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 has 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 action in Week 13? 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 13 of the 2020 NFL season.
AFC OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
QB Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
Tua Tagovailoa continues to shine and perform whenever he is on the field. Obviously, Miami has enjoyed solid play from their defense and special teams, but in the games he’s started, Miami is 4-1. In fact, he is one of only five quarterbacks to go 4-1 with a quarterback rating of 95 or better in their first five starts. He is just the fourth quarterback in the Super Bowl Era to not throw an interception in his first five starts. Although he got off to a rough start on Sunday, he responded and rebounded in the second half—after halftime, he was 14-for-20 for 185 yards and one touchdown. As if we didn’t know, he proved once again that he is perfectly capable of responding to adversity. He ended the game going 26-of-39 for 296 yards, and one touchdown with a 67% completion percentage in the game. He led them to 13 points in the second half which proved to be critical in the game. There’s always room for improvement and I’m certain that he will want to be better on third downs, but his career is off to an amazing start.
NFC OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
WR Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
Justin Jefferson is having an outstanding rookie season. In fact, he’s having a historic season. He is the first Vikings rookie to have five 100-yard receiving games. On Sunday, he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on the season, becoming the first Vikings rookie to do so since Randy Moss in 1998. On the season, he has 61 catches for 1,039 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 1,039 yards are the second-most by a rookie in NFL history through 12 games. On Sunday, he had nine catches for 121 yards and one touchdown. Jefferson is on track to eclipse Moss’ rookie reception and yardage record by the end of the season. Jefferson has won this award before and will continue to be an asset as Minnesota pushes for a wild-card spot in the playoffs.