Week 4 NFL Team of the Week: Trevon Diggs, Byron Murphy usher in new era

Young defensive players usher in a new era in the NFL on our Week 4 NFL Team of the Week. Who made the cut from this week's action?

The 2021 NFL season keeps rolling along after Week 4, the same as our Team of the Week series. We’re a day early with this one, rolling out our list of players ahead of Monday Night Football. If any players during the Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Chargers play better than the team listed below, we’ll make the proper corrections following the game.

NFL Team of the Week for Week 4 | Offense

The NFL Team of the Week nominates players based on individual performance and value towards their team’s success or limiting the opponent’s. We’re not here to discuss team wins or losses. Rather, we’re here to shed light on the top individual performances from the week.

QB: Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Jones continues his solid season even if this was his team’s first victory. In their overtime win against New Orleans, Jones went 28/40 for 402 yards and 2 touchdowns. What stood out for Jones in Week 4 was how sharp he was with the game on the line.

On the game-tying drive in the fourth quarter, Jones connected on 5-of-9 passes for 55 yards. All of those throws came with just two timeouts left and under three minutes on the clock. In overtime, he was even better. On the only overtime drive, Jones finished 5/5 for 69 yards, putting New York in place for Saquon Barkley to run in the game-winning touchdown.

RB: David Montgomery, Chicago Bears

Montgomery appears to have avoided serious injury after exiting the game against Detroit in the second half. That’s great news for Bears fans because he was dominant on the ground against the Lions. On 23 carries, Montgomery hit 106 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.

Montgomery reaped the benefits of rookie QB Justin Fields finding a great connection with Darnell Mooney downfield. Still, the gifted running back manufactured enough on his own to absolutely warrant his spot on our Team of the Week.

WR: Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

The world is going to have to come up with new superlatives for Tyreek Hill at this point. Speed, routes, anticipation, hands, agility, and fearlessness are all traits that make Hill so difficult to stop. Basically, he did Tyreek Hill Things on Sunday against the Eagles.

Hill went off for 11 receptions, 186 yards, and 3 touchdowns in a dominant outing that is another example of how he can take over football games.

WR: Terry McLaurin, Washington Football Team

It’s officially spooky season in October as Scary Terry was in action on Sunday. McLaurin helped get Washington back to .500 on the season with a 6-catch, 123-yard, 2-touchdown performance against an overmatched Falcons secondary.

It didn’t come without fear for Washington, however. McLaurin actually left the field of play during the penultimate touchdown drive, only to return dramatically and haul in a 17-yard touchdown to bring the score within 2 points.

TE: C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals

Back on Thursday night, Uzomah gets the nod on our Team of the Week despite a trio of tight ends with TOTW-worthy performances. Uzomah was fearless over the middle and hauled in 5 receptions for 95 yards. His 2 touchdowns included the first for the Bengals and the game-tying score midway through the fourth quarter.

FLEX: Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons

If it weren’t for Patterson, the Falcons would not have been in their matchup against Washington at all. Born to be a PFN Team of the Week nominee for the flex spot, Patterson was dominant with the ball in his hands. Unfortunately for Falcons fans, they couldn’t get it to him enough.

Patterson still finished his day with 11 touches, 116 total yards of offense, and 3 receiving touchdowns. He even chipped in with 78 more yards in the return game, giving him 194 yards from scrimmage on Sunday.

LT: Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys

It didn’t take long to notice Smith against the Panthers. He was solid in pass protection but made his impact known in the running game. Smith was dominant, whether it was driving his defender back, reaching second-level defenders, or just downright sealing the edge.

He was a big reason Dallas running backs ran the rock 30 times for 210 yards in the outing.

LG: Joel Bitonio, Cleveland Browns

A bit of a regular on our Team of the Week, this marks the second time in four weeks that Bitonio lands as our top left guard. Bitonio is quickly rising up the rankings of top interior linemen in the NFL this season after yet another dominating performance. Solid in all facets, Bitonio is a master of his craft.

C: Creed Humphrey, Kansas City Chiefs

Humphrey was so dominant in this game against Philadelphia that he even registered a tackle. Granted, that tackle came after an interception, but that’s how aware of his surroundings he was against the Eagles. Humphrey put on a run-blocking clinic with reach blocks and gaining to the second level on multiple occasions.

RG: James Daniels, Chicago Bears

You can’t get your first win in the NFL without some solid protection, and that’s exactly what Daniels gave to his young QB. Daniels was terrific all afternoon, keeping a clean sheet in pass protection. He wasn’t too bad on the ground, either.

RT: Morgan Moses, New York Jets

It’s time to start talking about Moses as potentially one of the more underrated free-agent signings this offseason. Having to fill in at both right and left tackle spots at stints this season, Moses’ versatility has been key for a struggling Jets offense under a new regime.

While he was great on run blocks on Sunday, Moses was even more dominant around the edge on designed rollouts for Zach Wilson. Moses’ athleticism allowed him to get around edge defenders and create throwing lanes for Wilson on the outside on more than one occasion.

NFL Team of the Week for Week 4 | Defense

These were the stalwart defensive performances from Week 4.

