Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Tyson Bagent, QB, Chicago Bears: The Bears have two wins this season and Bagent is responsible for one of them. While many wrote off the Bears with Justin Fields sidelined with a dislocated thumb, the 23-year-old rookie completed 21 of 27 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown and added 24 yards on the ground while leading Chicago to a 30-12 win over the Las Vegas Raiders in his first start.

Bagent signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent out of Division II Shepherd University, beating out veteran P.J. Walker for the backup job during the preseason. 

With games against the Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers over the next three weeks, Bagent’s performance in Sunday’s win offers hope he can keep the Bears competitive for however long Fields is out.

Bill Belichick, HC, New England Patriots: Heading into Sunday’s divisional tilt with the Buffalo Bills, many were calling for Belichick to consider retiring after the 2023 season. But before the Patriots upset the Bills on a Mike Gesicki touchdown catch with 12 seconds left, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed Belichick had signed a “lucrative” contract extension before the season, signaling his seat isn’t as hot as some thought.

With his contract status seemingly on the backburner, Belichick etched his name in the NFL record books as one of only three coaches with 300 regular-season wins, joining Don Shula and George Halas. 

His 331 wins including the postseason trail only Shula’s 347. While some have stated Belichick’s legacy is a bit tarnished considering his lack of success without Tom Brady, his place on the league’s all-time wins list speaks for itself.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, New York Giants: After an admirable performance in a 14-9 loss to the Bills last week, Taylor threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns in a 14-7 win over the Washington Commanders on Sunday. He’s thrown for more yards in his two starts than Daniel Jones did in three of his five appearances.

The Giants don’t play a team with a winning record until a Christmas day matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. Taylor is playing so well that Jones, who’s missed two straight games with a neck injury, can afford to take his time with his recovery.

Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns: Garrett was a one-man wrecking crew in Cleveland’s 39-38 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The 27-year-old edge-rusher totaled nine tackles, two forced fumbles, two sacks, two QB hits, a tackle for loss, a pass defensed and a blocked field goal. 

Per ESPN Stats & Info, he’s the first player since 2000 with at least two sacks, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick in a game.

Garrett also passed Reggie White, who has the second-most sacks in NFL history, for the most sacks before turning 28. The former No. 1 overall pick is on-pace for 21 sacks this season, which would mark a new career best and tie him for the sixth-most sacks in a single season.

Todd Monken, OC, Baltimore Ravens: Leading up to Sunday’s 38-6 dismantling of the Detroit Lions, some had labeled Monken as Greg Roman 2.0 with Baltimore leading the league in rush attempts. But against a Lions defense that allowed 221 yards passing per game entering Week 7, Monken quieted his doubters (at least for now), exploited Detroit’s secondary and helped Lamar Jackson throw for the second-most passing yards of his career.

Jackson completed 21 of 27 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns while hitting nine different receivers, six of which had at least one reception of 20 yards or more. It was Jackson’s first 300-yard game since Week 2 of last season and only the fifth of his five-plus season career.

P.J. Walker, QB, Cleveland Browns: Though he’s thrown three interceptions with no touchdowns over the last two weeks, Walker has led a gritty Browns offense to two straight wins, including handing the San Francisco 49ers their first loss of the year. 

He entered Sunday’s game with 1:23 left in the first quarter and trailing 14-7 but led the team to 244 yards and 32 points on 11 drives.

Watson can’t seem to stay healthy this season and the Browns may shut him down for a bit for his own good with as well as Walker has performed. After getting beat out by Bagent during the preseason for the Bears backup QB job, Walker is getting a bit of redemption in Cleveland. 

Rookie WRs, Seattle Seahawks: With DK Metcalf sitting out on Sunday with hip and rib injuries, Seahawks QB Geno Smith had to rely on a pair of rookies in a 20-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals. First-round pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba had a career-high 63 yards receiving and scored his first NFL touchdown. He’s now tied with Metcalf for the second-most targets on the team (32).

Conversely, undrafted free agent Jake Bobo kept pace with Smith-Njigba, logging four receptions for 61 yards and his second touchdown — a one-handed, highlight-reel grab that ultimately served as the winning score. 

His five targets on Sunday nearly doubled his total for the season, and he likely earned himself a bigger role in Seattle’s passing attack moving forward.

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