The season is halfway, plus a week. And it gets interesting on the field.
Off the field, our admiration for the heroics is reflected in the awards for each group of games.
It’s week 10 prices. Same categories as always.
All prize winners, plus finalists, are listed below.
Offensive Player of the Week: Vikings Receiver Justin Jefferson.
Usually I try not to double prices. Sunday’s win by the Vikings arguably warranted a clean sweep, but due to the fact that the Vikings don’t have a rookie that contributed to Buffalo’s dramatic, inexplicable roller coaster win.
While Week 10 featured plenty of great offensive performances, it’s impossible not to make Jefferson Player of the Week. His 10 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown would be arguable enough, the fact that he made one of the best catches anyone has ever seen with the game on the line confirms it.
In that same game, a 33-30 overtime win at Buffalo, Jefferson set the record for most 100-yard receiving games (20) and most 150-yard receiving games (seven) during the first three years of a career player – and he has eight games left.
If he continues to play like he did on Sunday, he will increase both totals. And he could be in the running for MVP, an award never won by a receiver.
Other finalists: Giants run back Saquon Barkley (35 carries, 152 rushing yards, touchdown), Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (285 passing yards, three touchdowns), Dolphins run back Jeff Wilson, Jr. (143 yards from scrimmage, one touchdown), Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (147 rushing yards, touchdown), Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (331 passing yards, four touchdowns), Packers receiver Christian Watson (107 receiving yards, three touchdowns), Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (119 yards, one touchdown), Bears quarterback Justin Fields (147 rushing yards, 167 passing yards, four touchdowns),
Defensive Player of the Week: Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson.
The 12-year-old veteran played one of the best games of his career, recording two interceptions. Both were critical.
With the Vikings trailing by 10 points with 10:42 left to play and the Bills attempting to rebuild a 17-point margin by going for fourth and two of the Minnesota seven, Peterson’s instinct and preparation took over .
Peterson explained to PFT by phone after the eventual win that, as soon as Bills quarterback Josh Allen broke the pocket to the right, Peterson pushed his man, receiver Isaiah McKenzie, out of bounds. That took McKenzie out of the piece. (You can see McKenzie standing therelooking at everything that happened after he was pushed out of bounds.) Peterson basically became a robber then.
“I looked to the right and I saw a tight end,” said Peterson. “I saw him run back to me and I noticed Josh notice him and the next thing you know I was just stepping for the part.”
Fast forward through plenty of crazy plays and developments, and Peterson got the game intercepted in the same end zone not far from where he made the first.
Thanks to film study, he knew the routes receiver Gabe Davis ran when he lined up on the far right of the formation. Peterson expected Davis to break in eventually. Davis did. At that point, Peterson stopped covering the receiver and began guarding the quarterback, waiting for the pitch Peterson sensed coming.
It came. Peterson caught it. Game over.
Other finalists: Buccaneers linebacker Devin White (two sacks, forced fumble), Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (1.5 sacks), Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah (pick six), Packers defensive back Rudy Ford (two interceptions).
Rookies of the Week: Packers receiver Christian Watson.
Watson’s rookie season began by dropping what would have been a wide-open touchdown on a long pass on his first play from scrimmage. That doesn’t do much to earn quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ trust.
On Sunday, Watson deserved it all, with three touchdowns. Each was critical to the effort to break a five-game losing streak with the Cowboys upset.
The first, a 58-yard catch and run, tied the game at seven. The next, a 39-year-old on fourth and seven, cut a 14-point deficit in half. The latter, a seven-year-old, helped force overtime.
Other Finalists: Buccaneers running back Rachaad White (105 rushing yards), Texans running back Dameon Pierce (94 rushing yards), Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (199 passing yards, 51 rushing yards, rushing touchdowns), Commanders running back Brian Robinson (86 rushing recruit). recruiting, landing).
Coach of the Week: Commander Coach Ron Rivera.
The Eagles had not yet lost a game. They had 11 days to prepare. The Commanders, repeatedly distracted by off-field drama, were reeling from a 10-point fourth quarterback lead against the Vikings.
Rivera got his double-digit underdog squad ready, focused and motivated to beat the league’s last undefeated team, pushing the Commanders into the mix for a possible clean sweep of the three NFC wildcard berths by the second, teams in the third and fourth in the NFC East.
Rivera recently lost his mother. He was emotional in the locker room. And he inexplicably keeps his team at the center of things despite unprecedented organizational turmoil.
Other finalists: Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell, Colts coach Jeff Saturday, Packers coach Matt LaFleur.
Game of the Week: Justin Jefferson’s 32-yard, catch with one hand on the fourth and the eighteenth with two minutes left in regulation.
What more can be said about one of the most mind-boggling receptions anyone has ever witnessed? It was a cross between the one-handed OBJ in 2014 and the David Tyree helmet catch from early 2008.
The fact that it didn’t happen in a Super Bowl gives it less spice than Tyree’s effort. Still, it had a great game feel to it, as the Vikings hoped to show everyone (including themselves) that they could beat an elite team on the road, something they hadn’t done in years.
Bills cornerback Cam Lewis accidentally helped Jefferson make an unthinkable catch. Instead of simply trying to break it up, Lewis wanted the interception. He kept trying to take the ball from Jefferson from the moment he arrived to the moment Jefferson somehow kept it off the ground.
Other finalists: Josh Allen’s goal line awkward resulting in a defensive touchdown for Minnesota, that of Bills receiver Stefon Diggs catch with one handPackers receiver Christian Watson’s 39-yard touchdown catch on fourth and seven, Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah’s choose sixthe failed Bucs halfback pass that Leonard Fournette ran back to quarterback Tom Brady, that of Colts quarterback Matt Ryan Run from 39 metersColts Run Back Jonathan Taylor’ Touchdown run of 66 yardsVikings run after Dalvin Cook’s Touchdown run of 81 yardsTitans receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine’s 63-yard touchdown catch on a flea flash, that of Bears quarterback Justin Fields Touchdown run of 67 yards.