Aidan Hutchinson was tied for the NFL lead in quarterback pressures through Week 2, but he had zero sacks as the Detroit Lions had just one sack as a team through two games. The proverbial and literal dam broke in Week 3, as the Lions sacked Falcons' quarterback Desmond Ridder seven times as the highlight of a huge defensive performance.
It felt like a matter of time before Hutchinson finished at the quarterback better, and sacks would come in bunches.
Hutchinson had the final two of those seven sacks of Ridder, in the second half of the fourth quarter to help put the game away for the Lions. He broke out a "skanky leg" celebration in the process. He finished with four tackles, two sacks, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
On Wednesday, Hutchinson was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 3.
Aidan Hutchinson wins NFC Defensive Player of the Week for second time in his career
Hutchinson also won NFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 11 last season, after he had three tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in Detroit's win over the New York Giants. He also won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month in November and December, and finished runner-up to Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Hutchinson is the first Lion to win multiple NFC Defensive Player of the Week awards since cornerback Darius Slay did it in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Hutchinson has taken a step from being one of the best rookie defensive players in the league last year to one of the best edge rushers in the league so far this year. This may not be the only time he time he wins NFC Defensive Player of the Week this season, on his way to some higher honors at season's end.