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Brooks Named AFC Defensive Player of Week

Fourth-Year Safety Had Jets' First 2-INT Game, First 3-PD Game Since 2015 in Win over 'Fins


Updated, 10:30 a.m. ET

Almost a month ago, safety Terrence Brooks was thanking his lucky stars he'd been traded to the Jets.

"I was happy that a team wanted me to be here and contribute," he told me after the final preseason game against his former team, the Eagles. "That's the thing. It doesn't matter to me where I go. I just want to play football, go out there and prove to myself I can do it."

During his official MetLife Stadium debut as a Jet during the home-opening win over the Dolphins on Sunday, Brooks showed a lot of folks besides himself what he can do.

"It's sweet, man," said Brooks, who was named by the NFL today as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. "Every time I've played here, I feel like I've had a good game."

Brooks' game was a little more than good as he optimized his 31 defensive snaps and 19 special teams plays. He had the Jets' first two-interception game since Marcus Williams back in 2015 and their first game with three pass defenses since that season as well.

He started with an assisted tackle on the Jets' first punt of the day, helping to produce a 48-yard net punt for Lachlan Edwards.

Then in the second half, Brooks turned it loose, contributing to the Jets' two best starting field positions of the day, both of which produced scores. On Miami's first series, he batted away a third-down pass from Jay Cutler to Jarvis Landry that led to the Jets' 49-yard march to Bilal Powell's 1-yard TD run.

The next series, he blitzed and got a third-down hit on a Cutler incompletion. Then Miami coach Adam Gase, trying to get something going offensively, called for a fake punt and pass by rookie punter Matt Haack from the Dolphins 28. The Jets were all over it, basically double-covering WR Leonte Carroo, with Brooks grabbing the pass before going out of bounds, again at the 'Fins 49, to start the final field goal drive.

"Coach [Brant] Boyer is a hell of a special teams coach," Brooks said. "He had us prepared for that. As soon as we saw it, we recognized it."

The second pick came against Cutler, again throwing for Landry, from the Jets 29 with 4½ minutes left.

"I was just playing ball, keeping my eyes on the quarterback," he said. "It was a great game plan by our coaches and it worked out for us."

Gameday Through the Lens of Team Photographer Dan Szpakowski. Follow @nyjetsphotog on Instagram.

What's also worked out is the flurry of free agent acquisitions by GM Mike Maccagnan's front office, with Brooks being one of the recent veteran arrivals.

"Those guys are good football players," head coach Todd Bowles said Monday. "It's just a matter of getting used to them and them getting used to the systems, fitting in and trying to tweak things to see some of the things they can do.

"Obviously, Brooks played well and [Jermaine] Kearse has been playing well and [Jeremy] Kerley and [Kony] Ealy chipped in. I think they have to get acclimated to what we're used to doing, we have to get acclimated to what they're used to doing as well, and just keeping blending going forward."

Brooks, Baltimore's third-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Florida State, came to the Ravens with a few shiny trophies from FSU — as a senior he was named All-America first team and All-ACC first team. But he had yet to win any NFL awards until today.

He's the Jets' first Player of the Week honoree this season and only the second in the last two seasons. He's the Jets' first player to win the Defensive POW since CB Darrelle Revis after Week 2 of the 2015 season and the Jets' first safety to win it since Jaiquawn Jarrett after the 2014 Week 10 win over Pittsburgh.

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