Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes is this week's AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his Week 7 performance against the Jets. It's a first time honor for the defensive end after he had his best game of the season tallying 2.0 sacks, one interception, a forced fumble, a pass defensed and six total tackles.
Hughes' interception was the first of his career. His 2.0 sacks were the most in a game since 2017. The defensive end now has 48.5 career sacks, which ties former Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams for the fifth-most sacks in Bills history.
Hughes helped lead a defense that allowed only four net yards to the Jets in the second half of Sunday's game. The four yards allowed in the second half are the fewest yards allowed in a second half by the Bills since 2000.
The defensive lineman said he was motivated to come out with a different demeanor in the second half.
"I definitely wanted to come out here and set the tone," Hughes said of his play on Sunday. "I think that was just all of us on the defensive side of the ball. We understood this challenge as a division game. It was another chance for us to beat the Jets at their home field, so we wanted to come up there and do so. Also I spoke about us getting off the field on third downs, putting our offense in positions to get the ball and score. That was another challenge that coach brought up to us this week, and we were able to go out there and do it."
The defense allowed only two of eight third down conversions against the Jets. Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said Hughes received the game ball after his dominant play and leadership.
"Early in the game we fell behind, Jerry was so positive and encouraging to his teammates on the sideline," Frazier said. "I remember saying to myself, 'Man that's what you need out of one of your star players who's a leader.'
"I mean he wasn't pointing fingers. He never doubted that we were going to win that game, you could hear it in his voice. And then for him to be able to go out and play the way he played along with leading on the sideline, it was really encouraging for me personally, for our coaching staff and for his teammates as well. My hat's off to the way he played, but also the way he led as a teammate."
Hughes is an 11-year vet who's played for the Bills since 2013. The defensive end has totaled 53.5 sacks in his career.