Week 18 Rookies of the Week

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© Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL regular season is officially in the books! As we look forward to the playoffs that begin tomorrow, it’s time for one last look at the top rookie performances. Week 18 was just like any other this regular season, as several rookies were among the biggest standouts across the league.

Offensive Rookie of the Week: Desmond Ridder, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Desmond Ridder had the best game of his rookie season by far this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since being named the starter a few weeks ago, Ridder has basically been trying out to be the starter for the Falcons next season and beyond. Ridder completed 19 of his 30 pass attempts for 224 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions against a good Buccaneers defense. This Falcons offense has struggled the entire year to get something going in the passing game, regardless of who the quarterback was, and this was arguably the best passing game of the year for them. Ridder also showed a strong connection with fellow rookie Drake London. Ridder showed great decision-making and was smart with the football. He looked poised in the pocket this week, and if the Falcons do feel comfortable moving forward with Ridder as their quarterback next year, this was a good jumping-off point to end the season.

Runners-Up:

Drake London, WR, Atlanta Falcons

London had his best receiving game of the season, hauling in six receptions for 120 yards, setting the Falcons’ rookie record for receptions in his first 100-yard game.

Brock Purdy, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Purdy makes his 6th straight appearance on this list, as he threw for 178 yards and three touchdowns, as he wrapped up his regular season at 6-0.

Defensive Rookie of the Week: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Detroit Lions

Hutchinson’s performance in week 18 was pivotal in the Lions’ upset over the Packers, which kept the Packers out of the playoffs. Aidan Hutchinson has been arguably the best rookie pass-rusher (the only true competition coming from his teammate James Houston) all season. This week, Hutchinson recorded four tackles and two sacks on Aaron Rodgers, while providing constant pressure that helped disrupt the Packers’ offense all night long. Hutchinson leads all rookies this season with 9.5 sacks. Despite the fact that the Lions missed the playoffs, this year seems like a significant overall win for the Lions, as they completely changed the culture and have a few young talented pieces in place, which of course includes Hutchinson.

Runners-Up:

Christian Harris, LB, Houston Texans

Harris played extremely well in a rare win for the Texans, recording 10 tackles, including two tackles for loss and a pass defended.

Kerby Joseph, S, Detroit Lions

Kerby Joseph has been a star for the Lions as a third-round pick this season, recording five tackles and another interception off Aaron Rodgers in the Lions’ Week 18 win.