Kyle Van Noy accomplished a rare feat when he was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday for his performance in the 19-7 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals.
He became the first Miami Dolphins linebacker to win that award since 2005 when Zach Thomas was recognized for his play in a victory against the San Diego Chargers. It could be argued that Jason Taylor did it in 2006 when he won the award twice on his way to being named NFL Defensive Player of the Year because he played more of a hybrid linebacker position while being listed as a defensive end.
Either way, it's been a long time.
Van Noy was recognized after finishing the game against Cincinnati with a career-high three sacks along with five tackles for loss. He also was the one who deflected the pass that was intercepted by Nik Needham in the fourth quarter.
Van Noy had a sack in the second quarter and two in the fourth. He was the first Dolphins player with three or more sacks in a game since 2015 when Cameron Wake had four against the Tennessee Titans.
The last Dolphins defensive player to be named AFC Defensive Player of the Week before this was Xavien Howard, who was recognized in Week 13 of the 2018 season.
“I think we did a good job coming out the second half, doing a better job of just bringing more energy and urgency," Van Noy said after the game. "We started playing football, and I think it showed. Offense got the juice going, and defense came on and kept the juice, and we kept it rolling. We’ve just got to do a better job of coming out of the gate like that and keeping it for the whole game.”
Van Noy is seventh Dolphins linebacker (excluding Taylor) to be named AFC Defensive Player of the Week since the award began in 1984. He follows: John Offerdahl (1986), Mark Brown (1988), Bryan Cox (1992), Derrick Rogers (1997), Robert Jones (1998) and Thomas (2001 twice, 2005).