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Bucs safety Mike Edwards named NFC Defensive Player of the Week

Edwards became the 27th NFL player to return two interceptions for touchdowns in the same game.
Bucs safety Mike Edwards (32) celebrates one of his two interception returns for touchdowns in Sunday's 48-25 win against the Falcons.
Bucs safety Mike Edwards (32) celebrates one of his two interception returns for touchdowns in Sunday's 48-25 win against the Falcons. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Sep. 22
Updated Sep. 22

TAMPA — Three days after returning both of his fourth-quarter interceptions for touchdowns, Bucs third-year safety Mike Edwards has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

The picks occurred within a four-minute span of each other, sealing a 48-25 triumph against the Falcons. Only 26 other NFL players have recorded two pick-sixes in the same game, none since 2012.

Edwards is the first player to achieve the feat in the same quarter since Otis Smith did it for the Jets in 1997, according to Pro Football Reference.

“He’s a ball hawk. He’s definitely underrated in that sense,” cornerback Carlton Davis said Wednesday.

“He’s always been that way, he just has a knack for the ball and he’s always around it, and it was cool to just see him shine when he needed to and when we needed him to. Whenever he’s in the game he’s liable to be around the ball and make a play.”

Edwards, whose first and last interceptions at the University of Kentucky were pick-sixes, said Wildcats coach Mark Stoops was among the dozens of friends, peers, former coaches and loved ones texting him after Sunday’s game.

“He definitely did,” Edwards said. “The Kentucky coaches, they always show love.”

This is the second weekly award given to a Bucs player in as many weeks. Punter Bradley Pinion won the special teams honor following the season-opening win against the Cowboys.

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