The regular season may be over, but there are still weekly awards to hand out for Week 17. The NFL announced that Colts linebacker Jonathan Newsome is the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Newsome finished last Sunday’s game with eight tackles, a tackle for a loss, two sacks, and a forced fumble. He made his first start at rush side linebacker against the Titans.
Pro Football Focus gave Newsome the highest grade on defense for his performance with a +4.2 (+3.3 in pass rush). He was credited with five QB hurries and six stops.
He had three games this season with multiple sacks and led the team in the category with 6.5. No rookies in the NFL had more games with multiple sacks and he had the second most sacks in the 2014 rookie class.
Newsome’s sack totals are the third most by a Colts rookie. Dwight Freeney set the standard with 13 sacks back in 2002.
Newsome added 34 tackles to his stat marks and three forced fumbles.
PFF gave Newsome a solid grade overall with a +2.1 overall. He’s a force when rushing the passer, but struggles when dropping into pass coverage.
With Jack Mewhort a season long starter, and the emergence of Donte Moncrief, the 2014 draft class looks pretty good. All the players have shown potential and look like they’ll develop into solid players in the future. It would be beyond impressive if the the Colts managed to find future starters in the same class.
Newsome’s performance was rated better than J.J. Watt, who recorded three sacks including one in the end zone that resulted in a safety effectively sealing the game.
Luck and McAfee also took Player of the Month awards for November and September respectively.