Chiefs’ Tyvon Branch named AFC Defensive Player of the Week

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tyvon Branch sealed the Chiefs’ 34-20 win over the Oakland Raiders with an interception returned for a 38-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Dec. 6, 2015; Oakland; Kansas City Chiefs safetyTyvon Branch (27) returns an interception for a touchdown against the Raiders at O.co Coliseum. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Dec. 6, 2015; Oakland; Kansas City Chiefs safetyTyvon Branch (27) returns an interception for a touchdown against the Raiders at O.co Coliseum. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

That game-clinching effort earned the eighth-year safety recognition from the league.

The NFL named Branch the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 13, the league announced Wednesday.

“It’s a blessing, man,” Branch said. “To be a part of a team like this, a defense like this, it’s definitely a blessing.”

Branch finished the game against with four tackles and the interception.

And he had a sense of satisfaction the production came against a team where he spent seven seasons (2008-14) before signing a one-year deal with the Chiefs in March.

“To do it in a place like the Black Hole where I spent a lot of my career,” Branch said, “it’s definitely a good feeling.”

The Defensive Player of the Week award marks the first in Branch’s career and he is the first Chiefs player to earn Defensive Player of the Week since linebacker outside linebacker Tamba Hali did it in Week 14 of the 2013 season.

The 29-year-old Branch is also the first Chiefs defensive back to receive the honor since cornerback Brandon Flowers accomplished the feat in Week 7 of the 2011 season.

Branch has appeared in all 12 games with one start in 2015, totaling 24 tackles (19 solo).

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Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.

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