The Denver Broncos have received their first Defensive Player of the Week award this season after safety Justin Simmons took home the honors following his Week 8 performance against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons named AFC Defensive Player of the Week

Not only will the Denver Broncos head into the bye week with some much-needed momentum, safety Justin Simmons has taken home the honors of being named the NFL’s AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

Simmons has been such an integral part of the success the Broncos’ defense has had throughout his career, and more importantly, his return from injury this season has boosted Denver’s defense, which was struggling at a historic pace through the first five weeks of the season.

In the Broncos’ win against the Chiefs on Sunday, Simmons had two total tackles, one pass defensed, one interception, and one fumble recovery. His two accounted takeaways helped Denver secure the win against Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City, helping them snap their previous 16-game losing streak.

Sunday’s win was the first time the Broncos have beaten Kansas City since Simmons has been on the team.

“It feels good to win at home,” Simmons said following Sunday’s win. “I think for me, I get from the outside looking in, you look at it as a fan base and things like that, that there is this streak and everybody wants to talk about it. But literally, each and every year, it is a new team. It is a new head coach, a new staff in general. You come into this, like I told you guys heading into this week, we’re only 0-1 (against the Chiefs this season). We lost to them on Thursday night two weeks ago, and we’re coming into this game expecting to win. It’s a new team, it’s a new look, and that is kind of how it is. I know some guys have been here, myself obviously the longest, have been here and have faced them multiple times, but it is a new team. It is a new year, and that is kind of the mindset you have to have going into it. Really happy we won. That is a heck of a team, we know that watching them. It just feels good to win.”

Denver’s defense has drastically improved since their rough start and seems to be clicking at a perfect time. They’ll face a big test after the bye week as they prepare for the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football.