New Orleans Saints cornerback Paulson Adebo has been named the Week Nine NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Adebo, 6 feet 1, 192 pounds, originally selected by New Orleans with the 76th overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Stanford, led a stellar defensive effort in a 24-17 victory vs the Chicago Bears on Sunday, recording seven tackles (five solo), a career-high two interceptions, a career-best three passes defensed and a forced fumble/fumble recovery.
"Paulson was coming out like a thief in the night. That man was picking everything," defensive end Cameron Jordan said after the game.
With his three takeaway performance against Chicago, the Mansfield, Texas native is now tied for first in the NFL in takeaways with six. The six takeaways are the most by a Saint since cornerback Marshon Lattimore recorded six in 2017. Adebo's second interception in Sunday's contest also set a career-high in interceptions in a season (four), tied for second in the NFL, surpassing his prior mark of three picks as a rookie (2021). His three passes defensed pushed his season total to 11, which is not only a single season-high for his young career, but also ranks third in the NFL.
"I was happy for Paulson," Saints Coach Dennis Allen said. "The two interceptions were played exactly right. You do exactly what you are being taught to do, execute the defensive scheme exactly how you are supposed to execute the defensive scheme, you get rewarded. He got rewarded with a couple interceptions. You attack the ball like we talk about attacking the ball and you get a punch out and get rewarded."
Adebo's efforts helped the New Orleans defense force five turnovers for the first time since the 2020 regular season finale against the Carolina Panthers. He is the first Saint to have three takeaways in a game since safety Jay Bellamy finished with two interceptions and one fumble recovery on Oct. 13, 2002 at Washington. Adebo was also the first player to record two interceptions, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in the NFL since Charles Woodson accomplished the feat on Nov. 26, 2009.
In seven games in 2023, Adebo has 27 tackles (22 solo) and leads New Orleans in interceptions (four), passes defensed (11), forced fumbles (two) and fumble recoveries (two).
In 37 career regular season games with 36 starts, he has posted 150 tackles (127 solo), seven interceptions, 26 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three special teams stops.
"I try to be locked in every week," Adebo said. "The results were good this week. Obviously, I need to go look at the film. Sometimes, it feels better than it is. Sometimes it feels worse than it is. I just try to have the same approach every week and try to put my best foot forward."