Week 3 NFL Player of the Week: Mike Williams shines and a mutant welcomes Justin Fields to the NFL

The NFL Player of the Week for Week 3 is meant to acknowledge the top performers from the week prior to Monday Night Football.

The NFL Player of the Week award is meant to recognize the best quarterback, non-quarterback on offense, and defensive player from Week 3 prior to the Monday Night Football game. Trust me — if anybody on Monday night has a legendary performance, it’ll get its own dedicated piece. That honor is just as high, if not higher, than the POTW award.

NFL Player of the Week | Week 3

Some weeks it’s hard to choose between players in each of these categories. Week 3 was not one of those weeks. Each player this week deserves the award, and although there are arguments to be made about other players, none stack up given the circumstances each player faced.

Quarterback of the Week | Josh Allen

Matthew Stafford and Derek Carr (who won it last week) were both considered, but what Allen accomplished playing against a defense many believed would handily be the best in the league this year was eye-opening. The Bills boat raced the Washington Football Team, and much of it came on the back of their quarterback with newly-awarded generational wealth.

After starting off somewhat slow to begin the season, Allen finally warmed up against Washington. The vaunted defensive line of Chase Young, Josh Sweat, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, and Matt Ioannidis was practically invisible to Josh Allen, who wasn’t sacked a single time on Sunday.

This is the same Allen that was sacked 3 times in Week 1 against the Steelers and looked generally uncomfortable overall. And it’s not as if Allen was doing his best Ben Roethlisberger impression and getting the ball out in 2.3 seconds. No, Allen held onto the ball for nearly 3 seconds on average. Allen got rid of the ball in 2.94 seconds on average, and he threw it nearly 10 yards downfield as well.

Allen’s performance against Washington

Going 32-of-43 for 358 yards against a defense crowned as the best defense in the league is impressive. Heck, Washington’s pass-rushing duo talked about wanting to break the sack record for a single season. Even though it wasn’t the top statistical performance in Week 3 of the NFL season, it was the most impressive given the opponent.

Young hasn’t yet registered a sack through three games, and the terrifying Washington Football Team defense is struggling to find a statistic where they rank in the top half of the league. It’s almost like the opponent is as important as the defensive talent, given how difficult it is to play defense in the modern NFL.

Allen threw 4 touchdowns and ran for another, meaning he alone accounted for 35 of the Bills’ 43 points. He’s certainly not short of weapons to target. A receiving corps of Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Emmanuel Sanders, and Gabriel Davis is potent. Add in the athleticism of tight end Dawson Knox, and the Bills boast a beautiful basket of ballers on offense.

This isn’t to take anything away from Allen. There aren’t many quarterbacks in the NFL more talented than the 25-year-old signal-caller. In a draft class including an MVP winner, Allen still projects as the best of the bunch.

NFL Offensive Player of the Week | Mike Williams

Keenan Allen gets most of the publicity when talking about the Chargers receivers, and for good reason. He’s one of the most technically proficient pass catchers in the NFL. But we conveniently leave out that Williams is an outstanding fit for Justin Herbert.

Herbert loves attack leverage mismatches. At 6’4″, 220 pounds, there aren’t many situations that Williams can find a crease in with his size. Also, with so much of the focus on Allen, Williams is able to see advantageous matchups.

Only five NFL players have received more targets than Williams through three games (CeeDee Lamb will likely pass him Monday night). Only four players have more receptions, which means for the first time in his career, Williams isn’t simply a big-play 50/50 threat.

On Sunday, against a team coming off back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, Williams displayed his dominance to the tune of 7 receptions for 122 yards and 2 TDs, commanding an admittedly poor Chiefs secondary. He helped propel an up-and-coming team to a victory over the young G.O.A.T., Patrick Mahomes.

NFL Defensive Player of the Week | Myles Garrett

In Week 1, Chandler Jones had 5 sacks against the Tennessee Titans. Jones put together some of the most ridiculous pass-rush moves I’ve seen on tape that week. While Myles Garrett’s Week 3 performance can’t match Jones’ opening game showing, he still did enough to be the player we recognize in Week 3 of the NFL season.

Last season, Garrett posted 13 sacks, and every one of them was deemed high quality by Brandon Thorn. Thorn created a project called True Sack Rate, where he tries to quantify the quality of sack production.

In 2020, nobody was better than Garrett. Week 3 against the Bears may not have been at that level, but Garrett deserves recognition for his Herculean frame and athleticism when it results in production. He was built in a lab.

Yesterday, Garrett chased down Justin Fields on a scramble. For those that forgot, Fields ran a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash. Garrett is 280 pounds. It doesn’t make sense. And, in the end, it was enough to be named Defensive Player of the Week for Week 3.

There were a lot of cleanup sacks on Garrett’s ledger Sunday. However, he also generated 8 total pressures, meaning he made it home consistently. He’s also done it from multiple alignments. Garrett’s explosiveness is difficult for interior blockers to keep up with, and his length is a massive advantage when collapsing them into the lap of quarterbacks.

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