As Scout.com's Phillip B. Wilson noted recently (thanks to his wife Dee pointing it out), what was likely Peyton Manning's last ever pass in Indianapolis was caught by a Colts player. Cornerback Darius Butler intercepted a crucial pass in the fourth quarter that ended up clinching the victory, and for his performance in the game, Butler has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for week nine.
Butler recorded two tackles, an interception, and a pass defensed in the Colts' 27-24 win over the Broncos, also helping the Colts with good coverage on the afternoon. His most crucial play of the afternoon, however, came with 6:13 left in the fourth quarter with the NFL's all-time leader in comebacks getting the ball back looking for another one. Not only that, Manning was just three yards away from becoming the NFL's all-time passing yards leader in front of his former home crowd. Instead, on the first play of the drive, Butler dove for the interception and picked Manning off.
The Colts never gave the ball back to Manning after that point, thanks to some timely plays and a dirty eye poke by one of Manning's teammates, Aqib Talib. Butler's interception was huge at the time, but it was made even bigger by the fact that the Colts were able to run out the rest of the clock and not let Manning get the ball back.
Several other Colts defenders played well on Sunday too (Kendall Langford was tremendous), but Butler is the one who got the nod for the AFC Defensive Player of the Week thanks to his pick of one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time to clinch a victory. Congrats to Butler for the honor.
This is the second time Butler has won an AFC Defensive Player of the Week award, with both times coming with the Colts. In 2012, he picked off two passes in a week ten win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and was given the honor for that week as well. This year, Butler joins safety Mike Adams as recipients of the honor, as Adams was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week in week five. Punter Pat McAfee also earned the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honor in week three.