NFL Week 5 Rookies of the Week

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New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner during an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Penn. (Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)

Week 5 of the NFL season was a fun one, with each of the primetime games going down to the wire. There were thrilling performances from rookies across the league once again. Two players that have been runners-up in the past weeks received our top honor for their Week 5 performances, and the cornerback class once again showed out!

Offensive Rookie of the Week: Breece Hall, RB, New York Jets

Breece Hall had a breakout game against the Dolphins, helping the Jets notch their third win this season. He totaled 197 yards and a touchdown, although he could have had two more touchdowns as he was tackled a yard short of the endzone twice. He showed off his impressive versatility by catching the ball out of the backfield extremely well, including a 75-yard reception. Hall displayed great vision and strength as he broke tackles and ran for 97 yards on the day. Hall is building momentum and looks to be the Jets’ most talented back, forming a strong running back tandem with Michael Carter.

Runners-Up:

Bailey Zappe, QB, New England Patriots

In his first NFL start, Zappe was really impressive in a 29-0 win over the Lions, showing great poise, processing, and accuracy. He completed 17 of his 21 attempts for 188 yards, 1 touchdown, and an interception (that wasn’t his fault). 

Dameon Pierce, RB, Houston Texans

Pierce has put together a nice string of games, this time helping the Texans get their first win of the season while recording 99 rushing yards, 12 receiving yards, and a TD. 97 of his 99 rushing yards impressively came after contact. 

Defensive Rookie of the Week: Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner, CB, New York Jets

Gardner has been a Rookie of the Week contender nearly every week this season and he finally gets the award in Week 5. Gardner has been the lockdown cornerback everyone expected he would be, rarely getting targeted and playing very well against some of the best wide receivers in the league. This week, Sauce was sent on a cornerback blitz that forced a safety due to intentional grounding, recorded a pass break-up, and got his first career interception. On that play he showed off his football IQ, seemingly baiting the quarterback into throwing the ball and showing off his closing speed to jump the route. Gardner is clearly in the running for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Runners-Up:

Martin Emerson, CB, Cleveland Browns

Emerson allowed just eight yards on twenty coverage snaps on Sunday. He came up with a crucial pass break-up on a Chargers fourth down try in the final minutes, allowing the Browns to get the ball back and have a shot at the win, though it didn’t materialize.

Tariq Woolen, CB, Seattle Seahawks

Woolen, a superstar in the making, notched his third interception in as many games. At 22.93 mph, the 6’4” athletic phenom set the highest top speed by any player since Raheem Mostert in Week 2 of 2020.