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 the pro action in Week 2? We, along with our partners at Panini, are recognizing the best of the best each week. Here are the defensive Rookies of the Week from each conference for Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season.
AFC OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
QB Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers
Herbert wasn’t expecting to make his NFL debut on Sunday, but a pregame rib injury to starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor thrust him into the starting lineup. The NFL is all about dealing with adversity but the layers baked into Herbert’s first NFL start were unprecedented. Not only did he find out minutes before kickoff that he was starting, but it was also the Chargers’ first-ever game at SoFi Stadium and it was against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
How did Herbert handle the moment? Herbert was 22-of-33 for 311 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He added 18 rushing yards and a touchdown on four carries.
Herbert is the first player since Bob Clatterbuck in 1954 to pass and run for a touchdown in the first half of his NFL debut. Herbert became just the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for 300 yards and have a rushing touchdown in their first game, joining Cam Newton and Otto Graham.
Despite suffering an overtime loss to the Chiefs, Herbert played extremely well considering the circumstances. While head coach Anthony Lynn has stated he remains committed to Taylor as the starter, Herbert’s performance will make it tough to keep him on the bench if Taylor doesn’t perform well.
NFC OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
WR CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys
Two weeks into the season and CeeDee Lamb has once again claimed our NFC Offensive Rookie of the Week honors. In Dallas’ improbable come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Falcons, Lamb led the Cowboys in receiving and logged his first career 100-yard game.
Hauling in six receptions for 106 yards on nine targets, Lamb also had a nine-yard rush in the game. Lamb’s 24-yard reception got the Cowboys in field goal position, setting the stage for Greg Zuerlein’s 46-yard game-winning field goal.
Dallas erased a 20-point deficit and trailed 39-24 halfway through the fourth quarter. The Cowboys were down two scores with less than five minutes remaining in the game.
Five of Lamb’s six receptions resulted in first downs and he produced a whopping 58 yards after the catch, an average of 9.7 additional yards gained post-catch.
Lamb was a catalyst for success on Sunday and currently leads all rookie receivers with 165 yards through two games.
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