No matter if you deem the fourth quarter interception or his 4th-and-1 run stuff as the biggest moment of the week in the 33-30 overtime win against the Falcons, one thing for certain is that Denzel Perryman is a playmaker.
Halfway through his second professional season, Perryman's performance against Atlanta earned him Week 7 AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
"It means a lot," Perryman said. "I would say it's my first real NFL award so I'm just trying to keep stacking them."
As for how he found out? If you think it was on social media, think again.
"My teammates told me! I wasn't on Twitter so they told me and our Linebackers Coach (Bob Babich) had it nice and big on our board in the meeting room."
While he wasn't in the linebackers room, Philip Rivers had nothing but praise to impart on Perryman.
"He showed spurts of being a heck of an inside linebacker and that's just what he's been this year," Rivers said. "He has great instincts…I think that's key. He has tools...just like on that 4th-and-1 play, and a handful of others he's made all year long. He has a nose for the football and he's around it."
While Perryman had seven total tackles and one pass defensed, as noted earlier, his two biggest plays of the game were an interception and tackle for loss that came at crucial times.
Perryman picked off Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan with just over three-and-a-half minutes left in the game. The play led to the offense tying the game with a field goal to send the match to overtime. While in OT, the Falcons elected to go for it on fourth down from their own 45. Almost immediately after Devonta Freeman took the handoff, he was met in the backfield by number 52.
Perryman said earning an achievement like this means a little bit more because he did it while nursing a shoulder injury throughout the game.
"It feels good, like I got rewarded," Perryman mentioned. "It's still unreal and I still can't believe it. It still hasn't really hit me yet (even though) I put us in a (position) to win the game."
As for how Perryman has continued to evolve as a second-year linebacker, number 52 mentioned learning from his peers. Manti Te'o has been especially effective for his personal growth.
"This year I just wanted to build off last year. I had a good year last year but there were still some things that I wanted to correct. Right now, I know the system a lot better (and) I watch film a lot more…. I learned that from Manti. Manti and a lot of veteran players taught me how to be a pro and have shown me how it's done. I have a better understanding of this defense and why (Defensive Coordinator) John Pagano calls what he calls."