Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap today was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week by the NFL.
The third-year pro from Florida had two sacks of Philip Rivers at San Diego last week, and on each one he forced a fumble. The Chargers recovered the first fumble, in the first quarter, but the resulting seven-yard loss was key in forcing them to settle for a field goal and a 7-3 deficit. Late in the fourth quarter, Dunlap dropped Rivers for a 10-yard loss, to the San Diego 15, and Dunlap recovered the fumble himself, returning two yards and setting up a field goal that produced the eventual 20-13 victory margin.
Dunlap totaled five tackles in the game, and was credited by coaches with four additional QB pressures.
Dunlap leads the Bengals for the season in fumble recoveries (three) and is tied for the lead in forced fumbles (three). He ranks tied for third in sacks (4.0) and third in QB pressures (17) .
Dunlap is the second Bengal this season to win AFC Defensive Player of the Week, joining DE Michael Johnson.
Overall, the Bengals this season have captured five of the league’s weekly or monthly AFC awards. With four games to play, that’s tied for second-most in franchise history, just one short of the record six garnered in 1988 and ’89.
Below are this season’s Bengals winners prior to Dunlap:
● QB Andy Dalton earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his Nov. 11 performance vs. the N.Y. Giants. He passed for a career-high four TDs, with no INTs, and passed overall 21-for-30 for 199 yards.
● WR A.J. Green was AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September. In four games he led the conference in receptions (27), was second in receiving yards (428) and was tied for most receiving TDs (three).
● DE Michael Johnson earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his Sept. 23 performance at Washington. Johnson recorded a career-high 3.0 sacks for minus-17 yards, while totaling seven tackles (six solo).
● CB Adam Jones earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his Sept. 16 performance vs. Cleveland. His three punt returns for an average of 30.0 yards included an 81-yarder for a TD, the only non-offensive score for either team in a seven-point (34-27) Bengals win.