Washington Football Team defensive end Ryan Kerrigan has been named NFC Defensive Player of The Week following his historic performance against the Philadelphia Eagles.
In Washington's 27-17 win to open the season, Kerrigan led the defense with two sacks while adding four quarterback pressures, two quarterback hits, two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
The sacks were the 91st and 92nd of his career, making him the franchise's new official sack leader.
"This is one of the older organizations in the NFL, and to have the success that a lot of players have had that have come through this organization, to have my name up there with them now, it's awesome," Kerrigan said about the sack record. "I don't know if I could have ever dreamed of anything like this. It is really special to me."
Despite not starting for the first time in his 10-year career, Kerrigan immediately reminded everyone why he is one of the franchise's best pass-rushers. On Philadelphia's second drive of the game, Kerrigan exploded across the line of scrimmage unblocked and tracked down quarterback Carson Wentz for a 10-yard loss.
It marked the first of eight sacks for Washington, it's most in a game since 2014.
"The important thing is that it just shows how selfless Ryan Kerrigan is and how true Washington Football Team player he is," Rivera said of Chase Young starting over Kerrigan.
"He understands that we have a couple of young guys we got to get on the field, but he also knows that he has a tremendous role and impact while coming off the bench and being fresh and getting two sacks and recovering a fumble and cause a couple other plays that happened out there. Speaks to who he is as a young man and what he means to our franchise going forward."
Kerrigan's second sack came less than a minute into the fourth quarter. Washington had just erased its 17-point deficit, so the Eagles were trying to regain any sort of momentum. But on their first offensive play, Kerrigan got around the pulling guard and the running back to drag down Wentz for another 10-yard loss.
The historic sack led to a three-and-out for the Eagles, and on the ensuing drive, Washington scored the touchdown that put it ahead for good.
Later in the fourth quarter, with Washington holding a 10-point advantage, Kerrigan put the finishing touches on an exceptional day with a fumble recovery off a sack from Young and Daron Payne.
Washington's defensive line was supposed to be the team's biggest strength entering the season, and the unit was even more dominant than anticipated Sunday with Kerrigan leading the way.
"I feel like we have a lot of depth. I feel like the technique is there," Young said. "There's the best ever to do it over there with Ryan Kerrigan on my other side. I feel like when you have depth like we do, I feel like you definitely wear people down."