Buffalo Bills: A.J. Klein wins AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 12
Buffalo Bills’ linebacker A.J. Klein was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 12.
The past few weeks have been a remarkable turnaround for Buffalo Bills linebacker A.J. Klein. The first half of the year the veteran linebacker looked overpowered and outmatched but recently has been one of the best players on this defense.
On Thursday, he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after his performance against the Los Angeles Chargers. He finished the game with 14 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, two QB hits, three tackles for a loss and one pass breakup.
This is now the third straight game with at least one sack and the second straight game that Klein has finished with 10 or more total tackles.
The Buffalo Bills signed A.J. Klein as a free agent this past offseason and he was expected to be a part-time starter when the Bills utilize three-linebacker sets, which is not often.
However, the Bills have been without Matt Milano for most of the season due to injuries. This opened the door for more playing time for Klein, and as previously mentioned, he struggled. The coaching staff changed how they were using Klein in their defense and the returns have been incredible.
One of the things they have started to do more is bringing Klein on blitzes. According to Pro Football Reference, Klein has blitzed 34 times the past three games compared to 21 times in the first eight games in the season.
While A.J. Klein won AFC Defensive Player of the Week, that may not be the only league award he wins as he should be a contender for AFC Defensive Player of the Month for the month of November. In that month, 33 total tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two passes defended, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.