Week 7 NFL Player of the Week: Ja’Marr Chase and Derek Carr earn top honors

The NFL Player of the Week honors the top players from Week 7 of the NFL season. This week, our first rookie and first linebacker made it!

We might have to rename the NFL Player of the Week award the “Derek Carr NFL Player of the Week” award. Week 7 was the third massive week the Raiders quarterback has produced, either through a heroic late-game performance or an overall drubbing. The award is rewarded to the top player in the NFL each week in three categories, and in Week 7, our first off-ball linebacker received honors.

NFL Player of the Week | Week 7

Week 7 was also the first time a rookie has graced our list. Ja’Marr Chase hasn’t just performed as one of the best rookies in the NFL — he’s been one of the best, if not the best, receiver in the NFL. De’Vondre Campbell is having an outstanding season for the Packers, and he’s even playing well beside Jaylon Smith, which many Cowboys fans would tell you is practically impossible!

NFL Quarterback of the Week | Derek Carr

It’s never a good idea to turn the ball over, but it’s particularly bad when you’re in the red zone, as Carr did on the Raiders’ first possession. However, this wasn’t an egregious decision that cost his team dearly. He let one get a tad away from him, and the running back he targeted practically delivered the errant pass into the hands of Avonte Maddox.

Carr was in complete control otherwise. In fact, his first TWENTY-FOUR (24) attempts all ended up in the hands of a football player. There was not a single grass stain found on a Carr-thrown football until there were 12 seconds left in the second quarter. His single-game game completion rate of 91.2% ranks second all-time for any quarterback with at least 30 attempts. It was impossible not to make him the NFL Quarterback of the Week.

This performance didn’t come against a defense devoid of talent, such as the Houston Texans or Kansas City Chiefs. No, the Eagles have some of the best interior defenders in the NFL. Darius Slay is having a career resurgence, and Steven Nelson is playing good football, as is Maddox. Heck, Josh Sweat is one of the up-and-coming pass rushers in the league, too.

And just so we’re sure to remember, Las Vegas’ offensive line is horrendous. So, Carr is having the best season of his career behind arguably the worst OL he’s played with. And this week, he did it without his best weapon in TE Darren Waller.

NFL Offensive Player of the Week | Ja’Marr Chase

I’ve already swooned over Chase in PFN’s Rookie Rankings, but I must do it in every outlet I can. I missed on Chase. I probably shouldn’t have, but I allowed his play as a 19-year-old plus his 2020 opt-out sway me. Chase played like a 6’3″ powerhouse at 6′, and he has short arms in a league that’s come to covet separators.

We knew he went to the ideal situation in Cincinnati with former LSU teammate Joe Burrow. I should have known how that was going to end. I knew he’d probably have the best season among the rookie receivers, but I didn’t predict what we’ve gotten.

But honestly, who could have expected this?

Chase is currently the league’s second-leading receiver. His 107.7 ypg ranks third behind Cooper Kupp and Deebo Samuel. Yet, he’s not receiving near the target share they are. He makes chunk play after chunk play, and he’s doing it both with air yards and after the catch. His 82-yard touchdown scamper — which changed the entire flow of the Ravens game — showed that ability. That play alone could have earned him NFL Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Chase has turned into the best deep passing threat in the NFL, on top of being a reliable receiver catching 68.6% of his targets. In short, he’s the entire package. And yesterday, while manned up against one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, he went off.

He caught 8 of his 10 targets for 201 yards and a touchdown and was so dominant that Marlon Humphrey tweeted retrospectively after the contest.

NFL Defensive Player of the Week | De’Vondre Campbell

After an unassuming start to his career in Atlanta and Arizona, Campbell is having a fantastic season with the Packers. His excellent season culminated on Sunday with 2 crucial forced fumbles in the red zone against the Washington Football Team.

The Packers recovered only one. The other was a touchdown-saving punch of Taylor Heinicke as he tried stretching the ball over the goal line after inexplicably giving himself up at the half-yard line the play prior.

Campbell was all over the field against Washington, making plays in the run game and against the pass. He’s not quite a rangy coverage linebacker, but he’s adequate in zone coverage. Given the amount of RPOs and other misdirections constantly attacking LBs, not being completely lost in coverage is a compliment in 2021.

Campbell is also one of the most consistent tacklers in the NFL. According to Pro Football Reference, he’s only missed 1 tackle so far, which is the best rate of any player with 40 or more combined tackles — he’s currently at 68.

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