Following a big show out from Mississippi players during the opening week of the 2020 NFL season, Week 2 didn’t stray too far away from that theme as plenty of players from the Magnolia State stepped up to help their teams. Here are the top Mississippi performers from Week 2.
Chris Carson (Seattle Seahawks – RB)
Chis Carson played a large role in the Seahawks’ 35-30 Sunday Night Football win over the New England Patriots. The veteran tailback ran the ball 17 times for 72 yards, but more importantly, he continued to provide current MVP favorite Russell Wilson with a true receiving threat out of the backfield. The Biloxi native finished the night with 36 receiving yards on three catches and a touchdown. It’s the second week in a row that Carson has brought in all of his targets.
Mike Hilton (Pittsburg Steelers – DB)
Originally an undrafted free agent out of Ole Miss, Mike Hilton is slowly but surely solidifying himself as one of the game’s best slot defenders. The Steelers’ nickelback has only given up a mere 11 yards in coverage over the course of the first two games, plus he’s second on the team in sacks, tackles for a loss, and quarterback hits. In Sunday’s 26-21 win against the Denver Broncos, Hilton had himself a day with eight solo tackles, one sack, and a fumble recovery.
Elgton Jenkins (Green Bay Packers – OL)
The big man from Mississippi State has made this list for the second week in a row as Elgton Jenkins is not only proving that he’s one of the best Mississippi players in the league; he’s proving that he’s one of the best players in the entire league. After the Packers’ 42-21 win over the Detroit Lions, Pro Football Focus (PFF) rated Jenkins as the game’s highest-graded pass blocker (84.6). The versatile lineman, who has already lined up at two positions this year, has not given up a single quarterback pressure throughout the team’s first two contests. If all goes accordingly, expect Jenkins to find his name on an All-Pro list at the conclusion of the 2020 season.
Bernardrick McKinney (Houston Texans – LB)
Veteran inside linebacker Bernardrick McKinney, who leads the AFC in total tackles since 2016, had an impressive outing in the Texans’ 33-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. With a team-leading 10 total tackles, the Tunica County native and former All-SEC player was rated as the game’s top-graded tackler (84.1), according to PFF.
D.K. Metcalf (Seattle Seahawks – WR)
While his cross-country counterpart, A.J. Brown, has not yet found his groove this season, D.K. Metcalf continues to thrive in his sophomore campaign. During the team’s win over Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, the Oxford native hauled in four receptions for 92 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown. As the Seahawks keep rolling, I think it’s a safe bet to assume that the names of D.K. Metcalf and Chris Carson will be landing on this list pretty often.
Gardner Minshew, II (Jacksonville Jaguars – QB)
Try to ignore the two interceptions and take into account that Gardner Minshew, II, and the Jaguars were just one drive away from beating the Tennessee Titans, who were a mere two possessions away from reaching last year’s Super Bowl. Outside of the turnovers, Minshew had a pretty respectable day statistically: 30/45 passing (66.7%), 348 total yards, and two touchdowns. Jacksonville is starting (emphasis on “starting”) to resemble a playoff team—even after this past off-season’s mass exodus—and it wouldn’t be possible without the solid play from their second-year signal caller.
Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys – QB)
On Sunday, Dak Prescott provided Falcons’ players, at least the ones who played in Super Bowl LI, with a sense of déjà vu as the Mississippi State product led his team back from a 20-point deficit to beat the Dirty Birds by a score of 40-39. In one of the best showings of his career, Dak did it all, throwing for 450 yards and one touchdown. Oh yeah, and he provided three touchdowns on the ground, making him the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 400 yards and have three rushing touchdowns in the same game. It was Prescott’s fifth career game with 400+ yards, which ties him with his predecessor, Tony Romo, for most 400-yard passing games in Cowboys’ history. Pay that man!
Jeffery Simmons (Tennessee Titans – DE)
Coming off a 2019 knee injury, I am overly impressed with the production level of Jeffery Simmons thus far into the 2020 season. Seemingly, the former Mississippi State stud is controlling the line of scrimmage on more plays than not, and on top of that, he’s making the hustle plays that don’t pop out on the stat sheet. In Week 1, Simmons made a big third-quarter fumble recovery after Jurrell Casey strip-sacked Lamar Jackson. In Week 2, Simmons deflected a last-second pass that turned into a game-sealing interception for the Titans. He also tacked on three tackles and two quarterback hurries in the Titans’ close win over Jacksonville.