The NFL season started with a bang this last weekend. The reigning Super Bowl champion, New England Patriots, opened up with a commanding beat down of the Pittsburgh Steelers. There were impressive wins for the Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens, and Dallas Cowboys.
Some NFL teams will be glad to see the back of week 1. The Miami Dolphins didn’t exactly quash the theory that this year is a lost year for them. The fabled Denver Broncos defence couldn’t disrupt the Oakland Raiders o-line, and lost on Vic Fangio’s head coaching debut. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were sloppy in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Amongst all this, there were some standout individual performances on NFL opening weekend. We’ve put these performances to a vote on @Ninetynineyards to bring you the Week 1 Players of the Week Awards. Each week of the NFL season we’ll be putting these polls out, so keep an eye out and get involved with deciding who wins what.
99 Yards Ground Player of the Week
Christian McCaffrey – RB – Carolina Panthers
McCaffrey had some strong competition from the likes of Marlon Mack but in reality the vote wasn’t close. Neither should it have been. Against a stellar Rams defence, McCaffrey was a dominant, unstoppable force. Unfortunately for the Panthers, it was for nothing as they fell to a 30-27 defeat.
McCaffrey had 128 yards on the ground and 2 touchdowns. He also added 81 receiving yards on 10 receptions. If the league MVP award wasn’t such a quarterback dominated affair, McCaffrey would be an extremely early front runner for it. He’ll have to settle for our award instead.
99 Yards Air Player of the Week
Lamar Jackson – QB – Baltimore Ravens
You know the story, Lamar Jackson is a running back masquerading as a quarterback. Everyone knows it, right?
Wrong! Lamar Jackson is a quarterback who threw for 324 yards, completing 17 of 20 passes, and 5 touchdowns on the way to a 59-10 routing of the Miami Dolphins.
Sure, people will point to how bad Miami were on Sunday evening. They could be historically bad this year. Don’t allow that to take away from just how good Jackson’s performance was. He has put a lot of work in over the summer and it is set to pay off for him, and the Ravens, this season.
As an aside, the running back masquerading as a quarterback rushed for a huge 6 yards on 3 carries.
99 Yards Defensive Player of the Week
Cameron Wake – DE – Tennessee Titans
The Titans pulled off probably the biggest shock of week 1 when they shut down Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. Mike Vrabel was a ferocious defensive beast as a player, and the Titans certainly took on the character of their head coach on Sunday.
They were led on the field by veteran Cameron Wake. The defensive end, acquired from the Dolphins in the off-season, made life hell for Mayfield. He tallied an impressive 2.5 sacks, and 4 QB hits. One of his sacks resulted in a first half safety.
99 Yards Offensive Rookie of the Week
Josh Jacobs – RB – Oakland Raiders
Just win baby! It’s been a Raiders motto for as long as anyone can remember but there’s not been much winning done in Oakland of late.
The Raiders got off to a winning start on Monday night, however. A big part of that win was the performance of rookie running back Josh Jacobs. The former Alabama running back scored 2 touchdowns, and rushed for 85 yards. It’s a performance that was good enough to secure our Offensive Rookie of the Week award.
His diving touchdown to make the score 14-0 showcased his athleticism, determination, and toughness. They’re characteristics that will make him extremely popular in Oakland (and Las Vegas).
99 Yards Defensive Rookie of the Week
Nick Bosa – DE – San Francisco 49ers
Bosa was cheated out of the number one overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Cardinals selecting Kyler Murray. Given they have to face him in the division twice this year, that might have been fatal.
After injuries derailed his pre-season preparation, Bosa got off to a flier against a poor Tampa Bay team. He rocked the Bucs to the tune of 3 tackles, 1 sack and 3 QB hits.
If he can stay healthy, Bosa will be a force to be reckoned with in the NFL this year.
Feature Image Credit: playeroftheyearawards.com