Vikings rookie LB Ivan Pace, Jr., has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week, the NFL announced today.

In the Vikings win over the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14, Pace led the team with a career-high 13 tackles, recorded a sack and captured his first career interception, which sealed the victory with 1:57 left in the game. He and DeMeco Ryans (Houston Texans, 2006) are the only two rookies to have 13 tackles, a sack and an interception in a single game since the league began tracking tackles in 1994.

Pace has appeared in each of the Vikings 13 games this season, making nine starts. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native leads all rookies with 67 tackles and is one of two rookies with at least 2.0 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception this season (Devon Witherspoon, fifth-overall draft pick).

Pace joins LB Anthony Barr (Week 8, 2014) as the only rookie LBs in Vikings history to be tabbed NFC Defensive Player of the Week, and he is just the fifth Vikings rookie to earn defensive player of the week honors all-time.

This award is the fourth for the Vikings in 2023 and gives them three defensive winners in the past eight games. It also marks the 11th NFC Player of the Week award under Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell in 30 games.

Special Teams Greg Joseph, K 2022, Week 4, vs. New Orleans (London)
Special Teams Ryan Wright, P 2022, Week 6, at Miami
Defense Za’Darius Smith, OLB 2022, Week 8, vs. Arizona
Offense Justin Jefferson, WR 2022, Week 10, at Buffalo
Special Teams Kene Nwangwu, RB 2022, Week 12, vs. New England
Offense Kirk Cousins, QB 2022, Week 15, vs. Indianapolis
Special Teams Greg Joseph, K 2022, Week 16, vs. New York Giants
Defense Jordan Hicks, LB 2023, Week 6, at Chicago
Defense Camryn Bynum, S 2023, Week 7, vs. San Francisco
Offense Joshua Dobbs, QB 2023, Week 9, at Atlanta
Defense Ivan Pace Jr., LB 2023, Week 14, at Las Vegas

(info and photo courtesy of Vikings)

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