He may not have been honored with an invitation to the Pro Bowl when the official list was confirmed on Tuesday, but it appears Joe Haden will still have something to celebrate this week after it was announced he had won the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award for Week 15 on Wednesday.
In a game where the Pittsburgh Steelers held the Patriots to just 10-points, it seems appropriate that a player from the defensive side of the ball was recognized for their efforts and given the significance of Haden’s interception, he is a deserving winner. Haden would also lead the team with 12 tackles on the day and record two pass defenses to go along with his crucial turnover. He was graded as the best player in the game on defense for Pittsburgh by Pro Football Focus.
The highest graded players on the Steelers defense in their win over the Patriots. pic.twitter.com/GOpZRt1wcT— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 17, 2018
Faced with defending second and goal at the 12-yard line and the Steelers leading by just four points in the fourth quarter, Haden’s interception of a questionable pass by Tom Brady was the final turning point in the contest. This is only the second time this year Haden has picked off an opponent and his third since signing with the team in 2017.
Haden is one of four Pittsburgh players to win a weekly award in 2018 and this is the sixth time a member of the team has been honored this season. T.J. Watt won defensive player of the week honors in Weeks 1 and 5, while Roethlisberger won the offensive award in Weeks 3 and 10 and James Conner won it in Week 8.