On Wednesday, Jets head coach Eric Mangini announced that safety Kerry Rhodes had been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. Rhodes was honored after his masterful performance against the Bills in a Jets' 28-20 win at Buffalo.
The second-year defensive back from Louisville became the second Jets player in three weeks to receive an AFC Player of the Week award. Quarterback Chad Pennington was the conference's Offensive Player of the Week following his accomplishments at Tennessee in a season-opening 23-16 victory over the Titans.
Rhodes broke out this past Sunday with seven solos tackles including two-strip sacks on Bills quarterback J.P. Losman. The latter forced fumble was picked up by linebacker Victor Hobson and returned for a touchdown. Rhodes, whose season totals include 25 total tackles and 19 solo stops, has now recorded three strip-sacks in two weeks and he also picked up an interception in Tennessee.
"I was free the first time I came and the second time, I just worked on McGahee a little bit and I got around and made a play," Rhodes said of his game-changing plays. "Whenever I get free, I'm not just going for the sack - I'm going for the ball."
Rhodes and the rest of the Jets defense are in the midst of preparing for the Indianapolis Colts explosive offense in what will be an intriguing week four battle. Quarterback Peyton Manning leads an attack which ranks second in the NFL in points per game, averaging 30.0 points over their first three contests.
Following the win up in Buffalo, it didn't take long for the 24-year old safety to shift his focus to the Colts. Rhodes is well aware of the previous success his head coach has experienced against Peyton Manning.
"I was thinking about it right after the game. The Patriots always played the Colts well with the schemes they had," he said. "I have no idea what they did, but I hope he uses this week for us, so we can make plays like they did. They made a lot of big plays and had a lot of picks against Peyton, so hopefully it will be good for us."