MINNEAPOLIS -- After posting six tackles and two sacks -- including the one of Teddy Bridgewater that caused his fourth-quarter fumble -- Denver Broncos safety TJ Ward was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday.
Ward was an instrumental part of a Broncos defense that sent a defensive back after Bridgewater on eight snaps, according to ESPN Stats and Information. The Broncos got four of their seven sacks on such blitzes, and ended the Vikings' comeback threat on Ward's second sack, when Adrian Peterson missed his blitz pickup and Ward followed a clean path to Bridgewater. Von Miller recovered the fumble with 29 seconds left and ran out the clock to seal a 23-20 victory.
The safety also finished the game with a pass breakup, and joined John Lynch as the only defensive backs in Broncos history to record two sacks and a forced fumble in the same game. His first sack was one of two on the Vikings' opening drive, when Ward and Demarcus Ware rushed from either side of Matt Kalil and Bridgewater turned into Ward for a 13-yard loss.