Through two weeks, we are starting to see the season take shape. Teams that make deep runs will undoubtedly rely on the youthful exuberance of their first-year players, and we are seeing this come to fruition. The fireworks started on Thursday night, with multiple Chiefs rookies impacting the outcome. Let's take a look at who stood out in Week 2, with games from Thursday to Monday.
NFL Rookie Storylines: Highlights From Week 2
Jaylen Watson Seals the Game
It was quite the premier for Thursday night football on Amazon. A wildly entertaining game was largely sealed when Chiefs rookie Jaylen Watson secured a goal-line interception and returned it the length of the field for a touchdown. The Chargers were driving and had a chance to end the Chiefs push when Watson capitalized and completely switched the momentum. With fellow rookie Trent McDuffie injured for the foreseeable future, Kansas City will need more performances like Thursday night out of Watson.
Garrett Wilson Has Arrived
The first-round pick from Ohio State was back in the state where he played college ball and he made the most of it. Wilson hauled in a stellar eight grabs for 102 yards and two touchdowns. What was more impressive was that his second one came in a clutch situation that ultimately won the Jets the game against Cleveland. Wilson doing all this work with backup Joe Flacco takes a special talent. When Zach Wilson returns, expect the rookie to continue lighting it up as he becomes the focal point of the offense.
Aidan Hutchinson Triples Down
It was a quiet Week 1 for the Michigan native, but Week 2 was a different story. Hutchinson secured the first sack of his career early in the first quarter on Sunday before adding two more later in the game. He was a catalyst for the win over Washington and will be a key cog in the Lions' future. The culture in the Motor City is building under the Dan Campbell regime and one thing is certain: The Lions won't be an easy out on Sundays anymore.
Chris Olave Shows Face
Olave approached Week 2 with intent and while the ultimate result was lackluster, his game was anything but. Olave led the Saints with an impressive 14 targets, finishing with five catches for 80 yards. His quarterback Jameis Winston had a rough afternoon against the vaunted Buccaneers defense, so we should expect even bigger numbers going forward. Having Michael Thomas on the other side is freeing Olave up for these looks, leaving the capitalization up to him and his quarterback.
Dameon Pierce Makes Presence Felt
The preseason hype reached its peak following camp for Pierce. It was clear (or at least seemed to be) that he was the lead back for the Texans. Then came Week 1 where he was used sparingly. The wait for Pierce to see real utilization wasn't long though, as he contributed just under 70 yards on only 15 carries. He clearly was the favorite on early downs with Rex Burkhead working in obvious passing situations. It will be interesting to see how the Texans handle the situation going forward.
Kaiir Elam Locks Down Titans on Monday Night
Elam was sharing snaps with fellow rookie Christian Benford until an unfortunate injury ruled Dane Jackson out of the game. He was then a full-time starter and handled the duties with aggressiveness and solid play. Unafraid in the run game, Elam mixed it up with running back Derrick Henry while maintaining his coverage responsibilities. The Titans looked largely inept on both sides of the ball with a sputtering offense, but Elam is starting to fit into his role comfortably.
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