Saints safety Darren Sharper has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the team's 24-10 win over the previously unbeaten New York Jets on Sunday.
Sharper intercepted two passes from New York Mark Sanchez – his fourth and fifth interceptions of the young season – and returned the first of the two picks a club-record 99 yards for a touchdown to put the Saints ahead 10-0 on the first play of the second quarter. He also led the defense with a season-high nine tackles.
The 13-year veteran defensive back leads the NFL in interceptions on the year and is steadily climbing up the all-time list as he now ranks ninth in league history with 59 career interceptions, third all-time with 1,311 interception return yards and is one of only two players to have recorded at least 10 interception returns for touchdowns, having taken two for scores already in 2009.
Sharper has now been named NFC Player of the Week twice in his career, with the first time coming in November 2005 when as a member of the Minnesota Vikings he intercepted three passes off of Giants QB Eli Manning, whom the Saints will face when they return to action on October 18 following their bye week.