It’s Wednesday morning. Which means that it’s time to put a bow on the week that was with a slate of awards.
And the award itself, as always, is the award. There’s no money. There’s no trophy. There’s nothing. Other than the minuscule release of dopamine for those who win.
And maybe for one or more of those who get mentioned as finalists.
Here’s the Week Three slate of award winners, along with those who came close to winning nothing more than satisfaction.
Offensive player of the week: Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
For the 14th time in 64 career games, Lamar Jackson generated at least 100 yards passing and 100 yards rushing. He also accounted for five touchdowns against a defense led by one of the greatest coaches of all time.
Through three weeks, the 2019 MVP is putting himself into the conversation for a bookend to his previous prize. He seems to be as good as ever, and getting better.
Other finalists: Eagles receiver DeVonta Smith (eight catches, 169 yards, one touchdown); Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (262 passing yards, three touchdowns); Bear running back Khalil Herbert (157 rushing yards, two touchdowns); Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (340 passing yards, three touchdowns); Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson (141 rushing yards, one touchdown).
Defensive player of the week: Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.
Lawrence led a swarming Dallas defense with three sacks against the Giants. He tied a career high, and he has re-established himself as one of the top pass rushers in the game.
Other finalists: Bears linebacker Roquan Smith (interception that set up game-winning field goal), Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham (2.5 sacks), Lions defensive back Jeff Okudah (held Justin Jefferson to three catches and 14 yards).
Rookie of the week: Packers receiver Romeo Doubs.
The fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft could be emerging as the top option in the Green Bay passing game. He caught eight passes on eight targets for 73 yards and a touchdown in a two-point win over Tampa Bay.
Through three games, Doubs is the team’s leading receiver with 14 catches and 137 yards.
Other finalists: Saints receiver Chris Olave (nine catches, 147 yards), Falcons receiver Drake London (three catches, 54 yards, one touchdown), Colts receiver Jelani Woods (two catches, 13 yards, two touchdowns), Jaguars linebacker Devin Lloyd ( seven tackles, three passes defended, one interception).
Coach of the week: Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel.
The Dolphins have quickly adopted a find-a-way attitude, influenced by the cool confidence of their first-year coach. On Sunday, the Dolphins repeatedly took the best punches the Bills had to offer, and they still managed to emerge with just enough points to win.
The statistical differences were staggering. Buffalo had the ball for more than 40 minutes. They gained 497 yards to Miami’s 212. They had 90 total plays; Miami Had 39.
But the Dolphins ended with 21 points, the Bills with 19. And Miami now has three wins, and no losses.
Other finalists: Jaguars coach Doug Pederson, Eagles coach Nick Sirianni, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski, Ravens coach John Harbaugh, Colts coach Frank Reich.
Play of the week: Steelers receiver George Pickens’s OBJ-style catch.
In the first half of Thursday night’s game in Cleveland, Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky did what he needed to do — trust that Georgia rookie George Pickens is open even if it looks like he isn’t.
In came the ball. Pickens contorted his body to make a one-handed catch. This angle makes it even more impressive.
And while the Sunday night catch in 2014 from OBJ will always be more memorable, it can be argued that the Pickens catch was even better. First, he didn’t see the ball until the last second; Beckham had time to track the throw and prepare for the catch. Second, Pickens adjusted the momentum that was carrying him in one direction and swung around to make the catch. For Beckham, there was no change in direction.
Other finalists: Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb’s one-handed touchdown catch, Vikings receiver KJ Osborn’s game-winning touchdown catch, Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd’s 56-yard touchdown catch, Jaguars running back James Robinson’s 50-yard touchdown run on fourth and one, Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’ 45-yard throw to receiver Jaylen Waddle on third and 22, Raiders receiver Mack Hollins’ 48-yard catch on fourth and 15, the Butt Punt.