The Vikings declared Darren Sharper a playmaker when they signed him as an unrestricted free agent following his release from the rival Green Bay Packers in March.
Sharper has lived up to that billing this season, and his three interceptions of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning on Sunday has earned Sharper the NFC Defensive Player of the Week honor. It was his first three-interception game, and his 92-yard interception return for a touchdown was the second interception he has returned for a touchdown this season. In the season opener, he picked off Tampa Bay QB Brian Griese and returned it 88 yards for a TD.
Sharper leads the NFL with 241 interception return yards this season, more than double his nearest competition (Indianapolis' Cato June with 115). Sharper needs only two more interception return yards this season to eclipse the franchise record currently held by Jimmy Hitchcock (1998).
It's the first time in Sharper's career that he has earned the honor. Defensive lineman Kevin Williams was the last Viking to win the award for his performance against Jacksonville on Nov. 28, 2004.