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Rookie of the Year watch: David Johnson a standout

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Through two weeks, the Arizona Cardinals have the NFL's best point differential.

While much of that success can be attributed to the porous defenses of the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears, there's reason to believe Arizona's offense has yet to click on all cylinders.

Starting offensive linemen Mike Iupati and Bobby Massie are returning to action this week and deep threat Michael Floyd is just getting back to full health. More importantly, coach Bruce Arians is incrementally increasing the role of rookie David Johnson, a big-play machine.

Johnson isn't the only greenhorn impressing. Here is Around The NFL's latest Rookie of the Year watch:

1. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans quarterback: Why it's called "passer rating" instead of "quarterback rating": Mariota took seven sacks and fumbled three times, yet still generated a rating of 96.3 against the Cleveland Browns. He's leading the league with a 129.9 rating -- just ahead of Aaron Rodgers (128.4), Carson Palmer (124.4) and Ben Roethlisberger (122.6) -- entering Week 3.

2. Marcus Peters, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback While No. 11 overall pick Trae Waynes has yet to play a snap for the Vikings, No. 18 overall pick Peters has the look of a future lockdown cornerback. Through two games, Peters has recorded seven pass deflections, two interceptions and a touchdown.

3. Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions running back: Abdullah touched the ball just seven times in the Lions' loss to the Vikings. Play-caller Joe Lombardi has to start calling his number more, as this offense desperately needs his playmaking ability.

4. Vic Beasley, Atlanta Falcons pass rusher: Beasley's explosiveness off the edge is no surprise, but he was expected to be a liability against the run. That hasn't been the case so far, as Beasley has gotten the better of veteran blockers with his speed and athleticism.

5. Matt Jones, Washington Redskins running back: There are only a handful of human beings who can move like Jones at 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds. Jones led the Redskins' new ground 'n' pound attack in Week 2, blowing through the Rams' talent-laden front seven for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Against the Giants on Thursday, however, his superlative abilities yielded only pedestrian results. He was held to 38 yards on 11 carries and cost the Redskins a touchdown when he fumbled the ball out of bounds in the end zone for a touchback.

6. Henry Anderson, Indianapolis Colts defensive end: Hailed as the steal of the draft by Pro Football Focus, Anderson is playing like a top-10 pick. He's been one of the few bright spots on the Colts, generating six tackles for loss in his first six NFL quarters.

7. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders wide receiver: Renowned for his savvy route running, Cooper impressed with his speed in racking up 109 yards and a touchdown versus the Ravens. Per Next Gen Stats, Cooper reached 21.38 mph on his 68-yard touchdown reception, the fourth-fastest time by a wide receiver in Week 2.

8. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals running back: A high-end NFL athlete, Johnson has recorded the fastest time by a running back this season and launched a 41.5-inch vertical leap at the NFL Scouting Combine. He's the first player in NFL history to score a touchdown via run, pass and kick return in his first two games.

9. T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars running back: Yeldon's average of 3.3 yards per carry won't knock anyone's socks off, but he moved the chains on a whopping 28 touches in the Jags' victory over the Dolphins. Yeldon will keep defenses honest, aiding Blake Bortles' development.

10. Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers running back: A boom-or-bust runner, Gordon became the first Chargers back since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2007 to break off three runs of 20-plus yards in one game.

Watch list: Jameis Winston, Tyler Lockett, Shaq Thompson, Stephone Anthony, Hau'oli Kikaha, Kyle Emanuel and Tevin Coleman

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