Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap has been rated as the league's best defensive end in base 4-3 defenses according to Pro Football Focus. Dave Lapham compared him to New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera because, lately, he seemingly disrupts the opposing offense when allowed to pin his ears back and assault the quarterback. He earned the coveted Game Ball of the Week for disrupting the Titans offense nearly single-handedly late in the game that eventually sealed the game for the Bengals on Sunday. He was also one of seven players nominated for the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
New York Jets David Harris, who posted five tackles and and an interception during a high-profile divisional game between the Jets and Buffalo Bills, was named this week's AFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday. Along with Dunlap, Denver cornerback Champ Bailey (two interceptions), Miami linebacker Kevin Burnett (12 tackles, 1.5 sacks), Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison (eight tackles, three sacks), Houston linebacker Brooks Reed (five tackles, two sacks) and Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs (interception) were nominated.