EDGE: Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay’s defense limited the Patriots to a new franchise-low -1 rushing yards on Sunday night. And that was only half of how good Tryon-Shoyinka was in this one. Consistently battering the offensive lineman in front of him, the Buccaneers’ rookie edge defender had a massive night.

Tryon-Shoyinka was credited with 2 sacks, but that hardly describes how impactful he was. He had his way with the Patriots offensive line and recorded 4 more QB hurries as he lived in the New England backfield.

DT: Quinnen Williams, New York Jets

Williams is starting to look like the third overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft after all. He bullied his way up front all game long and got home with 2 sacks and a handful of QB pressures. Routinely eating up double-teams, Williams had his way with a gassed Titans offensive line who had to run 100 plays on Sunday.

DT: Grover Stewart, Indianapolis Colts

Stewart and the Colts’ defensive line made mincemeat of a subpar Dolphins offensive line on Sunday. Landing on our Team of the Week with a sack and a handful of additional hurries, Stewart was the benefit of a terrific performance on the edge from Kemoko Turay.

EDGE: Robert Quinn, Chicago Bears

Quinn was responsible for the highlight-reel sack, even if Khalil Mack and Eddie Jackson combined to make it highlight-reel-worthy. His sack was impressive, but his whole game was terrific.

He was found beating first-round pick Penei Sewell on more than a half-dozen occasions, routinely altering the pass attempts from Jared Goff. Quinn was utterly dominant against the rookie in a welcome-to-the-division moment for Sewell.

LB: Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts

Led by Leonard, the Colts dismantled the Dolphins on Sunday. Leonard recorded 8 total tackles, the majority of which happened at or behind the line of scrimmage. He was solid in coverage with a pass breakup but also just as impactful against Miami running backs.

LB: Malcolm Smith, Cleveland Browns

In limiting his head coach’s former team to just 255 net yards, Smith and the Browns’ defense had quite the afternoon. Smith was integral in allowing just 7 total points to the Vikings, recording a team-high 8 total tackles. He produced a tackle for loss but was even more impressive in coverage underneath.

CB: Trevon Diggs, Dallas Cowboys

Playing his way into the Defensive Player of the Year conversation, Diggs had another uber-impressive outing. He recorded 2 interceptions against the previously unbeaten Panthers, his fourth straight game with a pick.

Diggs now has 5 interceptions on the season while he also added 2 more pass breakups against Carolina.

CB: Byron Murphy Jr., Arizona Cardinals

Murphy continues his impressive play all over the field for Arizona in their emphatic win over Los Angeles. He recorded the game’s only interception with a fabulous play in coverage. He also added a pass breakup and 3 more solo tackles, but his work was mainly done in limiting big plays from the Rams’ offense.

S: Antoine Winfield Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winfield and Tampa Bay’s secondary had to be at their best on Sunday night. As their run defense limited New England to -1 total rushing yards, Patriots coach Bill Belichick all but abandoned the run despite a rainy night in Foxborough.

Winfield did his part at limiting the short-area assault from New England. And when rookie QB Mac Jones did press it downfield, Winfield came away with an interception off a tip that thwarted one of New England’s promising drives. For the night, Winfield had 7 total tackles, 1 pass breakup, 1 interception, and forced another fumble.

S: Derwin James, Los Angeles Chargers

Formerly given to Kansas City Chiefs S Daniel Sorensen, James’ play on Monday night land the Chargers’ safety on our Team of the Week. James had the tough task of covering a variety of Raiders receivers, including the speedy Henry Ruggs, as well as TE Darren Waller over the middle.

Keeping them largely in check for most of the game, James also capped the night with a late fourth-quarter interception to ice the game. In total, James finished with 6 total tackles, an interception, and a pass breakup. It was a dominant effort from the league’s top safety.

FLEX: Tyus Bowser, Baltimore Ravens

Bowser and the Ravens’ defense exposed the Broncos on Sunday afternoon. They forced Denver to pass the ball by stopping the run. And when they dropped back to pass, Bowser led the charge to a total of 5 sacks from the team.

Bowser recorded 2 sacks as well as an additional handful of pressures. He routinely won off the edge, collapsing the pocket on multiple occasions that led to other sacks for Baltimore.


Which special-teams players made our Week 4 NFL Team of the Week?

Kicker: Matt Ammendola, New York Jets

It was Ammendola’s 22-yard chip shot that sealed the deal for New York’s first win. Sure, he was aided by a miss from Titans kicker Randy Bullock, but Ammendola’s kick ultimately became the game-winner. He was perfect on the day, nailing 2-2 field goals and 3-3 extra points.

Punter: Jamie Gillan, Cleveland Browns

Gillan kept the Vikings at bay with 3 punts knocked inside the 20. Despite an average of just 39.4 yards per punt, Gillan kept the ball out of the hands of Minnesota returners more often than not. His hangtime forced 4 fair catches and just 11 total return yards on his 7 punts.

Returner: DeAndre Carter, Washington Football Team

Carter sparked Washington’s come-from-behind efforts with a second-half return TD for 101 yards on the opening kickoff. Carter weaved his way past defenders and sped to the end zone to give Washington their first lead of the game. He finished the outing with 4 total returns for 158 yards and a touchdown.

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