Last week once again marked two consecutive weeks of reinvented territory for me, as I recognized one player from each of the 16 NFL teams that were victorious in Week 3.
And as for this week, a player from each of the 15 winning teams for Week 4 will be recognized, as both the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers had their bye week.
Check out the bullet points and text below to see which 15 players got recognized as the Impact Players Of The Week for Week 4:
- Philadelphia Eagles Vs. Green Bay Packers-The way Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was moving the ball (414 net passing, two touchdown passes) all night, the Eagles seemed doomed for a third consecutive loss. Especially with the Packers threatening from three yards out to either tie or take the lead late in regulation. However, Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham denied the Packers from picking up those final yards, by picking off Rodgers’ pass intended for wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the end zone and returning it 22 yards to the Philadelphia 21-yard line. That final offensive play for the Packers would be the final play from scrimmage of the game, as Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz took a knee to run out the clock. Bradham’s game-clinching interception allowed the Eagles to leave Lambeau Field 2-2, along with making the eight-year veteran out of Florida State this game’s Impact Player.
- Tennessee Titans Vs. Atlanta Falcons-This game was a coming out party for Titans rookie wide receiver A.J. Brown, as his first career touchdown reception of 55 yards gave the Titans a 7-0 lead. He then became a catalyst in the Titans breaking a 7-7 tie with his second touchdown of the game, as well as his career, by scoring it from 11 yards out to give his team a 14-7 lead that they would both add to and never relinquish. Brown’s breakout performance makes him the Impact Player of this game.
- New England Patriots Vs. Buffalo Bills-Given the way that the Patriots offense looked against the Bills, it’s almost criminal that the league’s most detestable team is 4-0 after this game. However, I have to recognize a member of the winning team as the Impact Player of this game. And as to whom that player is, it’s Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins Sr., whom recorded the game-sealing interception of Bills quarterback Matt Barkley on a third-and-nine pass play. Otherwise, it would have been fourth-and-nine, with the Bills getting one last chance to keep the drive alive.
- Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Detroit Lions-Another rookie gets an Impact Player award, with it being Chiefs rookie safety Juan Thornhill. Touted as Eric Berry 2.0, the University of Virginia alum swatted away a last-second desperation pass by Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Here’s hoping that Thornhill can string together some All-Pro seasons the way that Berry did.
- Oakland Raiders Vs. Indianapolis Colts-Just when the Raiders were left for dead, they get an unexpected 31-24 road victory against the Colts. And of course, they got contributions from less heralded players, such as wide receiver Trevor Davis and backup strong safety Erik Harris. The latter of those two players gets the Impact Player award for this game, due to his 30-yard interception return for a touchdown being the difference in that game and dashed any hopes of a Colts comeback, as Harris’ pick-six made it a two-score game late in the fourth quarter.
- Los Angeles Chargers Vs. Miami Dolphins-For the second time this season, Chargers running back Austin Ekeler played a huge role in a Chargers win. And for the second time this season, Ekeler is an Impact Player award winner, as his 18-yard touchdown reception was the beginning of 20 unanswered L.A. points to turn a 10-10 tie into 30-10 L.A. win.
- Washington Redskins Vs. New York Giants-No Saquon Barkley, no problem, as his backup, Wayne Gallman, had 24 total touches for 118 total yards and two total touchdowns, the first of which was via a 6-yard reception to give the Giants a 7-0 lead. Gallman was the tone-setter in New York’s 24-3 victory, thus making him the Impact Player of this game.
- Cleveland Browns Vs. Baltimore Ravens-Against the Ravens at MT&T Bank Stadium last season, Browns running back Nick Chubb had a negative running play that prevented him from finishing the season with at least 1,000 rushing yards as a rookie. However, Chubb would get his revenge this time around, as he rushed 20 times for 165 yards and three touchdowns. His first touchdown on the ground from 14 yards out gave the Browns a 17-10 lead that they would both add to and never relinquish. However, it was his 88-yard touchdown run that turned a close 24-18 game into a seemingly insurmountable 30-18 deficit for the Ravens. Chubb’s revenge performance against the Ravens makes the second-year running back out of Georgia the Impact Player of this game.
- Carolina Panthers Vs. Houston Texans-For the second time following a Texans game, a safety with the last name Reid gets the Impact Player award of this game. However, it’s big brother Eric, as his swat down of Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson’s last second heave to the end zone ultimately ended the Texans’ chances at winning that game.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. Los Angeles Rams-The Buccaneers were in danger of blowing a big lead for the second week in a row. Especially with the Rams having an opportunity to tie the game late. But all hopes of an L.A. comeback were dashed, as Buccaneers defensive lineman Ndamukong Suuh returned a fumble 37 yards to turn a 48-40 Tampa Bay lead into a 55-40 Tampa Bay lead with 1:06 remaining. 55-40 would be the eventual final score of that game, thanks to Suh, who’s scoop-and-score against the third of his former teams (Lions and Dolphins are the others) makes him the Impact Player of this game.
- Seattle Seahawks Vs. Arizona Cardinals-After having a costly fumble in Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints, Seahawks running back Chris Carson responded big time, as he led a Seattle offense that won the time of possession battle, as he had 104 rushing yards on 20 carries. His running kept the Seahawks defense fresh in a game where his team never trailed, along with giving him an Impact Player award for the third time this season.
- Minnesota Vikings Vs. Chicago Bears-Points were at a premium in this game, as neither offense could light up the scoreboard. So with that being said, I’m giving the Impact Player award of this game to a defensive player whom had 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble, along with his presence allowing his Bears teammates to get 4.5 more sacks of Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. That’s right, an award goes to Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack for the second week in a row.
- Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. Denver Broncos-Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II showed guts in leading the Jaguars downfield in order for teammate Josh Lambo to beat the buzzer with a field goal from 33 yards (the equivalent of a PAT) out. Especially when the former of two took five sacks against Von Miller and the Denver defense. However, it’s impossible ignore Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette being back in a big way, as the third-year player out of LSU rushed for a career-high 225 yards on 29 carries. One of those carries went for 81 yards to set up Minshew’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Jaguars tight end James O’Shaughnessy to give Jacksonville its first lead of the game, 20-17. The game was Fournette’s first in which he ran for 100 yards or more since rushing for 109 two seasons ago in the Divisional Round against the Pittsburgh Steelers, thus giving him the Impact Player award of this game.
- Dallas Cowboys Vs. New Orleans Saints-Defense carried the Saints in this game, as they allowed a season-low 10 points, along with holding the Cowboys to 257 total net yards and forcing three turnovers. They also had one timely sack, as Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata dropped Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott at the Dallas 3-yard line for an 11-yard loss with 1:12 remaining and no timeouts at all for Jason Garrett’s bunch. Time and distance became enemies against the Cowboys that night, thanks mostly to Onyemata, whom is the Impact Player of this game.
- Cincinnati Bengals Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers-The Steelers defense had a lot of meetings at the quarterback, as they sacked Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton eight times. More than half of those sacks were authored by Steelers defensive Cameron Heyward (2.5), and outside linebackers T.J. Watt (1.5) and Bud Dupree (1.0 and a forced fumble). Heyward’s game-high of 2.5, Watt’s recovery of Dupree’s forced fumble, Heyward and Watt’s shared sack of Dalton right before the half with the score at 10-3, and Dupree’s sack-fumble of Dalton with the score at 7-3 give the three sack authors a three-way Impact Player award for this game.