Week after week Cameron Heyward has been a force for the Steelers defense, and that was certainly the case on Sunday night in the Steelers 31-28 win over the Green Bay Packers at Heinz Field.
It didn't go unnoticed by the NFL as he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
Heyward sacked Packers quarterback Brett Hundley twice, his fifth career multiple sack game and his second consecutive game with two sacks. One of sacks knocked Hundley for a three-yard loss in the third quarter, pushing Mason Crosby way out of his comfort range, resulting in a missed 57-yard field goal that would have put the Packers ahead 24-14. Instead, the Steelers took over and marched down the field to tie the game at 21-21.
"Man, he is having a great season, he really is," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "He is a difference maker."
On the Packers next series Heyward also got to Hundley for a four-yard sack, forcing the Packers to punt.
Heyward finished the game with six tackles and three quarterback hurries, breathing down Hundley's neck all night.
"There are a lot of good football players in the NFL, but there are a lot of selfish players. Cam is not like that," assistant head coach/defensive line coach John Mitchell said recently. "Cam wants to win. He doesn't care if his number is called or not. What I like about him is when he encourages a player, or corrects a player, he is correcting himself. I have heard him tell players this is what we have to do, but I have to do it just as well as you have to do. That makes the player he is engaging with feel good because they know he isn't just talking to them, but he is talking to himself too, saying Coach Mitchell wants me to do it better too.
"He makes my job easier. He is special."
Heyward leads the Steelers, and is tied for fifth among AFC defenders, with a career-high nine sacks on the season, and with five regular season games remaining could become the first Steelers player to record double-digit sacks since 2010 when William Gay (10.5) and LaMarr Woodley (10), did so.
This is the second time this seasons that Heyward won AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. He previously won it for his performance in a 23-9 win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4.
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