Quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES of the Kansas City Chiefs, safety MINKAH FITZPATRICK of the Pittsburgh Steelers and kicker CADE YORK of the Cleveland Browns are the AFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played on Kickoff Weekend 2022 (September 8, 11-12).
OFFENSE: QB PATRICK MAHOMES, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
• Mahomes completed 30 of 39 pass attempts (76.9 pct.) for 360 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions for a 144.2 rating in Kansas City’s 44-21 win at Arizona. It marked the most passing yards, touchdown passes and passer rating of any player in Week 1 and was his sixth-career game with at least five touchdown passes, tied for the fourth-most such games all-time.
• This is the eighth-career Offensive Player of the Week Award for Mahomes, and third on Kickoff Weekend:
o 2018: Weeks 1-2
o 2019: Week 2
o 2020: Weeks 3, 8
o 2021: Weeks 1, 10
o 2022: Week 1
• Mahomes is now tied with Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas for the most Player of the Week awards in Chiefs history.
DEFENSE: S MINKAH FITZPATRICK, PITTSBURGH STEELERS
• Fitzpatrick tied a career high with 14 tackles and recorded a 31-yard interception return for a touchdown in Pittsburgh’s victory over Cincinnati. He also blocked a point after attempt to send the game into overtime.
• He became the fourth player ever with at least one interception-return for a touchdown in four of his first five career seasons.
• This is the first-ever Defensive Player of the Week award for Fitzpatrick. He becomes the first Pittsburgh safety to earn the honor since Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu (Week 12, 2013).
SPECIAL TEAMS: K CADE YORK, CLEVELAND BROWNS
• York converted both of his point after attempts and all four of his field goals in his NFL debut, including the game-winning 58-yarder to secure Cleveland’s 26-24 victory. It marked the second-longest game-winning field goal by a rookie in the final two minutes of regulation or in overtime in NFL history, trailing only Jake Elliott’s 61-yarder in 2017. York also converted field goals from 26, 34 and 36 yards.
• He becomes the third Browns kicker to earn Special Teams Player of the Week honors, joining Phil Dawson (Week 3, 2001 and Week 15, 2005) and Matt Stover (Week 9, 1995).
• This marks the second-consecutive season in which a rookie kicker has earned Special Teams Player of the Week on Kickoff Weekend, after Cincinnati’s Evan McPherson did so in 2021.
Running back SAQUON BARKLEY of the New York Giants, linebacker UCHENNA NWOSU of the Seattle Seahawks and cornerback ZECH MCPHEARSON of the Philadelphia Eagles are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for games played on Kickoff Weekend 2022 (September 8, 11-12).
OFFENSE: RB SAQUON BARKLEY, NEW YORK GIANTS
• Barkley rushed for 164 yards with one touchdown and added six receptions for 30 yards and converted the go-ahead two-point conversion with 1:09 remaining in the Giants’ 21-20 comeback victory over the Titans. His 164 rushing yards and 194 scrimmage yards both led the league for Week 1.
• This is the third-career Offensive Player of the Week award for Barkley, second-most by a Giants running back (Tiki Barber, seven):
o 2018: Week 11
o 2019: Week 16
o 2022: Week 1
• He joins quarterback Kerry Collins (five) and running backs Larry Johnson (four) and Gary Brown (three) as offensive players from Penn State to win the award at least three times.
DEFENSE: LB UCHENNA NWOSU, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
• Nwosu, making his Seahawks debut, registered seven tackles, one sack, one pass defensed and one forced fumble in Seattle’s Monday Night Football win over Denver.
• This is Nwosu’s first-career Defensive Player of the Week award.
• He is the first linebacker from USC to be named Defensive Player of the Week since Clay Matthews (Week 9, 2010).
SPECIAL TEAMS: CB ZECH MCPHEARSON, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
• McPhearson recorded two special teams tackles and an onside kick recovery in the third quarter in Philadelphia’s Week 1 win in Detroit.
• This is the first Special Teams Player of the Week Award for McPhearson and he is the first Eagles player since DeSean Jackson (Week 1, 2009) to win the award in a Kickoff Weekend game.
• He joins Jakeem Grant (three times), Byron Hanspard and Wes Welker as former Texas Tech players to earn Special Teams Player of the Week honors.