the fourth-year safety was promoted by his teammates to a captain.

Baker is the first Arizona player to record a pick and a sack while forcing a fumble since Renaldo Hill did so on Nov. 2, 2003, against the Cincinnati Bengals. After Baker’s strip of Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott and his pick of quarterback Andy Dalton on Monday, the Cardinals scored a total of 10 points against the Cowboys.

Through Week 6 and in five games played, Baker has amassed 45 tackles (three for loss), two sacks, three quarterback hits, one interception, two passes defensed and the forced fumble.

Baker’s honor comes a week after Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray won the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award.

This week’s complete list of NFL award winners is as follows:

NFC Offensive Player of the Week: Falcons QB Matt Ryan – 371 yards on 30-for-40 (75%) passing, four touchdowns, no interceptions

AFC Offensive Player of the Week: Titans RB Derrick Henry – 212 rushing yards, 9.6 yards per carry, two touchdowns, 52 receiving yards

AFC Defensive Player of the Week: Ravens DL Calais Campbell – Three sacks, five tackles (four for loss)

NFC Special Teams Player of the Week: Bears K Cairo Santos – 3-for-3 on field goals (long of 55 yards) with two extra points made in a 23-16 win.

AFC Special Teams Player of the Week: Broncos K Brandon McManus – 6-for-6 on field goals, including two from 50 or more yards, in an 18-12 win.

Phillips Law Group

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