2021 NFL Season Week 3 Rookie Standouts

Looking back at the top rookie performances from a wild Week 3 of the NFL season.
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How can't you be romantic about football? Aaron Rodgers posed this question to Michelle Tafoya after Sunday night's astounding victory over San Francisco, and honestly, he's right. This was possibly the best weekend of football in a long time and at all levels. Whether it was the NFL or NCAA, this weekend had it all. We saw huge upsets, incredible plays, and stunning finishes. What Rodgers and the Packers did to get that win wasn't only amazing but pretty inconceivable. Using the middle of the field with no timeouts and thirty-seven seconds on the clock is truly unheard of. It not only shows Rodgers greatness, but the confidence they have between Rodgers and Adams is something special. We also can't talk about how great this week was without giving the kickers some love. Justin Tucker broke the record with the longest field goal in NFL history with a sixty-six-yarder. Dustin Hopkins might have introduced the world to the new onside kick versus the Bills, which was maybe the most impressive thing we saw all week. With all the excitement, however, this was not a good week for rookies. The rookie quarterbacks have not been very good, and it seems that a lot of this past draft's questionable picks are coming back to haunt their teams. Take the Bears, for instance - they definitely should have drafted some offensive linemen. There were some bright spots, though, so why focus on the bad when you can focus on the good?

Najee Harris, Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers:

The Steelers' first-round pick in 2021, Najee Harris has started his rookie season off strongly. 

The Steelers' first-round pick in 2021, Najee Harris has started his rookie season off strongly. 

There isn't much to like about the Steelers right now, but Harris has stepped up and became one of the most dependable players on the roster. The Pittsburgh offensive line has been disappointing so far, which has prevented Harris from getting the run attack going. However, it has also allowed Harris to show how versatile he is by becoming a big piece of the Steelers passing game. Harris led the team with fourteen receptions(nineteen targets) on Sunday and one hundred and four yards receiving. This is on top of fourteen rush attempts, so Harris accounted for over fifty percent of the Steelers' offense. Either Harris has gained an immense amount of faith from the entire team, or there is something wrong with Big Ben that is not being said, but fifty percent of the offense already is just crazy.

Ja'Marr Chase, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals:

Ja'Marr Chase put a concerning preseason in the past and is now a standout in the early regular season. 

Ja'Marr Chase put a concerning preseason in the past and is now a standout in the early regular season. 

After an ugly preseason, Chase had become a totally different player and looks as good as he did with Joe Burrow at LSU. This week, he was a real problem for the Pittsburgh defense and brought in two touchdowns on four catches with sixty-five yards. Chase is such a confident player right now that he made a deep full extension fingertip touchdown look incredibly easy. This combination is only starting to heat up and have the Bengals looking competitive, so seeing how the season shapes up for them will be very exciting.

Asante Samuel Jr, Cornerback, Los Angeles Chargers: 

Asante Samuel Jr. has had an outstanding start to his career, picking off Patrick Mahomes in Week 3. 

Asante Samuel Jr. has had an outstanding start to his career, picking off Patrick Mahomes in Week 3. 

It's always awesome to see generations of family play the same sport, but when it's a father and son playing the same position and the son instantly starts building his legacy, you have to love it. That is what we have with Asante Samuel Jr. He is not just a rotational player on the Chargers defense - he is becoming their number one cornerback. He had an interception in consecutive weeks now, along with two tackles and a pass deflection. He is just an overall good football player and is making a great early case for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

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