A well deserved honor for Hilton

Linebacker T.J. Watt possibly said it best when talking about cornerback Mike Hilton.

"He is a very gritty football player," said Watt.

That he is. And it's that grit that led to him being named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 16 of the NFL season.

Hilton played a huge role in the Steelers 28-24 come from behind win over the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field on Sunday, with an interception and a fumble recovery.

Early in the second quarter, Watt had a strip-sack of Colts quarterback Philip Rivers, which Hilton recovered and returned 14 yards to the Colts three-yard line. James Conner made it count when he took it in from the one-yard line to tie the game at 7-7.

In the fourth quarter, shortly after the Steelers took their first lead of the game at 28-24, Hilton intercepted Rivers at the Steelers 12-yard line.

"It's a big play at a big moment, and we were able to close the game out and get a big win," said Hilton. "We weren't able to force turnovers in our last three losses, and it kind of put more pressure on the offense, but as a defense, if we put them on a short field, our offense will succeed, and we did that."

Hilton finished the game with four tackles, two of them solo stops, an interception, a fumble recovery and two pass defenses.

"Mike is a special cat on this defense," said Watt. "He blitzes, he drops in coverage, he does man-to-man coverage. He does basically anything that we ask him to do.

"He's a very gritty football player. At the end of the day, Mike Hilton makes plays for us, and we're very fortunate to have him on our team."

This is the second time in his career Hilton has won AFC Defensive Player of the Week, previously doing so in Week 16 of the 2017 season. Hilton joins former Steelers cornerbacks Ike Taylor (2) and Rod Woodson (4) in winning the award multiple times.

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