KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry captured AFC defensive player of the week honors for his dominating performance in his team’s 20-17 comeback victory in week 10 against the Carolina Panthers.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Berry earned the award.
“I didn’t have a vote, but he would have had my vote,” Reid said. “He did a heck of a job.”
The honor marks the first time Berry received the league’s defense player of the week award in his career. Berry joins cornerback Marcus Peters as Chiefs winning the award during the 2016 season.
Berry turned in one of the top performances of his Pro Bowl career against the Panthers. The 2015 Comeback Player of the Year turned in seven solo tackles with two assists and highlight-reel 42-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The seven solo tackles rank tied for sixth-most in his career. The touchdown marked his fourth interception return for a score in his career.
Berry told reporters after the game he felt an opportunity coming his way before his fourth-quarter interception.
The veteran safety deflect praise to his teammates. He cited the defense stand prior to this interception when Carolina conducted a 20-play drive ending with zero points.
“To be able to do that on a 20 play drive and Dee Ford comes up big showing some grit and then Chris Jones up big after him to show some grit, I think that was probably the standout part of it,” Berry said.
Peters called his teammate “a possessed man” on the return.
“He told us that we were going to get a turnover when we went out there,” Peters told reporters after the game Sunday. “You just saw it when he went out there that he wasn’t going to stop. He was going to score on way or another.”
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, calling the return a greatest of all time (GOAT) moment.
“Eric Berry is a GOAT,” Hill said after the game. “Big time players make big moments. We all knew it was going to happen from him or anyone on defense.”