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David Takes Defensive Honors for Week 12

Posted Nov 27, 2013

David's 12 tackles, interception and forced fumble were party of a gutsy team performance by Tampa Bay's defense in Detroit, and it earned him his first Player of the Week award

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • LB Lavonte David had 12 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in the Bucs win at Detroit
  • David led a gritty performance by a Bucs' defense that was down three starters
  • The second-year linebacker was also the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Month last November
From week to week, Lavonte David has been one of the most productive linebackers in the entire NFL in 2013.  His most recent performance has earned him league-wide recognition.

On Wednesday, the NFL announced that David has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 13.  David recorded 12 tackles, an interception, a pass defensed and a forced fumble to lead a swarming Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense in a 24-21 road victory over the Detroit Lions.

David is the second Buccaneer to win a Player of the Week award in as many weeks, but the first this season to take defensive honors.  Running back Bobby Rainey was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week after producing 163 rushing yards and three total touchdowns in Tampa Bay's Week 11 win over Atlanta.  David is the first Buccaneer to win the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award since Ronde Barber in Week One of last season.

David is also the first Tampa Bay linebacker to receive that honor since Week Four of 2008, when it was won by the player to whom he is sometimes compared, Derrick Brooks.  While it is clearly too early to put David alongside Brooks, who could be ushered into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as soon as February, the second-year player out of Nebraska has a similar ability to make plays sideline to sideline.  That was evident on Sunday in Detroit when he made several one-on-one tackles of shifty running back Reggie Bush in the open field, and when he managed a diving, one-armed interception of a deflected pass in the first quarter.

David's interception clipped a Lions scoring threat that had nearly reached Tampa Bay's red zone and set up a 58-yard field goal drive to open the scoring.  Later in the quarter, David hustled to catch wide receiver Nate Burleson from behind on a screen pass, forcing a fumble that unfortunately for the Buccaneers rolled out of bounds before it could be recovered.

-- LB Lavonte David's interception in the first quarter killed Detroit's scoring threat

David's candidacy for Player of the Week honors was undoubtedly helped by the string of big plays made by Tampa Bay's defense in Detroit, spread out over a large number of players.  The Buccaneers forced five turnovers and blocked a punt in the game, with those six key moments turned in by six different players.  Tampa Bay played the game without usual starting middle linebacker Mason Foster and starting free safety Dashon Goldson, and lost starting left cornerback Darrelle Revis to a groin injury before halftime.  In their absence, and with young players stepping up in a variety of roles, David was the glue that held Tampa Bay's defense together against the NFL's third-ranked offense.

This is David's second league award.  He was also named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month last November.

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