Who were the top performers from Week Nine in the NFL? We have picked out our Team of the Week…
The Chicago Bears showed they’re not to be messed with as they sunk the Buffalo Bills 41-9, whilst the Atlanta Falcons breezed past the Washington Redskins 38-14.
Tom Brady also won the battle of the ‘GOATs’ in Sunday Night Football as the New England Patriots took down the Green Bay Packers 31-17. However, one of the main stars this week was Drew Brees, leading the New Orleans Saints to victory over the previously undefeated Los Angeles Rams…
Quarterback – Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Brees has been one of the main candidates for MVP honours so far this season, and he showed exactly why again this week as he passed for 346 yards and four touchdowns in a stunning 45-35 win over the Rams.
This was the first time this season that the 39-year-old has thrown for four touchdowns in a game, and all were to different receivers – Michael Thomas, Benjamin Watson, Alvin Kamara and Tre’Quan Smith all hauled in a touchdown pass from Brees.
The future Hall-of-Famer leads the league in both pass completion percentage (76.3 per cent) and touchdown to interception ratio (18:1).
Running back – Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs put up over 30 points for the eighth time in nine games in their 37-21 win over the Cleveland Browns and Hunt scored 18 of those himself.
The second-year running back out of Toledo carried 17 times for 91 yards and two TDs, while his only reception came off of a screen pass that ended in a 50-yard touchdown. Talk about efficiency.
Hunt is now ranked third in the league for rushing yards (683) and is tied third for rushing TDs scored (seven).
Wide receiver – Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Admittedly, Brees might have had a tougher time against the Rams if Michael Thomas wasn’t on the field. The star receiver caught 12 passes on 15 targets for 211 yards and a touchdown on his way to setting a new franchise record for receiving yards in a game.
The Rams secondary couldn’t handle Thomas’ speed and physicality downfield – even when double covered. He averaged 17.6 yards per catch and made three crucial third-down grabs in the fourth quarter, including his 72-yard TD reception.
Thomas is averaging 110 receiving yards a game this season making him one of three receivers to do so. Julio Jones is averaging 116.6 and Adam Thielen 105.2.
Tight End – George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Kittle broke 100 receiving yards for the second time this season during the 49ers’ blowout 34-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders led by undrafted rookie quarterback, Nick Mullens.
The 25-year-old hauled in all four of his targets for 108 yards and a TD on Thursday night, tallying 76 of his 108 receiving yards on one drive alone – he grabbed 71 of them on a stunning one-handed catch and run – and the tight end finished the job off by scoring on a five-yard touchdown reception.
Kittle is now second in receiving yards among tight ends with 692 – which is more than the likes of Antonio Brown, A.J. Green and Keenan Allen at wide receiver.
Offensive line – Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons offensive line was superb against the Washington Redskins, as Atlanta put up 38 points against a sorry Redskins defense that only one week ago sacked Eli Manning seven times. Against Matt Ryan and co, they only managed two.
Before the contest, the Redskins boasted the second-best record when it came to allowing rushing yards per game, with 80 per game. But, Falcons running back Tevin Coleman had eight more than that alone from just 13 carries. Ito Smith added another 60 and a touchdown as the Falcons put up 154 rushing yards, which is the most the Redskins have given up all season.
Everyone on the Falcons offensive line did their job, especially guards Wes Schweitzer and Ben Garland.
Defensive line – Minnesota Vikings
Matthew Stafford will be having nightmares about the Vikings defense for years to come after they sacked him a franchise record 10 times in a 24-9 loss for the Detroit Lions.
Danielle Hunter led the way with 3.5 sacks, nine tackles, four quarterback hits and a fumble recovery for a touchdown – talk about having a day!
The Vikings had recorded 9 sacks on four previous occasions, but Sunday’s performance topped them all, with a perfect 10.
Linebacker – Roquan Smith, Chicago Bears
Smith had a brilliant game in the Bears’ 41-9 thumping of the Buffalo Bills. The rookie, who already has 54 tackles this season, secured another 13 in this game to lead the team.
The 21-year-old out of Georgia also forced a fumble by Bills tight end Jason Croom early on in the game. The fumble was picked up by Eddie Jackson, who returned it 65 yards to the house.
Cornerback – Steven Nelson, Kansas City Chiefs
Despite Nelson not being at his best for the whole game, he was when it counted. The 25-year-old forced the crucial turnover that helped the Chiefs milk the clock out to pick up a crucial 37-21 win against the Browns.
In the fourth quarter, Nelson allowed a 38-yard completion to Antonio Callaway. However, on the very next play he intercepted Baker Mayfield and ran it back 18 yards to stop a Cleveland comeback. Nelson also led the Chiefs in tackles, with eight.
Safety – T.J. McDonald, Miami Dolphins
Miami’s defense didn’t give Sam Darnold a break whatsoever, and it showed, as the rookie was picked off four times during the New York Jets’ 13-6 loss to the Dolphins.
T.J. McDonald was able to snag an interception himself to stop the Jets from tying the game up in the final two minutes. He jumped in front of a pass intended for wide receiver Quincy Enunwa before smartly sliding to the floor after he caught the ball. Alongside the interception, McDonald led the team in tackles, with eight.