Linebacker Alex Highsmith was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Steelers win over the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football.
Highsmith came out of the gate on fire when he intercepted a pass from Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, that bounced off safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, on the first play from scrimmage and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown.
"I thought Mink had it and then it just popped up in the air and I saw green grass in front of me," said Highsmith. "I was just running. I was tired at that point. I'll take it."
That wasn't it for Highsmith.
In the fourth quarter he sacked Watson, forcing a fumble that fellow linebacker T.J. Watt recovered and returned for a 16-yard game-winning touchdown.
Watt hopes it's a sign of things to come from him and Highsmith, who make an incredible one-two punch for the defense.
"Hopefully there's many more to come," said Watt. "I'm just so happy to be able to play with a guy that loves the game so much. And that's not taking anything away from any other guys I played with. Everybody loves the game.
"But it's so cool to see his progression and his hunger. And the guy has so many phenomenal pass-rush moves, and he can defend the run well, that we just feed well off each other.
"We're just happy when the other person makes a play. It's never a slight -- I'm never upset when he makes the sack. I tried to give him the football for the sack fumble because how I saw it I was just in the right place at the right time and scooped it up.
"Alex played phenomenal tonight. I just want to continue to do this with him and this defense."
Highsmith recorded seven tackles, including one for a loss, a sack, two quarterback hits and the forced fumble.
"Can't say enough about Highsmith," said Coach Mike Tomlin.
This is the second time Highsmith has won AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors in his career.
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