Week 8 NFL Player of the Week: White wins while Deebo snatches Da Bears’ bike

    The NFL Player of the Week is awarded to the top players in Week 8. This week, a QB wins it in his first start, and a rookie joins the party.

    The NFL Player of the Week award goes to the top player in three categories for the Thursday night and Sunday slate of games. We (I, the supreme leader of the POW rankings) choose a quarterback, offensive player, and defensive player to honor for their efforts. This week, the offensive side of the ball felt clean-cut. Defensively, three names stood out. Who takes NFL honors for Week 8?

    NFL Player of the Week | Week 8

    Josh Allen (the pass rusher) deserves recognition. He had 2 sacks and 4 tackles for loss in the Jaguars’ game against the Seahawks. Still, it was in a significant loss. The other name considered was Nick Bosa, who was worthy of the title but faced Larry Borom and the Bears’ horrendous offensive line.

    NFL Quarterback of the Week | Mike White

    Mike White had his fans when we watched him coming out of Western Kentucky. Things weren’t complicated when we look at this performance in the pantheon of QB performances in a vacuum. The difference with White’s outing was the circumstances. This was his first career start, on a bottom-tier team, against the AFC-leading Cincinnati Bengals.

    And the Bengals just allowed White to pick them apart underneath throw after throw. It’s not often a team can win if their quarterback averages 4.1 air yards. However, when he’s unbelievably efficient, he gives them a chance. That’s what White did on Sunday, and it ended up beating the conference leaders.

    According to Ben Baldwin’s site, White finished the day with a positive CPOE of 11.7, which was second only to Geno Smith (a contender for this award but didn’t win because the Seahawks faced an FCS program this week).

    Even White’s 2 interceptions were fluky. Both were tipped up by offensive players and picked off by defenders. He was in control against a defense that still ranks seventh in EPA/play allowed. White and the Jets handed them the fourth-worst EPA/play in Week 8, with two teams still left to play on Monday night.

    White finished 37-for-45 with 405 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Western Kentucky product did that all in his first start. We shouldn’t expect that to continue, but he’ll make for an exciting trade piece in the offseason if he does.

    NFL Offensive Player of the Week | Deebo Samuel

    Sports writing can be a tricky thing. There are a lot of rules one is supposed to follow. One of those rules is that after the first mention of a person, the writer should use their last name only from then on. But there are special exemptions, and Deebo is one of them. Honestly, if he wanted to drop his last name entirely, I’d support it.

    Deebo is a superstar. He can refer to himself in the third person, and we’d all just politely nod. That name has that much chutzpah! Deebo leads the league in receiving yards per game with 819 (in just seven contests). His 16-game pace is 1,872 yards, and his 17-game pace is 1,989, which would break Calvin Johnson’s record. It feels dirty, but it’s very real.

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    The 49ers WR caught 6 passes for 171 yards and narrowly missed on 172 and a touchdown on his 83-yard reception on a third-and-20 screen. The craziest part is he’s not even a finished product as a route runner. There are still nuances he can exploit in the future to make him more complete.

    But it doesn’t matter at the moment. When Trey Lance steps in for the long term, it will. Even then, Deebo will still be uber-productive. Heck, he might be more productive! But it’ll look different. Shanahan hides Jimmy Garoppolo a bit, and Deebo’s post-catch ability allows that style of offense to succeed.

    NFL Defensive Player of the Week | Micah Parsons

    Josh Allen made an excellent case for the award this week, but a loss for the team hurts his case. Nick Bosa had himself a day, but it was against Larry Borom coming off an injury and generally just not being a match against Bosa.

    Micah Parsons had his first All-Pro moment as a traditional off-ball linebacker on Sunday Night Football. Honestly, he had us all questioning the Cowboys a bit. He would be more valuable in a hybrid role as a linebacker and pass rusher.

    But last night, he figured out how to make a difference off the ball. Insanely, most of that came without making a difference as a coverage player. That is wild to think about, given the perceived lack of value linebackers have in the league now. Parsons won NFL Player of the Week honors because of his 4 tackles for loss.

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    He’s a teleportation device. Watching this 245-pound human move with 4.3x acceleration is mind-numbing. He’s not the first to go SSJ1 — Myles Garrett has reached the ascended Super Saiyan level. But there’s a chance Parsons is the first to reach SSJ2.

    SSJ1 ascended, for those reading this that weren’t 90s kids, is from Dragon Ball Z. The ascended form of a Super Saiyan gained muscle mass and power. Super Saiyan 2 is the level above, where muscle mass is lessened, but strength and speed both increase.

    That’s Parsons. And not only did he make 10 solo tackles and 4 tackles for loss, he almost intercepted 2 consecutive passes from Kirk Cousins. Like Ja’Marr Chase last week, a rookie finds their way onto the NFL Player of the Week piece. Which rookie will make it next?

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