Week 1 provided entertainment across the league with electrifying performances from second-year pros and a dose of magic from veterans. Given the production, it shouldn't surprise that some of those players garnered recognition as Players of the Week, as announced by the NFL on Wednesday.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. The second-year pro dazzled in the Chiefs' 38-28 win over the Los Angeles Chargers with 256 yards passing and four touchdowns, adding 21 yards rushing on four carries.
The AFC Defensive Player of the Week went to Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt. The second-year pro produced a stat line against the Cleveland Browns that his older brother, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, would've been proud of. The younger Watt totaled 11 tackles, four sacks, three quarterback hits and a tackle for loss, and for good measure blocked a potential game-winning field goal attempt in waning seconds of overtime as the game ended in a 21-21 tie.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver/kick returner Jakeem Grant took home the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honor. Grant, who is in his third professional season, totaled two kickoff returns for 125 yards, including an explosive 102-yard effort returned for a touchdown in the Dolphins' 27-20 win against the Tennessee Titans.
In the NFC, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick proved "Fitzmagic" is alive and well by winning the Offensive Player of the Week. The 14th-year pro destroyed the New Orleans Saints secondary by completing 21 of 28 passes for 417 yards and four touchdowns to post a 156.2 passer rating in a 48-40 win. Fitzpatrick also hurt the Saints with his legs, totaling 36 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith earned the Defensive Player of the Week. Smith was all over the football field as a disruptive force in the Vikings' 24-16 win over the San Francisco 49ers. He totaled eight tackles, a sack, an interception, a pass defensed, two tackles for a loss and a quarterback hit.
Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein earned recognition as the Special Teams Player of the Week. Zuerlien made four field goals, including a 55-yard effort, and connected on three extra points in the Rams' 33-13 win over the Oakland Raiders.