Back during the entire NFL 2016 season and almost half of the 2017 NFL season, I recognized the one player whom stood out the most in his team’s victory. I called it the Impact Player Of The Week Award.
But after shutting down the website (3-Tense) that gave such recognition, I stopped with that reward, due to having way too many time consuming blogging assignments. Plus, it’s hard to pick just one player from each week. Especially when every week has multiple standout performances (i.e. Justin Houston and Khalil Mack during Week 12 of the 2016 NFL season).
But after rediscovering my ability to consistently blog about the NFL during the regular season last year via Steve Believes, I decided to bring back the Impact Player Of The Week segment, except in an expanded format this around, as I recognize one impactful player from all 15 winning teams during Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season.
The recognitions are listed via the bullet points and text below:
- Green Bay Packers Vs. Chicago Bears-The Packers defense was phenomenal, as they held the Bears offense to three points. Especially with how well that the Bears moved the ball against them. The Packers defense also had five sacks of Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, including a game-ending sack by newly acquired outside linebacker Preston Smith. However, the Impact Player of this game is another Packers free agent signing in strong safety Adrian Amos, by thwarting his former team’s threat of tying the game at 10 with an end zone interception of Trubisky with 1:58 to go in the game.
- Tennessee Titans Vs. Cleveland Browns-So many players I can choose from in this impressive victory, with running back Derrick Henry and his 1-yard touchdown giving the Browns a 10-6 lead that they would both never relinquish and relentlessly add to. However, the Impact Player of this game is an ageless wonder on the defensive side of the ball and that is 37-year-old outside linebacker Cameron Wake, whom set the tone in Tennessee’s dominant defensive effort with a team-high 2.5 sacks, including a sack of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield for a safety. And not only was that sack for a safety because in addition, it was the 100th in Wake’s very overlooked career.
- Baltimore Ravens Vs. Miami Dolphins-Hands down, the Impact Player of this game is Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, whom used his arm way more than his legs, by completing 17 of 20 pass attempts for 323 net passing yards and five touchdowns. And as for his stat line running the ball? Three carries for a team-low 6 yards. And given how dominant that the Ravens were against the Dolphins, his ball carrying wasn’t needed.
- Atlanta Falcons Vs. Minnesota Vikings-The Vikings defense was marvelous, by forcing three turnovers, along with sacking Matt Ryan four times. Plus, they held Julio Jones to 31 yards receiving and held the Falcons to 12 points. However, the Impact Player of this game is running back Dalvin Cook, whom led a Vikings offensive effort that produced more rushing yards (172) than passing yards (97). Cook had 111 of the 172 rushing yards and two of the three rushing touchdowns.
- Buffalo Bills Vs. New York Jets-Rallying from a 16-0 deficit to win a game where the turnover battle was lost is the true definition of a team win. However, I can only pick one player as the Impact Player of this game. So with that being said, I’ll go with Bills quarterback Josh Allen, whom was responsible for all four Buffalo turnovers, only to overcome that, by accounting for the Bills’ two fourth quarter touchdowns that turned a 16-3 deficit into a 17-16 victory.
- Washington Redskins Vs. Philadelphia Eagles-A player that Chip Kelly stupidly released, DeSean Jackson, is the Impact Player of this game, as the University of California product caught eight passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns, the second of which gave the Eagles a 21-20 lead that they would both never relinquish and ultimately add to for the 32-27 victory. What a welcome back for D-Jack!
- Los Angeles Rams Vs. Carolina Panthers-The final score is too close to comfort for me to really pick an Impact Player in this game. But if I had to choose one, then my pick is Rams running back Todd Gurley, whom picked up 12 yards on two carries to ice the game for the reigning NFC champions.
- Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars-The obvious choice is league MVP Patrick Mahomes, but I’m sure that he’ll win this weekly award multiple times this season. However, the same might not be said for Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins, whom set the tone with a 68-yard touchdown reception on the Chiefs’ first possession of the game. It was one of three touchdown receptions for him on nine total receptions that produced a career-high 198 yards.
