Detroit Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah broke records in Sunday’s 31-30 win over the Chicago Bears. Okudah became the first Lions player to record a pick-six on the road against a division opponent since Chris Claiborne in 2002. But his accomplishments didn’t stop there. He is now 1-of-3 players and the only cornerback in NFL with 50 tackles, an INT TD, and a forced fumble this season.
Okudah’s pick-six played a huge factor in the team’s win Sunday. While he had just one tackle in that game, he now totals 50 total tackles including two TFLs. He now has two interceptions in his NFL career, but this one Okudah says was a memorable one.
“It was a crazy moment. Obviously we were down two scores and it was a play that on the sideline we were saying, We got to get a turnover. One of you guys got to be the guy to change the course of this game. So I took a lot of pride in creating that play for our defense.”
Head Coach Dan Campbell spoke highly of the defense after Sunday’s game, giving kudos to Okudah.
“Man, our defense came up big. We desperately needed a take away, we get that, and we get points. Jeff makes a heck of a play. But then just the stops in the game and then offensively, man, we needed the drive of our life. We got it, 91 yards, go all the way down, and score there.”
In his third year in the NFL, Okudah is having his breakout season. His first two seasons we’re cut short due to a couple severe injuries. Last year, a ruptured achillies in the season opener would be the only game he played in. Coach Campbell spoke on Monday about how far he’s come in his career.
“Yeah, I think just growth in the system. I mean, there again we’ve talked about (Lions CB) Jeff (Okudah), now he’s – I think Jeff’s officially out of the – just needs to continue to bank reps. I think he’s banked a lot of reps now and he’s continuing to get better and it’s showing. He’s playing physical, we’ve talked about him on the perimeter, he’s making plays out there, and he’s just so much more comfortable and confident right now. So, man, he’s trending the right way.”
The 23-year-old says despite his start in the NFL, he’s enjoying this season so far.
“I mean, honestly, I’m just enjoying this year. I’ve been through a lot of things my first two years, had plenty of lows. So I don’t take any of these moments for granted. Winning these games, being able to make plays, I don’t take any of that for granted. I’ve seen the other side of it. So I’m enjoying every single moment because you never know when the moment will be over.”
Jeff Okudah Before the NFL
Okudah was born in New Jersey where he lived until 6th grade when he moved to Texas. He attended South Grand Prarie High School before heading to the Ohio State University. In his three seasons with the Buckeyes totaling 84 tackles, 18 pass defenses, three interceptions, and three Big Ten Championships. He decided to forgo his senior year by declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft. Okudah was believed to be the best cornerback in the draft that year. He was selected third overall by the Detroit Lions.
Maddy Miller – Detroit Lions Beat Reporter
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