For the ninth time in his Buccaneers career, including the postseason, cornerback Ronde Barber was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording four tackles, one tackle for loss, one fumble recovery, one interception and three passes defensed, in a 16-13 win over the NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons. The interception marked the 41st of Barber's career and ranks as the most in team history. He is the only player in NFL history to record 40 or more interceptions and 25 or more sacks in a career. Barber also made his 186th consecutive start, which is the longest active consecutive start streak in the NFL.
Barber has the most Player of the Week awards in team history, as this marks the 35th time and the first since Week 8 in 2010 (CB Aqib Talib) that a Buccaneer has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
“It’s not the first time, but I’m glad it was with the win,” Barber said. “It was a great effort by the team and I had some standout plays in there but I am always humbled with these type of awards. It’s nice to be recognized by the naysayers sometimes.”
On Atlanta’s opening drive, Barber recovered a loose ball at the Atlanta 17-yard after Dekoda Watson’s sack of quarterback Matt Ryan forced a fumble. Later in the first quarter, Barber sniffed out a reverse to rookie Julio Jones and dropped the receiver for a nine-yard loss on first down.
Barber finished off a potential Atlanta scoring drive right before halftime by catching a deflected ball intended for Roddy White on a pass breakup by E.J. Biggers for his first interception of the season. Barber did a solid job against tight end Tony Gonzalez in coverage, holding the veteran to just eight yards on one catch. Gonzalez’s other catch, a 10-yard touchdown, came against zone coverage in the fourth quarter.