Cardinals CB Byron Murphy named NFC Defensive Player of the Week

Sep 29, 2021, 6:40 AM
(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)...
(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Another week, another Arizona Cardinal being honored for their play.

Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. was awarded NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the team’s 31-19 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. It continues a streak of three consecutive weeks of a Cardinals player winning one of the league’s weekly honors and Murphy’s first of his career.

Murphy turned in his best game as a pro on Sunday, recording two interceptions, two passes defensed and four tackles.

His second pick of the day provided a huge momentum shift for Arizona.

Down 19-17 with less than two minutes to go in the third quarter, Murphy wasn’t fooled by the Jaguars’ flea flicker. With Arizona’s defensive line bearing down on rookie Trevor Lawrence, the quarterback fired a pass down the sideline looking for the open man but instead found Murphy running with a full head of steam the other way. Twenty-nine yards later and Arizona would regain the lead for the final time.

“I knew a shot was gonna come,” Murphy told Cardinals reporter Paul Calvisi on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station after the game. “I saw the ball in the running back’s hand, he pitched it back and I just turned my head and ran. Thank God the ball came to me, got the pick, but … had to make up for the last one I gave up.”

Previously this season, Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones (Week 1) and quarterback Kyler Murray (Week 2) won NFC player of the week awards.

It is the fifth time in team history the franchise has posted weekly winners over three consecutive weeks.

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