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Horton Earns NFC Defensive Player of Week Honor

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Rookie safety Chris Horton has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week, the NFL announced on Tuesday.

Horton, one of 10 Redskins 2008 draft picks on the roster, made his first career start in the Redskins' 29-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. He delivered two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

Horton replaced starter Reed Doughty, who was inactive due to a stomach virus.

Horton learned that he would be starting on Sunday morning when he received a text message from Doughty at 8:30 a.m. ET to inform him of his illness.

"I want to thank the NFL for this tremendous honor," Horton said. "I feel truly blessed to have the game that I did last Sunday. My coaches prepared me and had enough confidence in me to give me this opportunity.

"I give the credit to my teammates who forced those turnovers and put me in a position to make plays."

Horton, a seventh-round choice from UCLA, became the first NFL player with two interceptions and a fumble recovery in his first career start since Liffort Hobley on Oct. 11, 1987.

He was also the first rookie to accomplish the feat in his first start since Paul Tripoli on Oct. 4, 1987, the first Redskins player to do it in same game since Anthony Washington on Dec. 4, 1983 and the first Redskins rookie with two interceptions and a fumble recovery in same game since Brig Owens on Nov. 27, 1966

"We're very proud of receiving this national recognition for Chris and the Washington Redskins organization," head coach Jim Zorn said in a statement. "Chris is a young player who filled in as a starter and had such a great impact on the game that he became the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

"Our coaches and his teammates are very proud that he received this outstanding honor."

Additionally, Horton registered four tackles, one of which came on a pivotal 3rd-and-1 with less than five minutes remaining that forced the Saints to punt the ball back to the Redskins. On the next play, Jason Campbell tossed the game-winning 67-yard touchdown strike to Santana Moss.

Horton was an integral part of a defensive unit that held the Saints to just 250 total yards and did not allow a pass longer than 22 yards.

The New Orleans native, who had family members in attendance at FedExField, ended the Saints' promising first drive when he recovered a Jeremy Shockey fumble at the Redskins' 28-yard line.

On New Orleans' next possession, Horton again came through again when he intercepted a Drew Brees pass at the New Orleans 27-yard line, setting up a Shaun Suisham field goal.

The Redskins were clinging to a 29-24 lead late in the fourth quarter and the stage was set for Horton to come up clutch again, and that is exactly what he did.

With the Saints driving for a potential game-winning score, Horton picked off Brees for the second time at the Washington 48-yard line in what would be New Orleans' final possession.

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