- Indianapolis Colts Vs. Los Angels Chargers-Running back by committee worked out perfectly for the Chargers, as the Impact Player in this game is Austin Ekeler, whom amassed 154 total scrimmage yards and three total touchdowns on 18 touches. The last of the 18 touches resulted in Ekeler scoring the walk-off touchdown via a 7-yard rush to give the Chargers a 30-24 victory in overtime.
- Cincinnati Bengals Vs. Seattle Seahawks-Seahawks defensive end Rasheem Green would be the obvious choice for his game-ending sack of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton that resulted in the latter of the two losing a fumble. But instead, the Impact Player in this game is Seahawks running back Chris Carson, who gained 24 of his 46 rushing yards on the Seahawks’ final drive of the game, thus resulting in the Bengals running out of timeouts, along with losing the benefit of the two-minute warning. The visiting team’s last possession started at their own 25-yard line with 21 seconds to go, thus sealing their eventual fate, a 21-20 loss.
- New York Giants Vs. Dallas Cowboys-Questions were answered about whether Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott needed Ezekiel Elliott to succeed, as the 2016 Offensive Rookie Of The Year carried the Cowboys, by completing 25 of 32 pass attempts for 405 passing yards and four touchdowns in the Cowboys’ 38-10 demolition of the Giants. The fourth-year starter is hands down the Impact Player of this game.
- San Francisco 49ers Vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t have a spectacular day throwing the football, as he went 18 of 27 for 158 net passing yards and an interception that was returned by Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves 15 yards for a touchdown. However, he also threw a 39-yard touchdown to wide receiver Richie James to turn a 7-6 deficit into a 13-7 lead that the 49ers would both never relinquish and eventually add to for the 31-17 victory. The 39-yard strike makes Jimmy G the Impact Player of this game.
- Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. New England Patriots-With all the talk of the Patriots boasting Antonio Brown, Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas as their four top wide receivers, it’s easy to overlook the other players who round that position group for the team. Especially Phillip Dorsett, whom then went on to catch a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tom Brady to extend the Patriots lead to an insurmountable 17-0 one late in the first half, and then caught a 58-yard touchdown pass from Brady to a turn respectable 20-3 Steelers deficit into an even more insurmountable lead of 27-3 for the Patriots. Dorsett finished the game with four receptions for a team-high 95 yards and those two touchdowns, thus making him the Impact Player of this game.
- Houston Texans Vs. New Orleans Saints-With deficits of 14-3 and 21-10, the Texans seemed poised to pull away. But then a “Brees” came along, as in Drew Brees, whom led three scoring drive to turn the latter of the two deficits into 24-21 Saints lead and led a fourth scoring drive to extend the lead, 27-21. He then guided the Saints 35 yards in five plays during the game’s final 37 seconds to put Saints kicker Wil Lutz in position to beat the buzzer with a 58-yard field goal. The brilliant performance of Brees makes him the Impact Player of this game.
- Denver Broncos Vs. Oakland Raiders-The Raiders acquired two wide receivers this past off-season, with one of them being the aforementioned Antonio Brown. However, it’s the other wide receiver acquisition (Tyrell Williams) that gets the recognition for this game, as the Western Oregon product hauled in eight receptions for a team-high 105 yards and an 8-yard touchdown reception to set the tone in a game where the Raiders never trailed. In addition to scoring the game’s first touchdown, Williams had a 24-yard reception that set up Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs’ second rushing touchdown of the game, along with having a late-game 10-yard reception on third-and-eight to both give the Raiders a fresh set of downs and the advantage to eventually run out the clock. Williams stepping up as the Raiders’ number one wide receiver now makes him the Impact Player of this game.
Well, that’s it for this week’s debut of Impact Players Of The Week.
Tune in next week to see which players get the Week 2 honors.