Welcome back to another edition of our Rookies of the Week! On the offensive side of the ball, a wide receiver had a historic breakout game. On the defensive side, the top performances rivaled those of non-rookies this week as there was stiff competition for our honors. Let’s dive into our picks!
Offensive Rookie of the Week: Christian Watson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Christian Watson vs Cowboys:
• 4 receptions (led team)
• 107 yards (led team)
• 3 TD (led team)
What a BREAKOUT game for the Packers rookie WR 🔥 pic.twitter.com/wz3eOOYfR8
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) November 14, 2022
The Packers ended a 5-game losing streak in a 31-28 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, and it’s no coincidence that it came with a breakout performance from rookie second-round wide receiver Christian Watson. With four receptions for 107 yards and THREE touchdowns, Watson became just the sixth rookie ever to record over 100 receiving yards and three touchdowns in a game. While this could be a rare bright spot in a relatively disappointing rookie season so far, there is a lot of reason to believe Watson will now be the focal point of the Packers’ offense, which has been waiting for a top receiver to emerge. Down 14-28 on 4th and 7 in the fourth quarter, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers chose Watson to target on a middle read concept, and he took it to the house. At 6’4” and 208 pounds with 4.36 speed in the 40-yard dash, Watson is exactly someone you want to build an offense around if he can develop into a more consistent weapon during the remainder of the season.
Pickett played better in a 20-10 win over the New Orleans Saints, completing 18 of 30 passes for 199 yards and no turnovers. He played well while showing decent rushing abilities that add another dimension to the offense with 51 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
While his 3.3 yards per carry wasn’t the most impressive, Robinson still amassed 86 rushing yards and a crucial touchdown on 26 carries, contributing significantly to an incredible upset win to end the Philadelphia Eagles’ unbeaten streak.
Defensive Rookie of the Week: Jack Sanborn, LB, Chicago Bears
Here's a #Bears stat I'm sure I'll get reasonable responses to: Roquan Smith had his first 10-tackle, multi-sack game in his 27th start.
Jack Sanborn did it on Sunday in just his second career start.
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) November 16, 2022
Despite the 1-point loss to the Lions on Sunday, Jack Sanborn put on a show in one of the best defensive performances of Week 10 in only his second career start. He recorded 12 tackles, including two for a loss, two sacks, and two quarterback hits. He also intercepted Goff but that was taken back by a penalty. Sanborn is an undrafted rookie who got the start after the Bears traded linebacker Roquan Smith and has made a name for himself instantly. It will be interesting to see if Sanborn can continue his high-impact play and keep the starting job for the remainder of the season and beyond.
Aidan Hutchinson is solidifying his place as the best rookie pass-rusher as he recorded eight tackles, including one for loss, and a sack in the Lions’ second-straight win over the Chicago Bears.
Despite the Texans’ loss, Stingley was lock-down in coverage allowing just three receptions for nine yards against the Giants. He’s one of the lone bright spots on the Texans’ team and has yet to allow a touchdown this season.