Our weekly series sees a few new names receiving Rookie of the Week honors, including yet another stalwart from the Seattle Seahawks’ outstanding 2022 NFL Draft class and an intriguing tight end who burst onto the scene on Thursday Night Football when given the opportunity. Let’s dive into the 2022 season’s eighth edition of the rookies of the week!
Offensive Rookie of the Week: Isaiah Likely, TE, Baltimore Ravens
Isaiah Likely’s 87.4 PFF grade vs the Buccaneers was the third highest for a TE in Week 8 ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/7mSOECaNHj
— PFF BAL Ravens (@PFF_Ravens) November 1, 2022
The Ravens’ star tight end Mark Andrews left the game against the Tampa Bay Buccanneers on Thursday Night Football in the second quarter due to injury, thrusting fourth-round rookie Isaiah Likely into the spotlight. Likely shined, recording six receptions for 77 yards and one touchdown, which was a beautiful toe-tap at the back of the end zone for his first NFL score. Likely even sealed Baltimore’s 27-22 win by recovering an onside kick at the end of the game. Even with Andrews expected to return soon, Likely’s performance has probably earned him more snaps in the future.
In what already looks to be a tremendous 2022 NFL Draft class, the Seahawks have found a gem in third-round rookie Lucas, who allowed just one pressure and no sacks on 41 pass-blocking snaps in a win over the New York Giants.
Despite falling short in a 17-22 loss to the New England Patriots, rookie first-round pick Garrett Wilson impressed again, leading the team with 115 yards on six receptions. Wilson recorded a 21 percent target share against the Patriots.
Defensive Rookie of the Week: Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner, CB, New York Jets
Sauce Gardner through 8 games:
• 323 coverage snaps
• 44.2 REC% (least among all qualified rookie CB’s)
• 12 PD (T-1st in NFL)
• 147 yards allowed (least among all qualified rookie CB’s)
The Jets rookie CB has been nothing short of SPECIAL🔒 pic.twitter.com/OAFfZJyiUH
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) November 1, 2022
Despite the Jets’ loss to the Patriots, Gardner was outstanding once again, and already should be considered one of the best cornerbacks in the league. He allowed just one yard on 45 coverage snaps in Week 8. Gardner does more than just lock down opposing wide receivers, as he also makes an impact as a tackler. His instincts were on full display as he blew up a screen pass for one of his two tackles for loss that he recorded this week. Week after week, ‘Sauce’ is putting up dominant performances as he makes his fifth straight appearance (sixth overall appearance) in our column.
In a rout over their rival Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night, Emerson recorded nine tackles and two pass breakups while playing against the dynamic offense featuring Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, and Joe Mixon.
The Lions’ defense held its own against the powerful Miami Dolphins offense and despite the loss, Rodriguez played very well, racking up seven tackles, a pass breakup, a sack, and a fumble recovery.