Darrien Coleman| BKD TV Insiders
Offensive Player of the Week: Julio Jones 9 catches 141 yards 2 TDs
On a week when offense was hard to come by in most of Sunday’s games, Julio Jones and Carlos Hyde both put on special Monday Night Performances. The difference between the two is the Falcons got a close home win and Julio Jones was the primary reason, while Hyde wore the Vikings down in a 17 point victory that never looked in doubt. Jones constantly torched the Eagles secondary, and made newly acquired DB Byron Maxwell look completely lost, and a step slow in coverage in his first game as an Eagle. Jones accounted for almost half of Matt Ryan’s passing yards and caught both passing touchdowns Ryan threw. He had an impressive game even by his already lofty standards, and the Falcons will need it to continue all season as they try to get back to the postseason for the first time in three years.
Honorable mention: Carlos Hyde, Matt Forte, Keenan Allen, Marcus Mariota, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Tyler Eifert
Defensive Player of the Week: Aaron Donald 9 tackles 2 sacks
The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year is clearly trying to avoid a sophomore slump. He was a constant presence in Seattle’s backfield recording two sacks, three tackles for a loss, and he hit Russell Wilson three times. He has already proven to be a major force in what may very well be the best defensive line in football. Donald and his combination of strength and agility at his size is special, as he excels in both stopping the run and rushing the quarterback. The Rams defense held Marshawn Lynch to just 73 yards on 18 carries, and if you take away Lynch’s lone long run of 24 yards, he was held under three yards-per-carry on the day. Did I mention Donald’s last tackle was on Marshawn Lynch in the backfield on fourth down to seal an overtime win? The future is very bright for Donald and the Rams if they can find consistent quarterback play.
Honorable mention: Aquib Talib, Jimmy Smith, Brent Grimes, Ronald Donald, Navarro Bowman
Team Win of the Week: St. Louis Rams
The Rams always give the reigning back-to-back NFC champion Seahawks a tough time, and they usually do it with all three units contributing. That trend continued as they used wide receiver Tavon Austin in a myriad of ways, including a rushing touchdown and returning a punt for another score. The reason this win was special was their new quarterback made a play late, against the vaunted Seattle secondary, to send the game into overtime. Nick Foles was his usual careful self with his decision-making throwing the ball on Sunday and he completed nearly 67% of his passes against a great defense. He did fumble twice, but it was a solid day overall and he had help from his defense and special teams as big plays were made in all three phases of the game. The Rams have talent, and if Foles stays healthy the sky is the limit.
Honorable mention: Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers