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2023/24 NFL season: Standout performers from Week 2

There's always plenty of excitement surrounding rookies entering a new NFL season and several members of the class of 2023 put their best foot forward in Week 2.

Records were broken and was realized over a big weekend for NFL newcomers.

We’ve broken down the top performers from Week 2.

Puka Nacua

LA Rams’ wideout Puka Nacua broke the record for most receptions by a rookie in his first two NFL games. 

As a result, he is now +600 to be Offensive Rookie of the Year, the third-shortest odds.

With Cooper Kupp still sidelined, Nacua has become Rams QB Matthew Stafford’s go-to receiver. Nacua turned 20 targets into 15 catches for 147 yards against a much-hyped San Francisco 49ers defense. 

His 15 receptions in a single game is a record for a rookie, while the BYU product is only the fifth player in NFL history to post at least 10 catches and 100 yards in each of his first two games. 

Kupp is another member of that elite group and when he returns, the Rams suddenly have a quality receiving tandem.

Anthony Richardson

Anthony Richardson’s Week 2 ended badly when he left the Indianapolis Colts’ win over the Houston Texans with a concussion, but before then, he’d shown why there was pre-draft hype surrounding the quarterback coming out of Florida.

Richardson became the first Colt since Hall of Famer Edgerrin James in 1999 to rush for two touchdowns in the opening quarter of a game.

This year’s fourth-overall pick already has three rushing TDs to his name through two weeks and while his throwing mechanics need work, he’s proving a tough matchup for opposing defenses two games into his NFL career.

Richardson has the second-shortest odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at +275.

Bijan Robinson

Also a matchup nightmare is the man taken four picks after Richardson in this year’s Draft, Bijan Robinson, who posted what’s likely to be the first of many 100-plus yard rushing games.

Although he largely split carries (19 and 16) with Tyler Allgeier for the second straight week in Atlanta’s 25-24 win over the Green Bay Packers, Robinson was the standout performer in the backfield. 

Robinson produced a couple of highlight reel runs, one of which included him hurdling a Packers defender, and added 48 yards receiving to cap an impressive day’s work. 

Robinson has the shortest odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year at +175 and he is +900 to have the most rushing yards in the league.

Sam Howell

Although not technically a rookie, Commanders quarterback Sam Howell hasn’t had too much more game time than his three predecessors on this list. 

In just his third start and first on the road, Howell led Washington to a comeback victory over the Denver Broncos in Week 2, putting some bad plays behind him to lift his team. 

Trailing by 18 points, Howell needed to do something special to help his team out of a hole and got hot at the right time, ending the game with 299 yards and two touchdowns as the Commanders came back to win 35-33.

Three games is a small sample size but Washington may well have something in the fifth round pick.

D’Andre Swift

The Eagles backfield may not be a committee for much longer if D’Andre Swift can replicate his Week 2 efforts. 

With Kenneth Gainwell, the leading Philly rusher from Week 1, sidelined, Swift was made a larger part of the game plan for the Thursday night game against the Minnesota Vikings. 

Having had one carry for three yards a week earlier, Swift went off on his Philadelphia homecoming with a career-high 175 yards and a touchdown. 

Micah Parsons

Micah Parsons has the shortest odds at+200 for the Defensive Player of the Year award after the 10th multi-sack game of his career. 

Any New York Jets fans hoping Zach Wilson may be able to hold it together in the absence of Aaron Rodgers had their dream wrecked by Parsons as he dismantled the Jets’ offense.

To go with his two sacks, Parsons also had four tackles, three tackles for a loss, four quarterback hits, one pass breakup, a forced fumble and recovery and six quarterback pressures. 

Jacksonville Jaguars defense

The Jacksonville Jaguars offense will have to shoulder the blame for the 17-9 Week 2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after an outstanding performance by the defense.

In Patrick Mahomes’ 96 career starts as Chiefs quarterback, he’s only been held to 17 points or fewer on seven occasions.

Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell called a near-perfect game, forcing two turnovers from the defending Super Bowl champions and handing the game on a platter to the offense. 

The Jags' secondary excelled against the reigning MVP: Andre Cisco, Rayshawn Jenkins, and Devin Lloyd each defended two passes.

Unfortunately for the Jags, the offense couldn’t muster even one touchdown, letting a golden opportunity, gifted to it by the defense, slip by.

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