The Kansas City Chiefs brought the NFL's 10th-ranked offense and second-ranked rushing attack to Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, but left with just 260 yards, 80 on the ground. Hard-hitting rookie safety Mark Barron was at the center of that outstanding defensive effort, and as a result he has been chosen as a nominee for the NFL's Rookie of the Week award.
Barron will vie for the Week Six honors with Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon, Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Miami quarterback Russell Wilson. Fans will make the final selection by voting on NFL.com.
To watch a highlight video of Barron's big game against the Chiefs and cast your vote for the Buccaneer rookie, visit the balloting page on NFL.com. Voting began on Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. ET and will continue through 3:00 p.m. ET on Friday. The winner will be announced Friday on NFL Total Access on NFL Network and on NFL.com.
After the regular season, five players will be nominated NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Fans can vote for the winner on NFL.com/rookies throughout the month of January. The NFL Rookie of the Year will be announced at the second annual "NFL Honors" awards show in New Orleans on Saturday, February 2, the night before Super Bowl XLVII.
First things first, Barron has a shot to win this week's award, and won't have to split votes with any other defensive players. In the Bucs' 38-10 victory on Sunday, Barron led the team with eight tackles and added two tackles for loss, a pass defensed and his first career interception. The turnover was a big one, as it ended a Kansas City scoring threat deep in Tampa Bay territory in the first quarter, allowing the Bucs' offense to eventually record the game's first points.
Barron's outstanding work in run support also helped limit the Chiefs to more than 100 fewer rushing yards than the per-game average of 180.1 they had brought into Week Six. Kansas City's only touchdown came as the result of a blocked punt, and the NFL's leading rusher, Jamaal Charles, was limited to 40 yards on 12 carries.
Barron helped keep a potent Chiefs' offense in check on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. If he can do the same thing – with the help of votes from Buccaneer fans – this week against four offensive competitors, he could walk away with his first Rookie of the Week award. Help out now by casting your vote!