Here are the 33rd Team’s standout rookie performances from Week 14:
Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams (2nd round, Florida State)
Thursday Night Football gave us one of the best rookie performances of the season thus far. Cam Akers had 29 carries for 171 rushing yards, which is the most a rookie has had all season. Additionally, this was the most that a Rams rookie has run for since Jerome Bettis went over 200 yards in 1993. New England had no answer for Akers, who took over most of the rushing duties this week for L.A. Akers is beginning to show on the NFL stage the 5-star potential he had as a recruit coming out of Mississippi.
Jeremy Chinn, S, Carolina Panthers (2nd round, Southern Illinois)
Chinn picked up right where he left off before the Panthers’ bye week. Chinn led the team in tackles against Denver, but his most impactful moment came on a strip-sack of Drew Lock. The forced fumble was scooped up by Efe Obada and nearly returned for a touchdown. Unfortunately for Chinn and the Panthers, this was the only turnover they forced this week. Chinn continues to be a bright spot on the Panthers defense and will be a great building block for head coach Matt Rhule as he builds the Panthers into a contender.
Chase Young, DE, Washington Football Team (1st round, Ohio State)
Arguably the most dominant statline from Week 14 belongs to Chase Young. The No. 2 overall pick recorded 6 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 batted passes, 2 QB hits and a strip-sack in which he recovered the fumble and ran it back 47 yards for a touchdown. He was absolutely dominant in this week’s game against San Francisco and showed why he was considered a generational talent leading up to the draft this year.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts (2nd round, Wisconsin)
Taylor continues to impress as a rookie for the Colts, as he tallied 165 all-purpose yards in the win against Las Vegas. Taylor’s 7.5 yards per carry and 2 touchdowns were also career highs for the former Badger, who helped drive the Indy offense to a 44-point offensive explosion. Indianapolis’ offense has been averaging almost 35 points over the past four games, but Taylor has only had 20-plus carries in two of those (and only all season). Taylor looks to be a valuable asset in taking the stress off QB Philip Rivers, so look for his carries to increase as the Colts push closer to the playoffs.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles (2nd round, Oklahoma)
You certainly couldn’t tell this was Hurts’ first professional start by how he played. Hurts went head-to-head against a Super Bowl contender and perhaps the best defense in the league and pulled off the upset of the week. Hurts was the first QB since 1950 to rush for over 100 yards and throw a TD pass in his first NFL start. More importantly, he was able to breathe some life into an offense that has struggled all season. The stats were not eye-popping, but Hurts played tough and led an injury-plagued Eagles team to a big victory against one of the best teams in the conference.