Sam Darnold, Kyler Murray among Players of the Week

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  • By Michael Baca NFL.com
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A pair of rookies on both sides of the ball highlight this week's recipients of Players of the Week, while a couple of young veterans made their presence felt, and a duo of booting maestros make an appearance.

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week in wake of his return to the gridiron. Missing the past three games due to mononucleosis, Darnold completed 23 of 52 pass attempts (71.9 percent) for 338 yards and two touchdowns (1 INT) to will the Jets toward a 24-22 upset win over the Dallas Cowboys. Highlighting his day was a 92-yard TD throw to Robby Anderson that exemplified what the Jets' fluttering offense had been missing in his absence. At 22 years and 130 days old, Darnold became the youngest player with multiple 90-plus yard TD passes in the Super Bowl era. Darnold got the last laugh in his return and the second-year QB put the Jets in the win column for the first time this season.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for leading his team in a nail-biting 34-33 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Murray had an efficient day throwing the ball by completing 27 of 37 (73 percent) for 340 yards and three touchdowns. The rookie QB also added 32 rushing yards to his day and Murray's threat on the ground picked up the final first down needed to ice the Falcons. The Heisman winner now has the Cardinals streaking with two wins and just one game under .500.

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Devin Bush was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after his night of playmaking in Los Angeles. The rookie LB made his presence felt early and often by scoring on a 9-yard fumble return and intercepting a Philip Rivers pass in consecutive first-quarter possessions. Bush became the first NFL rookie with a fumble return TD and an INT in the same game since Bears safety Eddie Jackson did it in 2017. Adding to his night, Bush had seven tackles and a pass deflection in a game where the Steelers never looked back, winning 24-17 over the Chargers for their second win in a row.

Washington Redskins safety Landon Collins was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his constant presence against the Miami Dolphins. Collins filled the defensive stat sheet with twelve tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, two passes defensed, and one tackle for loss in the Redskins' 17-16 win. One of the biggest free-agent acquisitions this past offseason, Collins exemplified why he's a perennial Pro-Bowler by setting the tone in an old-school type of slugfest between winless teams. Collins and the Redskins now have some momentum as they head to New York to face his former team.

Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after a historic outing. Regarded as the most reliable kicker in the NFL, Tucker lived up to his billing by making all three of his field goal attempts (40, 49, 21) and adding two PATs in the Ravens 23-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Tucker, 29, became the fastest kicker in NFL history to score 1,000 points (118 games). Quite the feat.

New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. In a game where field position was crucial, Morstead was called upon for six punts and five of them pinned the Jaguars behind their own 20-yard line. Morstead's longest punt went for 51 yards and all six averaged 41.8 yards (41.8 net) in the Saints' 13-6 road win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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