Life in the NFL is hard, as rookies everywhere are finding out after their first taste of action. While in your typical year rookies have the preseason to be phased into the realm of professional football, the rookie class of 2020 will have to endure a baptism by fire. We're playing for keeps right out of the gate.
Which rookie performers were able to make the most of their first pro action? We, along with our partners at Panini, are recognizing the best of the best each week. Here are the Offensive Rookies of the Week from each conference for Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season.
AFC Offensive Rookie of the Week
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs
This is one hell of a start for the 2020 NFL Draft's RB1. Edwards-Helaire exploded onto the scene against the Houston Texans with a 25-carry, 138-yard performance on the ground. Adding in a critical score against the Texans to help the reigning Super Bowl champions log a 34-20 victory, Edwards-Helaire is doing his part to prove that running backs do indeed still "matter."
There aren't too many teams across the NFL landscape that could so easily justify drafting a running back in the first round, but the Chiefs are one of them. Given Kansas City's offensive firepower and their willingness to double down on their strengths to create mismatches all over the field, it feels as though Thursday's performance in Week 1 will soon be par for the course for Edwards-Helaire—who is jumping from one record-setting offense in college to another here in the pros.
NFC Offensive Rookie of the Week
WR CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys
Edwards-Helaire may have gotten the NFL season started with a win, but CeeDee Lamb helped bring the first NFL Sunday of the season to a close with a strong performance in a losing effort. There wasn't a dominant performance for any other NFC offensive rookie, so Lamb's consistent effort gets the nod here in Week 1.
Targeted six times by quarterback Dak Prescott, Lamb hauled in five catches for 59 yards while also providing a spark in the return game thanks to a 20-yard punt return. Lamb's environment is much like Edwards-Helaire's in that the Cowboys doubled down on a strength to secure the young wide receiver with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. And Lamb is off to a nice start in proving Dallas right for bypassing on additional team needs to take the best player available on the board.