Four games ended with last-second field goals, the rookie quarterback class continued to flounder, eight underdogs won outright — including the Los Angeles Chargers over the Kansas City Chiefs, who now sit at 1-2 on the year — and so much more happened in NFL Week 3. Just five teams remain unbeaten through the first three weeks.
Now that the first run of PFF analysis has been finalized and made available in PFF’s Premium Stats, we get to fill you in on this week’s top performers. Here, we present PFF’s Team of the Week and player awards from Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season.
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PFF TEAM OF THE WEEK
QB: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
RB: Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns
WR: Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
WR: Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
TE: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Flex: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
LT: Trent Williams, San Francisco 49ers
LG: Michael Onwenu, New England Patriots
C: Corey Linsley, Los Angeles Chargers
RG: Austin Corbett, Los Angeles Rams
RT: Jack Conklin, Cleveland Browns
DI: Zach Sieler, Miami Dolphins
DI: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams
Edge: Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns
Edge: Azeez Ojulari, New York Giants
LB: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Cleveland Browns
LB: Shaq Thompson, Carolina Panthers
CB: Isaiah Oliver, Atlanta Falcons
CB: Kristian Fulton, Tennessee Titans
S: Justin Simmons, Denver Broncos
S: Chuck Clark, Baltimore Ravens
Flex: Byron Murphy Jr., Arizona Cardinals
Offensive Player of the Week: WR Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
It’s no secret that the Packers’ receiving corps is thin. Adams helps negate that issue, though, and it couldn’t have been more apparent in Green Bay’s dramatic last-second win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football. Adams was the go-to pass-catcher all night long for Aaron Rodgers. He saw a target on 56.3% of his routes, which was not only the highest mark of his career but also the fourth-highest rate in a game since 2010.
Highest Single-Game Target Rate by a WR since 2010
|Pierre Garcon, Washington Football Team||2012 W13 vs NYG||64.7%|
|Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons||2011 W15 vs JAX||57.1%|
|Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2015 W3 at HOU||56.7%|
|Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers||2021 W3 at SF||56.3%|
|Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears||2012 W16 at ARI||55.6%|
Min. 15 routes | Does not include plays negated by penalty
Adams shredded whoever was in front of him on the few opportunities he had against man coverage and exploited zone coverage with ease. He led all wideouts for the week in total first downs plus touchdowns through the air (nine). Adams hauled in all but one of his catchable targets on the night, and the one miss was a slant that Rodgers threw low and behind him.
Defensive Player of the Week: Edge Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns
Garrett — one of the most dominant edge defenders in the game — went up against one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL and an offense that provided him far too many true pass-rush opportunities.
As expected, Garrett had a field day. He earned a 91.2 pass-rush grade while recording a 42.9% pass-rush win rate and eight total pressures, five of which were sacks. And even when he didn’t get credited with a sack, he was still helping make some happen:
now this is how you penetrate
all 5 CHI linemen felt the wrath of Myles Garrett at some point pic.twitter.com/jNZbibEtoE
— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) September 27, 2021
This performance was a testament to not only Chicago’s issues on offense but also Garrett’s game-wrecking ability. He earned an elite pass-rush grade in 2019 and 2020 and is performing at a similar level so far in 2021.
Rookie of the Week: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Cleveland Browns
Owusu-Koramoah was part of the Browns’ dominant defensive day against the Chicago Bears despite playing just over half of the team’s snaps. The second-round rookie earned a 93.9 PFF grade on 23 snaps. He got in on Cleveland’s sack party with an unblocked wrap-up on a blitz, recorded two tackles for loss against the run and broke up three passes in coverage. Owusu-Koramoah’s play recognition, paired with his athletic gifts, results in elite playmaking ability and that showed against Chicago in Week 3.
Owusu-Koramoah is now on Defensive Rookie of the Year watch along with Patrick Surtain II and Micah Parsons.
Offensive Line of the Week: Los Angeles Rams
The Rams’ offensive line has picked up where it left off in 2020. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t have an easy defensive front to go up against, but Los Angeles held its own and earned the highest unit PFF grade of any offensive line in Week 3. It was also the second-highest-graded offensive line performance against the Bucs dating back to the start of last season. Guard Austin Corbett enjoyed the best performance of his career last season against Tampa Bay, and he nearly topped it in Round 2 on Sunday. He didn’t lose any of his 19 true pass sets and led the team in positively graded run blocks.
Secret Superstar of the Week: DI Dre’Mont Jones, Denver Broncos
Jones was constantly involved in plays during the Broncos’ shutout victory over the New York Jets. He earned a 90.0 PFF grade, anchored by seven pass-rush wins on 34 opportunities and three key run disruptions on four such snaps, one of which was a seven-yard tackle for loss.
Dre’Mont Jones almost beats Michael Carter to the ball. pic.twitter.com/hvbQRCykC4
— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) September 26, 2021
Jones has flashed this level of play in the past and could be in line for a Year 3 breakout campaign. Even with edge defender Bradley Chubb out for an extended period of time, this Broncos defensive front led by veteran Von Miller and Jones is going to be a force to be reckoned with. Pair that with a stellar coverage unit, and Denver is fielding arguably the best defense in the NFL.
Play of the Week: Justin Tucker’s game-winning, 66-yard field goal to break the NFL record
The Baltimore Ravens found themselves down one point on fourth-and-19 with 26 seconds to play at their own 16-yard line. Quarterback Lamar Jackson connected with wide receiver Sammy Watkins for a clutch 36-yard gain on a down that had a conversion probability of under 14%, but the Ravens still needed another prayer to be answered — they were forced to trot out Tucker for an NFL record field goal attempt to win the game. If anyone could do it, it was Tucker, and he pulled it off by mere inches.
JUSTIN TUCKER FROM 66 YARDS
— PFF (@PFF) September 26, 2021
Tucker now has 10 made field goals of 55 or more yards since the start of the 2016 season, twice as many as anyone else in the NFL outside of Greg Zuerlein, Jason Myers and Matt Prater. Tucker has hit an astounding 26-of-32 kicks from 50-plus yards in that span en route to a 97.2 field goal grade on such plays (highest in the NFL by nearly four grading points).
He’s already one of the best to ever do it.
Biggest Game-Changing Moment: Aaron Rodgers’ completion to Davante Adams to set up the game-winning field goal
The San Francisco 49ers had the comeback win right at their fingertips, taking a one-point lead with under 40 seconds to play. But that was plenty of time for the 2020 NFL MVP to complete two clutch passes and give kicker Mason Crosby a game-winning 51-yard field goal try that he ended up nailing.
The first completion was a big-time throw on the opening play of the drive, but it was the second that was the most important one. On third-and-10 at the 50-yard line with no timeouts and only 16 seconds left to play, Rodgers connected with his go-to guy for an easy 17-yard completion that swung the outcome of the game.
Packers Win Probability Change: +64%