Week 18: Williams, Jeudy, Diggs, Hines headline NFL Players of the Week

On Wednesday, the NFL announced that Lions running back Jamaal Williams, Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs, and Eagles kicker Jake Elliott were name NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played in Week 18.

OFFENSE: RB JAMAAL WILLIAMS, DETROIT LIONS

Williams rushed for 72 yards and two second-half touchdowns, including the go-ahead touchdown with under six minutes remaining in the Lions’ 20-16 win at Green Bay on Sunday Night Football. He led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns this season and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (16 rushing touchdowns in 1991) for the most in a season in franchise history.

DEFENSE: S QUANDRE DIGGS, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Diggs recorded an interception in overtime and added four tackles in the Seahawks’ 19-16 win over the Los Angeles Rams. It marked the fifth overtime interception in the NFL this season

SPECIAL TEAMS: K JAKE ELLIOTT, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Elliott converted all five of his field goal attempts – from 32, 52, 39, 54 and 22 yards – and led all kickers in scoring (16 points) in Week 18 as the Eagles defeated the New York Giants, 22-16.

AFC Players of the Week:

In the AFC, Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen, and Bills running back/KR Nyheim Hines were named AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week.

OFFENSE: WR JERRY JEUDY, DENVER BRONCOS

Jeudy led all players and set career highs in receiving yards (154) and scrimmage yards (193) during Week 18 as the Broncos defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 31-28.

DEFENSE: LB JOSH ALLEN, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Allen recorded six tackles, one tackle for loss, one forced fumble and recorded the game-winning 37-yard fumble-return for a touchdown with 2:51 remaining in the Jaguars’ 20-16 win over Tennessee. Jacksonville completed the “worst-to-first” turnaround and clinched the AFC South division title for the first time since 2017.

SPECIAL TEAMS: RB NYHEIM HINES, BUFFALO BILLS

Hines recorded two kickoff-return touchdowns (96- and 101-yards) in the Bills’ 35-23 win over the Patriots in Week 18 as he became the first player since Leon Washington (Week 3, 2010) with two kickoff-return touchdowns in the same game.

Jones on winning NFC Offensive Player of the Week: ‘Happy and appreciative but understand that it’s a team award’

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week, the NFL announced Wednesday. 

Jones threw for 202 yards and a touchdown, and he ran for 107 yards and a rushing touchdown as the Giants got their fourth straight win after defeating the Jaguars 23-17 on Sunday.

The fourth-year quarterback became the first player in team history with 200 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in a game. He is one of three quarterbacks with at least 200 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in a game this season. The others are Arizona’s Kyler Murray and Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson (twice).

As he’s done all year long, Jones led the Giants to victory from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie for the fifth time this season. Jones totaled three such games in his first three seasons. He has won four consecutive starts for the first time in his career, and his six victories this season are a career-high; he won five games as a starter in 2020.

“Definitely appreciate the recognition, and yeah, I appreciate it,” Jones said Wednesday. “A lot went into that from a lot of guys, and it was a group effort. Happy and appreciative but understand that it’s a team award, a team recognition, and I appreciate everyone.”

Before Sunday, the most rushing yards by a Giants player with 200+ passing yards in a game was 95 by Jones on Sept. 16, 2021, at Washington. Jones threw for 249 yards. The most passing yards by a player with 100+ rush yards prior to Jones was 72 by Ed Danowski on Nov. 25, 1934, vs. Boston. Danowski ran for 105 yards.

Jones increased his season total to 343 rushing yards, the second-highest for a Giants quarterback in the Super Bowl era. Jones ran for 423 yards in 2020.

This is the third time Jones has been selected Offensive Player of the Week. He won the award after his first NFL start in Week 3 of the 2019 season, when he threw two touchdown passes and ran for two scores at Tampa Bay, and again in Week 4 of the 2021 season after leading the Giants to victory in New Orleans.

The Giants hope to make it five in a row when they travel to Seattle to battle the Seahawks on Sunday.

Brady named NFC Offensive Player of the Week

On Wednesday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 5.

He has now won 32 Player of the Week awards, extending his record for the most-such awards in NFL history

In a 45-17 win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 5, Brady completed 30-of-41 passes (73.2 percent) for 411 yards and five touchdowns, earning a 144.4 passer rating. He did not throw an interception for the fourth consecutive game, breaking his own team record by throwing 203 consecutive passes without an interception. Brady led all quarterbacks in Week 5 with his five passing touchdowns and 144.4 passer rating, while finishing second in passing yards.

Brady threw five-or-more touchdown passes in a game for the ninth time in his career, tying Peyton Manning for the second-most such games in NFL history. In addition, his 36 regular season games with at least four passing touchdowns surpassed Manning (35) for the second-most such games in league history. The game also marked the 12th regular season game in which Brady has thrown for 400-or-more yards, tying Ben Roethlisberger for the fourth-most such games in NFL history. It was the first game in Brady’s 22-year career that he threw for 400-or-more yards and had five-or-more touchdown passes.

Through Week 5, Brady leads the NFL in passing yards (1,767), ranks second in passing touchdowns (15) and fifth in passer rating (108.5). Since joining Tampa Bay in 2020, Brady ranks first in the NFL in passing yards (6,400) and ranks second in passing touchdowns (55).

Tampa Bay leads the league with its 349.4 passing yards per game and 98 passing first down this season, while ranking third in points scored (33.4). The Buccaneers have recorded 1,747 passing yards as a team so far this season, the eighth-most passing yards through five games in NFL history. 

 

Vikings’ Cousins named NFC Offensive Player of the Week

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has been named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Minnesota’s Week 17 victory against the Detroit Lions.

Cousins, a nine-year pro, led the Vikings in the season-ending victory as he completed 28-of-40 passes for 405 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 127.6 passer rating. Cousins also scored one of the Vikings two rushing touchdowns in the 37-35 win over Detroit. With three touchdown passes against the Lions, Cousins became the second player in team history to throw 35 or more touchdowns in a season, joining Daunte Culpepper who holds the team record of 39 set in 2004.

He finished the season with a franchise record eight games of three-plus passing touchdowns, passing Culpepper’s previous record of seven (2000). Cousins’ 17 career games with 300-plus passing yards, three-plus touchdowns and 115.0 or better passer rating are the most in the first nine seasons of a quarterback’s career in NFL history.

The accolade marks Cousins’ sixth-career NFC Offensive Player of the Week honor and second as a Viking. In October 2019, he was tabbed NFC Offensive Player of the Month for the third time in his career.

Vikings’ Cook named NFC Offensive Player of the Week

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook has done it again. On Wednesday, Cook was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Detroit Lions in Week 9.

In a 34-20 win against the Lions, the 25-year-old Cook rushed for a career-high 206 yards and scored twice, including a 70-yard touchdown. With the performance, Cook joined Adrian Peterson and Ring of Honor member Chuck Foreman as the only players in team history to rush for 200 or more yards in a game.

The fourth-year pro is the first NFC player to earn the accolade in back-to-back weeks since Ryan Fitzpatrick did so in 2018 (Weeks 1-2) as a member of the Buccaneers and the first non-quarterback to be named in consecutive weeks since Todd Gurley in 2017 (Weeks 15-16) as a member of the Rams.

Combined with his outing in Week 8 at Green Bay, Cook became the third player in NFL history with 225-plus scrimmage yards and two-plus touchdowns in consecutive games, joining Deuce McAllister (2003) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (1963). He’s also the sixth player in NFL history and first since Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith in 1994 with a rushing score in each of his first seven games of a season.