NFL Week 9 Rookies of the Week

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Nov 6, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions safety Kerby Joseph (31) intercepts the ball against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Ladies and gentlemen, we are officially into the second half of the NFL regular season! Rookies around the league once again turned in solid performances in Week 9, including a pair of running backs who are the protagonists of an exciting Offensive Rookie of the Year race. Let’s dive into this week’s rookies of the week!

Offensive Rookie of the Week: Kenneth Walker, RB Seattle Seahawks

Walker has shined since taking command of the starting running back job in Seattle and has been a major piece in the Seahawks’ success this season. Walker put up another 100-yard game, totaling 129 yards and two touchdowns in the Seahawks’ win over the Arizona Cardinals. He has everything you look for in a star running back with excellent contact balance and home run speed. Walker has been building confidence each week, and after the win this week, he stated that he “doesn’t feel like a rookie.” The 22-year-old is a front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Runners-Up:

Dameon Pierce, RB, Houston Texans

Pierce has been the lone bright spot on the Texans’ offense, and on Thursday against the stout Eagles run defense, he rushed for 139 yards on 27 carries.

Cade Otton, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cade Otton had his best performance of the season against the Rams, catching five passes for 68 yards and a touchdown, including two big catches on the Buccaneers’ final drive (one of which was the game-winning touchdown).

Defensive Rookie of the Week: Kerby Joseph, S, Detroit Lions

The Lions notched their second win of the season in a 15-9 triumph over the Green Bay Packers, and rookie safety Kerby Joseph played a large part. In an impressive breakout performance, the third-rounder amassed 10 total tackles, two interceptions, and one pass breakup. Joseph is now the second-highest graded safety on the season in the entire league per PFF, which is remarkable considering he only started one season in college after starting his college career at Illinois as a wide receiver. 

Runners-Up:

Tariq Woolen, CB, Seattle Seahawks

Woolen played outstanding again in a win over Arizona, allowing just two receptions for four yards on 46 coverage snaps. He’s making a legitimate case for both the Defensive Rookie of the Year award and a Pro Bowl nod. 

Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Detroit Lions

Along with Joseph, Hutchinson anchored the Detroit defense in a dominant performance, including an interception. He now ranks first in sacks (4.5), quarterback hits (9), and pressures (24, tied for first) among rookies in 2022.