Tua Tagovailoa / MIA – Round 1
After missing a game-plus, Tagovailoa was back in the lineup as the starter. He responded with a 26/39 – 296 yard – 1 TD performance in MIA’s win over CIN. He wasn’t sacked once and he didn’t turn the ball over, turning in a 97.8 passer rating. Tagovailoa made all the throws in this one, looking crisp and accurate both from the pocket and on the move. His best throw of the day, a ball that traveled 50+ yards in the air, was a dime to Jakeem Grant that ended up being dropped. MIA is now 4-1 in his starts.
Jonathan Taylor / IND – Round 2
Taylor’s receiving prowess has been a bit of a surprise for IND in his rookie campaign. Running the ball has been a different story, however, as he just hadn’t had a game where he really took off. In their win over HOU, Taylor changed that with 91 yards on 13 carries, averaging a season high 7 yards per carry. Taylor also added 3 catches for 44 yards and a touchdown in the tight divisional matchup.
Justin Jefferson / MIN – Round 1
Jefferson continued to build his case for Offensive Rookie of the Year with another 100+ yard performance (his 5th) and another touchdown (his 7th) on 9 catches. He was a key component to MIN’s comeback win over JAX.
Cole Kmet / CHI – Round 2
Kmet has officially taken over the majority snaps at tight end for CHI, and now they are throwing him the ball. He had 5 catches (season high) for 37 yards and a touchdown with a defender all over him. The multi-faceted tight end has blossomed and taken the role from Jimmy Graham.
Andrew Thomas / NYG – Round 1
Thomas has completely turned the bus around when comparing his current play to what he was putting out there earlier in the year. He didn’t allow any pressures in SEA and was a key catalyst in a couple of the big Wayne Gallman runs that helped the NYG offense finally take off in the second half. Things are looking up for Big Blue and a huge reason why is the play of Thomas and the offensive line.
Ezra Cleveland / MIN – Round 2
After missing some time with an ankle injury, Cleveland repeated his placement on the league’s all-rookie team. The group as a whole played the best we have seen in 3 weeks and Cleveland is a bigger part to that cohesion than most know. His lateral movement has been quality in the running game and he’s been adjusting well when defenses throw complex pass rushes at him.
Chase Young / WAS – Round 1
The WAS defensive line is starting to take over games and the rest of the league better be on notice. The edge defenders, Young and second year 1st rounder Montez Sweat, were dominant in the WAS win over previously unbeaten PIT. Young had 3 tackles, 3 pressures, and a key run stop at the goal line where his down-line burst and power were on full display. His range is next level.
John Penisini / DET – Round 6
The Lions defensive line has been beat up, but with the firing of Matt Patricia and the team sitting at 4-7, much of the attention will be about how to build this program going forward. Penisini is going to be a part of it no matter what. He finished with 3 tackles and a fumble recovery in their win over CHI. This is a guy that is always running to the action and will take advantage of loose balls when they roll around. Team player that does a lot that the common eye won’t catch,
Kenneth Murray / LAC – Round 1
There wasn’t much to be happy about in LAC’s blowout loss to NE. However, Murray finished with a season high 14 tackles, 2 TFL, and a sack. Tackle numbers can be misleading but Murray made things happen behind the line and his physical play was on display from start to finish. He is the future general of this defense and effort and production he showed even when this game was near-complete was impressive.
Cam Dantzler / MIN – Round 3
Dantzler made a case for the NFL’s Defensive Player of the week in MIN’s comeback win over JAX. The 4 turnovers were crucial and he had 2 of them. He finished with 4 tackles, 1 interception, and a forced/recovered fumble.
Kamren Curl / WAS – Round 7
Curl has been starting since Landon Collins went down and the production from the box-safety position has been going up. WAS, winners of 3 straight, picked off the unbeaten PIT squad and Curl was a key component to that. He had 8 tackles and locked down Eric Ebron for most of the game. He is a sure bet to bring down the ball carrier if he gets his hands on and that is a key reason why the WAS run defense has averaged 50 yards allowed over the last 3 weeks.