By Serenity Bishop
We have just finished another week of football, and another set of breakout players have come to the forefront. This week, there were a couple of players who outshined their team. The Giants, Saints and Dolphins can all attribute their wins to one breakout player. The Patriots had two breakout players, but then again, it’s New England. They have a new breakout player every week.
The first player to be named, led the Giants to a fourth-quarter comeback. He led the league with 222 receiving yards and moved to second place in the Giants record books for the most receiving yards in a single game. Oh, and he did this with a hurt hip.
Odell Beckham Jr. has increasingly become known as the next hot-head wide receiver, but one thing no one can take away from him is his ability to take over games. When the Giants needed him the most, he was out there. Despite the injury, he showed up big time. The Giants beat the Ravens 27-23 largely due to his contributions.
While Beckham was closing in on records, Drew Brees was adding on to his. Brees threw the Saints to victory over the Carolina Panthers. Since Brees arrived in New Orleans, he has been throwing the team to victory. His 465 passing yards against the Panthers, is just one of the many times he’s surpassed 450 yards in his career. Who says short quarterbacks can’t succeed in the NFL?
At the running back position, the Miami Dolphins have a diamond in the rough. I have personally been advocating for Jay Ajayi to be a starter in Miami for awhile. In their game against Pittsburgh, Leveon Bell wasn’t the leading rusher at the end of the game. Ajayi ran for 204 yards and two touchdowns. It seems like every time Ajayi gets the ball, he ends up in the end zone. Perhaps even when Arian Foster gets fully healthy, Ajayi will keep the starting spot. However, Ajayi is the first thing to go right in Miami this season. Hopefully, Coach Gase continues to give the ball to his workhorse.
The New England Patriots torched Cincinnati. Tom Brady was absolutely money and Rob Gronkowski continued to show why he is the best tight end hands down in the league. Last week, Brady tossed up three touchdown passes to tight end, Martellus Bennett. This week, he hit the other tight end Gronk for one touchdown and 162 receiving yards. The Bengals are notoriously bad at stopping opposing tight ends. The Patriots hit the Bengals hard in their biggest weakness. It led to a 35-17 win for New England.
Lastly, within that same game, the Patriots also had the NFL’s AFC Defensive Player of the Week. Dont’a Hightower played probably the best game of his career. He led the Patriots with 13.5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, a safety and two quarterback hits. The fact that Hightower played without the presence of Jamie Collins just makes his impact even bigger.
Each of these players did very well this week and deserve credit for such great individual performances.