Brooks recorded a team-high 13 tackles, one interception and added a 15-yard touchdown after defensive tackle Warren Sapp intercepted a pass and lateraled the ball to Brooks. The Bucs downed the Falcons, 20-6.
Brooks, who is the only linebacker in NFL history to have three interception returns for a touchdown in a season, had been honored with the player of the week award three times previously, but it was his first this season. Some of Brooks' teammates felt the award was well overdue.
"It's about time," said Sapp. "I didn't think they were giving that award out anymore. He's been playing excellent all year long for us. It's not the first game he's shined a little bit. It was well deserved, though."
Tampa Bay's defense is currently ranked second overall in the NFL. The team's defense hasn't allowed a touchdown in each of its first three road games and has scored a touchdown on an interception four consecutive games. Despite their impressive feats, Brooks was the first Bucs defensive player to receive the player of the week award this season.
"Thank God we finally had someone off our defense to get it," said Brooks. "It's a big honor and it represents how well we are playing as a team."
Brooks, who struggled throughout most of last season with a nagging foot injury, said he's grateful to be 100 percent healthy again.
"I just thank God every day for it," Brooks said of being healthy again. "At this point last year, I was hobbling, obviously. But when you're healthy and you're out there playing well, it feels good. Being 4-1 doesn't hurt, either."
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