With the third week of the 2020 NFL season in the books, here were the top performances by Mississippi players.
Jamie Collins (Detroit Lions – LB)
Jamie Collins is the first Southern Miss alum to find himself on this list. Arguably deserving the game ball in the Detroit Lions’ 26-23 win over a very good Arizona Cardinals team, Collins was Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) top-graded linebacker from Week 3 (92.1) as the McCall Creek native registered six tackles and an interception. He also didn’t allow a single completion on 54 defensive snaps.
Fletcher Cox (Philadelphia Eagles – DL)
Fletcher Cox must have heard the trade rumors that were floating around leading up to the Eagles game versus the Cincinnati Bengals as the veteran pass rusher finished the day with one sack, one tackle for a loss, and three quarterback hurries. The Yazoo County native also tacked on four quarterback pressures, making him the game’s second-highest graded defender (86.2), according to PFF.
Darrell Henderson (Los Angeles Rams – RB)
With fellow Mississippian Cam Akers sidelined with a rib injury, Darrell Henderson was able to surpass 100 yards for the first time in his career. The South Panola product carried the ball 20 times for 114 yards and one touchdown in a close loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Mike Hilton (Pittsburg Steelers – DB)
Surprisingly enough, Mike Hilton did not start during the first two weeks of the season, but that all changed on Sunday against the Texans. In his first start of 2020, Hilton led his team for the second week in a row in total tackles (8). The Ole Miss grad also had a huge fourth quarter interception, ultimately leading to a game-winning drive for the Steelers. Hilton continues to solidify himself as one of the game’s best nickelbacks.
Chris Jones (Kansas City Chiefs – DL)
Once Chris Jones made the first tackle of the game, it was apparent that the former Mississippi State standout was going to have a big game. Finishing as the game’s top-graded defender (90.6), Jones made five total tackles, including two strip-sacks. He currently stands just a half sack behind league leader Aldon Smith.
Bernardrick McKinney (Houston Texans – LB)
The Houston Texans now sit at 0-3 for the season, and a lot of the problem derives from the defensive side of the ball (don’t get me wrong as the offense isn’t good either). Nevertheless, Bernadrick McKinney has at least been one bright spot for a defense that is giving up 31.7 points and 387.7 yards per game. The Tunica County native and former All-SEC linebacker tallied double-digit tackles for the second week in a row (11). McKinney now has 28 total tackles on the season, which is the fourth most in the AFC.
DK Metcalf (Seattle Seahawks – WR)
Even though DK Metcalf made a careless, careless mistake at the beginning of the game when he loafed on his way to the end zone, the second-year receiver out of Ole Miss made up for it and more with his go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter. In total, Metcalf hauled in four passes for 110 yards and one touchdown.
Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys – QB)
In Sunday’s 38-31 loss to the Seahawks, Dak Prescott proved that he’s not yet as good as Russell Wilson, however, the former All-SEC quarterback may just be on his way there. For the second week in a row, Prescott threw for over 450 yards—good enough to place him atop the league with the most passing yards of any quarterback through three games (1,188).
Jefferey Simmons (Tennessee Titans – DE)
As Jefferey Simmons continues to control the line of scrimmage on rushing plays, the second-year player out of Mississippi State used this past week to prove that he’s one of the Titans’ top pass-rushers. With five total tackles, one sack, and seven quarterback pressures, Simmons was graded as both the game’s top pass rusher (92.3) and overall defender (92.8) in the 31-30 win over the Vikings.
Montez Sweat (Washington Football Team – DE)
After a poor showing versus the Cardinals in Week 2, Montez Sweat had a monster game in Washington’s Week 3 loss to the Browns. The 2018 All-American lived in the backfield all day long, concluding the day with one sack, two tackles for a loss, four quarterback hurries, and five quarterback pressures.