Andrew Luck, QB (Colts)

IND 34 at TEN 26

Chargers QB Philip Rivers actually led Week 7 with passing yards (371), but I thought Luck should make this list based on the clean performance he had in comparison.  Rivers threw an interception and fumbled while garnering 1 TD.  Meanwhile, Luck threw for 353 yards, had 3 TDs and 0 interceptions.  He was also sacked 2 times, making that 25 sacks on the year for him, the most in the league.  Luck’s passer rating was also very high this week (123.1), giving him a total average on the year of 98.3.  What is noteworthy about this performance is that Luck is living up to the high expectations set for his abilities.  In fact, Pro Football Focus said on Monday that Luck is “having the best individual season of his career”.  They ranked him 2nd behind Tom Brady in their PFF QB grades and pointed out that Luck is achieving success even with a subpar O-line (evident in the amount of sacks he’s had.)  Going forward, the line will be better as they get healthier and this should help the Colts improve on their 3-4 record, as well as give Luck more time to be himself and rack up more healthy stats.  Next up for Indy is KC at home.  So far, the Chiefs’ Defense is performing below average in every category.  The Colts have a good chance to win this one and they’ll need it, as Week 9’s competitor is Green Bay at Lambeau.

Jay Ajayi, RB (Dolphins)

BUF 25 at MIA 28

Here we go again.  Ajayi makes this list 2 weeks in a row.  Week 7 he ran for 214 yards and 1 TD after he rushed for 204 yards in Week 6.  With this performance, he became just the 4th player in league history to rush for 200+ yards back to back.  Great company for him to be in (Hall of Famers OJ Simpson, Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams were the others to accomplish this feat). Ajayi is earning this success with his physicality by exploding through tackles and having help from good run-blocking especially by LG Laremy Tunsil & RT Ja’Waun James.  Over the last 2 games, Ajayi has had 53 carries and on this pace would set a league record for maximum carries.  That’s a lot of load for someone who hadn’t had more than 13 carries in one game before.  Luckily, he’ll get some rest as the 3-4 Dolphins have a bye week and then head to the Jets on Nov 6.

Julio Jones, WR (Falcons)

SD 33 at ATL 30

The leading receiver of the week was Quintorris “Julio” Lopez Jones with 174 yards over 9 receptions and an average 19.3 yards per catch.  The 27-year-old former Alabama prodigy is in his 6th year as a pro and is considered the most talented wideout playing today.  Jones’ stats are evidence of his star quality.  So far this season, he has 100+ receiving yards in 4 of his last 6 games and 16 receptions of 20-plus yards this season (most in NFL). He is also on pace to brush Calvin Johnson’s single-season record of 1,964 yards.  The Green Bay Packers are well aware of the damage Jones can do to their depleted secondary and are already planning for how to deal with him ahead of the teams’ Week 8 matchup.  Packers Safety Micah Hyde said about Jones, “Honestly, there’s nothing he can’t do. There’s guys that come along every now and then, you’ve got your Calvin Johnson-type guys, and he’s one of them. He’s the best in the game right now.”  Hyde’s solution? “The week of (the game), every night before you go to bed, you’ve got to pray.  Game day, you’ve got to wake up, you’ve got to pray.  He’s just one of those guys that can get it done in all aspects of the game.”

Landon Collins, S (Giants)

NYG 17 at LA 10 (London)

The NFL didn’t give Collins the award for NFC Defensive Player of the Week based solely on his 2Q Interception for a TD, but if they did, then I’m cool with it.  That play alone was bloody fun to watch as Collins broke several tackles, bobbed & weaved towards the end zone & then refused to go down until he had a touchdown.  In addition to that interception, he made 8 tackles and picked off the Rams QB a 2nd time to set up the game-winning 1-yard TD.  Ultimately, Collins was instrumental in both Giants TDs and the reason NY took home the victory.  Through 7 games, he leads the Giants in sacks, has 58 tackles on the year so far and is considered one of the best safeties in the league.

Lorenzo Alexander, OLB (Bills)

BUF 25 at MIA 28

Alexander’s story is one that inspires.  A “late bloomer”, he came out of UCAL Berkeley in 2005 as one of the 10 best Defensive Linesmen in his class, but went undrafted.  He toiled around with several different teams first on practice squads.  And, then he became a utility player for the Redskins in order to survive.  He played positions like blocking Tight End, Guard, and Full Back on offense.  In one game, Alexander said he played “like 5 different positions”.  But, it gave him “a chance to play in the league”.  Along the way, he got himself in shape and in 2012, he finally made his way up the ladder to become a Pro Bowler and Special Teams guru.  This quickly followed by a large contract signing with the Cardinals in 2013.  Unfortunately, in Week 3, Collins sustained a season-ending injury and was released just one year later by Arizona.  In 2015, he signed a 1-year deal with Oakland in 2015.  Then the Bills gave him a chance in 2016.  They thought they were getting a Special Teams Leader in Alexander, but when Buffalo sustained injuries and released certain players on defense, Alexander stepped in and proved himself.  He quickly won the job as OLB and today, the 33-year-old leads the league in sacks and is one of just 2 players in football with 3+ sacks and 20+ tackles (along with the legendary Von Miller).  So, after 12 years in the league, he’s finally made a name for himself in the position he was born to play.  In a recent interview with MMQB, Alexander was asked what QB he’d like to sack and he said: Patriots QB Tom Brady.  Well, he’s about to get his chance in Week 8 when the Bills go to Foxboro.

Joey Bosa, DE (Chargers)

SD 33 at ATL 30

The 21-year-old rookie is quickly making a name for himself in the league, even if it has only been 3 games that he has started.  The former Ohio State superstar is doing things that no one else has done which is justifying San Diego’s choice in picking him 3rd overall in the draft and his desire for more money during the notorious contract dispute that had him miss the first 4 games of the season.  So far, Bosa has 4 sacks, more than any Chargers rookie ever did in his first 3 games and he is the first NFL rookie in a decade to have multiple sacks in two of his first three games.  He also has 6 QB knockdowns, 5 hurries and has shown versatility by doing some time at defensive tackle, outside linebacker and inside linebacker in addition to defensive end.  This all helps set Bosa up for a Defensive Rookie of the Year Award and his excellent play is already having an impact and giving the Chargers more respect, as they jumped up this week in ESPN’s Power Rankings to #14.


Source : NFL Stats

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