New England Patriots

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 31: Adrian Phillips #21 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball after intercepting a pass by Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers in the fourth quarter at SoFi Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Patriots safety Adrian Phillips outdid himself against the Chargers, delivering a clutch performance in a big Week 8 win to cap a very good first half of the season. The NFL has now rewarded Phillips for his efforts.

Phillips was officially named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 8 on Wednesday morning. He certainly earned it, after making a game-changing interception return for a touchdown against Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. The pick-six and the ensuing two-point conversion put the Patriots up 24-17 in the fourth quarter, and the Pats ended up escaping L.A. with a 27-24 win.

The touchdown wasn’t Phillips’ only big play. He also picked off Herbert late in the first half, which helped the Patriots cut the Chargers’ lead to 14-13 before halftime.

Phillips is now up to three interceptions, 37 total tackles, and a quarterback hit in eight games (six starts) for the Patriots. He’s played the fifth-most defensive snaps on the Patriots (440), 81.5 percent of the total.

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