Week 9 Bama Pro of the Week: Xavier McKinney
Each week during the NFL regular season, I'll award one standout Alabama player of the week whose performance boosted his team to victory. The only criteria being his team must win. At the end of the season, I'll name the MVP and hand out a few other awards to recognize the excellence the Alabama Crimson Tide has present in the NFL.
With a league-best 55 (counting Jalen Hurts) active players under contract across 28 franchises, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here's this week's winner:
Xavier McKinney created the New York Giants' lead early in the third quarter with a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown. The Giants kept the lead through the remainder of the game and McKinney snagged the game-sealing interception late in the fourth quarter.
McKinney has broken out for the Giants in 2021, often finding himself in our honorable mentions simply because the Giants didn't win. McKinney has 46 total tackles and four interceptions through nine games and eight starts.
"It's through the roof," veteran defensive back Logan Ryan said of his second-year teammate. "He's a really good player, a smart player... he's playing well beyond his years, and that's what we expect him to do."
Next week, McKinney and the Giants will take on OJ Howard Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond-James Stadium on Monday Night Football.
And now for our honorable mentions:
- Levi Wallace, Bills: Seven tackles, one for a loss, one pass deflection and one fumble recovery
- DeVonta Smith, Eagles: Five receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown
- Jerry Jeudy, Broncos: Six receptions for 69 yards.
Be sure to tune back into tide1009.com each Tuesday to see the Bama Pro of the Week throughout the NFL season. Here's each winner from the 2021 season so far: