The Buffalo Bills mounted a 23-20 last-second come-from-behind win against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and the hero may not have been kicker Tyler Bass, who put the winning field goal through the uprights as time ran out, but rather safety Jordan Poyer.
Poyer recorded six tackles, four of them solo, three pass breakups, and, most impressively, two interceptions in Buffalo’s Week 4 game. For his efforts, Poyer has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Both of Poyer’s interceptions came in the fourth quarter as the Bills methodically worked their way back from what was at one time a 17-point deficit. The first was a tip-drill interception where Poyer did his best Dennis Rodman impersonation, out-rebounding multiple Ravens players after defensive tackle Prince Emili batted the ball into the air. The second interception came as Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson attempted to break the 20-20 deadlock between the teams with a 4th & GOAL play from the two-yard line. Jackson, who was under pressure, backpedaled until he thought he had an open receiver in the end zone. But Poyer was watching, and he jumped in front of wide receiver Devin Duvernay in the corner of the end zone.
“I was just able to kind of play with some vision and just take advantage of the throw that he made,” Poyer said when talking about the late interception after the game. “We were able to come back and keep our heads straight. We didn’t blink and we found a way to win.”
Poyer’s heroics were exactly what the Bills needed. Weeks 1-3 had seen a revolving door of players in the lineup for a battered defensive secondary that has lost safety Micah Hyde for the season, hasn’t seen cornerback Tre’Davious White (PUP) yet, and lost rookie cornerback Christian Benford to a broken hand. Poyer himself, along with cornerback Dane Jackson, missed Buffalo’s Week 3 game against the Miami Dolphins.
The Defensive Player of the Week honor is the first of his career for Poyer, and the first for a Bill since Greg Rousseau earned the award in Week 5 of last season after he helped Buffalo shut down quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. The last Buffalo defensive back to earn Player of the Week accolades was Tre’Davious White, who did so in December of 2019.
In three games, Poyer has recorded 12 tackles and a league-leading four interceptions. The four interceptions in three games makes Poyer the first Bills player to record the feat since safety Henry Jones in 1992. He is also the first NFL player on any team to record four interceptions in the first three games of a season since cornerback Marcus Peters in 2016.
#Shoutout: Jordan Poyer is the first Bill since Henry Jones in 1992 with four INTs in his first three games of a season.— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) October 3, 2022
He's also the first NFL player with four INTs in his first three games of a season since Marcus Peters in 2016. pic.twitter.com/ezroqUDETC
For Poyer, who is playing on the final year of his current contract, every game is a chance to prove himself. The veteran safety has been with Buffalo since 2017, and he has made clear his desire to remain with the team beyond this season. Poyer and Hyde were among the first two players acquired by the Bills after head coach Sean McDermott arrived, and both players have been credited with helping to transform the culture into what McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane envisioned.
While Buffalo has not offered the safety an extension, they did restructure his current contract to include $2 million in incentives for this season instead of the original $500,000.
It looks as if Poyer is playing to capitalize on all of those.