It’s time to hand out some awards. No trophy. No cash. No anything, other than satisfaction.
Our weekly prizes include offensive player of the week, defensive player of the week, rookie of the week, coach of the week, and play of the week.
The highly-specialized selection process consists of a measured application of analytical measurements and intricate mathematical models, combined with a careful examination of prevailing meteorological conditions and a consideration of relevant astrological circumstances and phenomena.
Actually, I ask the PFT writers what they think, and then I come up with something. Here’s what we came up with this week.
Offensive player of the week: Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
The third-year quarterback had six touchdown passes in one of the most thrilling games the Dolphins have played in years. Fifty passes. Thirty-six completions. 469 yards. An amazing day.
He definitely has improved under the new coaching staff. And it’s not just head coach Mike McDaniel. Quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Darrell Bevell has helped push Tua toward a ceiling few knew he had.
“Bev’s definitely a hands-on coach,” receiver Jaylen Waddle told PFT by phone after Sunday’s game. “He’s definitely very passionate about his work and passionate about working with Tua. He’ll show that in practice throughout the week, him and Tua having conversations about what they see and how it’s gonna help us win, especially in critical situations.”
There were several critical situations on Sunday, and Tua came through in all of them.
Other finalists: Bills receiver Stephon Diggs (12 catches, 148 yards, three touchdowns), Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, 333 passing yards, one passing touchdown, two rushing touchdowns), Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill (11 catches, 190 yards, two touchdowns), Waddle (11 catches, 171 yards, two touchdowns), Packers running back Aaron Jones (15 carries, 132 rushing yards, two total touchdowns).
Defensive player of the week: Eagles cornerback Darius Slay.
Slay shut own receiver Justin Jefferson, intercepted a pair of passes, and gave one of the balls to Sixers All-Star James Harden. Along the way, Slay re-entered the national conversation as an elite cover corner.
“I have a lot of respect, but you know how it always goes, the older you get, they think you are falling off, but I am not one of those guys,” Slay told reporters after the game. “I am still at an elite level. I deserve a lot of respect. I think the league respects me enough. It is just the media.”
Well, at least some in the media recognize what he did.
Rookie of the week: Jets receiver Garrett Wilson.
The first-round receiver had more than 100 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the improbable win by the Jets.
For his second score, Wilson performed like someone who had many more than two games under his belt. He explained to PFT after the game that he recognized the coverage as something the Browns had used earlier in the game against the same play.
So he decided to speed up his route, circling around a defensive back and finding a hole in the coverage. Quarterback Joe Flacco delivered the ball — and Wilson began to deliver on his team’s belief that he’ll become a star in this league.
Other finalists Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (three sacks), Texans running back Dameon Pierce (69 rushing yards), Cowboys left tackle Tyler Smith, Falcons receiver Drake London (eight catches, 86 yards, one touchdown), Jaguars linebacker Devin Lloyd (three passes defensed, one interception).
Coach of the week: Jaguars coach Doug Pederson.
New coach, same result.
The Jaguars keep beating the Colts in Jacksonville. Coach Doug Pederson, who won a Super Bowl with the Eagles, beat his former Philly lieutenant, Frank Reich, in resounding fashion. For a league premised on points points points, a shutout is a rarity. Pederson engineered one.
And so the Jaguars, at 1-1, are in first place in the AFC South. Just as absolutely no one expected.
Other finalists: Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel, Jets coach Robert Saleh, Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, Eagles coach Nick Sirianni.
Play of the week: Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray‘s two-point conversion.
It didn’t force overtime, but it happened along the way during Arizona’s 20-point comeback win. Murray held the ball for more than 20 seconds as he covered nearly 85 yards of turf en route to running the ball into the end zone.
It was just part of Murray’s historic day in which he became the first quarterback to ever have a passing touchdown, a rushing touchdown, a passing two-point conversion, and a rushing two-point conversion in the same game.
Other finalists: Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr.’s game-winning fumble return for touchdown, Lions running back D'Andre Swift‘s catch, fall, get up, and run for touchdown, Patriots receiver Nelson Agholor‘s 44-yard touchdown catch, Jets receiver Corey Davis‘s 66-yard touchdown catch, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s 78-yard touchdown run, Dolphin s receiver Tyreek Hill’s 60-yard touchdown catch, Chiefs cornerback Jaylen Watson‘s 99-yard interception return for a touchdown.