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 3? 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 3 of the 2020 NFL season.
AFC OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
QB Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
The bad news for Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals? They didn't win in Week 3. The good news for Burrow and the Bengals? They didn't lose, either—Cincinnati absorbed a dreaded tie with the Philadelphia Eagles, the final score landing on 23-23. But don't blame Joe Burrow for a tie—Burrow blew up for his second consecutive 300-yard passing performance against the Eagles, finishing the day at 31-of-44 passing for 312 yards and two touchdowns. All that production despite a relentless onslaught by the Eagles' pass-rush, who sacked Burrow a whopping eight times for -56 yards.
The relentlessness and toughness of the No. 1 overall pick was on display against the Eagles. Burrow had the tar beaten out of him but never the less enjoyed his best NFL game to date, coming four yards short of the 316-yard high-water mark he set in Week 2, but doing so on 17 fewer pass attempts.
The Bengals are going to need to take a long, hard look in the mirror this offseason and figure out what is going wrong with their recent offensive line investments; although we all knew Burrow was walking into an unideal situation with Cincinnati's front five. His production early on despite wave after wave of rushers is pretty incredible, but then again we shouldn't really be surprised given the magic Burrow put on the field in 2019 with the LSU Tigers on his way to a Heisman Trophy.
NFC OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
WR Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
Oh, okay rook! Seven receptions, 175 yards, and a touchdown is one heck of a way to break into the box score for any NFL player, let alone a rookie playing in his third career NFL contest. Jefferson logged just five receptions for 70 yards in his first two games combined, as the Vikings struggled to get their feet underneath them this season. And while Minnesota did indeed fall to 0-3 with a 31-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Jefferson certainly isn't one of the reasons why.
Minnesota hasn't yet fired on all cylinders, as Jefferson's production came largely at the expense of standout receiver Adam Thielen. But for Jefferson, who was largely pegged as a slot receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft process, to take such a high amount of production (especially on the outside) and help boost a passing game that had logged just 113 yards in their previous game, how can you not be impressed and optimistic about what the rest of the season looks like for the former LSU Tiger.
Fittingly, both offensive players of the week this week are alumni of the LSU Tigers—who can use all the wins they can get after dropping their opening game of the season in 2020 to the Mississippi State Bulldogs. You think the Tigers missed this duo this week?
- Dec 08, 2022
- Dec 08, 2022