With a standout effort against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback/returner Mike Hughes has been named the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Week.
The Chiefs steamrolled over the Raiders in a week in which Las Vegas players decided it would be a good idea to stand on the Chiefs logo before the game to hype themselves up in the center of Arrowhead Stadium. From that point forward, they were embarrassed by the Chiefs’ most complete performance of the year as a team and Hughes was a major part of that.
The Chiefs defense shut down the Raiders all day long and forced four turnovers from Derek Carr and company. From the first play of the game, Jarran Reed forced a fumble and Hughes picked it up and took it the rest of the way for a touchdown that put the Chiefs up 7-0. The team never looked back from that play in a 48-9 victory that unofficially ruined any real chance the Raiders had to make the postseason.
Later in the game, Hughes would also force another fumble and he was a menace all day on defense.
The Chiefs originally traded for Hughes and a 2022 7th round pick from the Minnesota Vikings during the preseason for a sixth-round pick in ’22 from K.C. Coming into his contract year, the Vikings were ready to move on after once investing a first-round pick in Hughes. With the Chiefs, Hughes has mostly caught on as a returner, but in the wake of L’Jarius Sneed’s absence on Sunday, Hughes stepped up and showed what he’s capable of.
On the year, Hughes has 34 tackles, 5 passes deflected, 1 interception, and 4 forced fumbles for the Chiefs in 13 games. He’s also returned 5 punts for 68 yards.