We’ve unveiled a new feature this season – weekly NFL superlatives. It’s meant to be a lighthearted look at Sunday’s games, as we highlight best shoes, best gamer and those who may end up on “Dancing with the Stars” in the future. Here are the picks for Week 8:
Best Team Spirit: Le’Veon Bell and his Steelers teammates, Pittsburgh
The Steelers have been dealing with a lot of turmoil this season (we’re lookin’ at you, Martavis Bryant), but it doesn’t seem to be preventing them from winning games – or having fun. With the exception of the Philadelphia Eagles, no team has embraced the relaxed touchdown celebration rule like Pittsburgh. On Sunday night, after Le’Veon Bell’s 5-yard second quarter touchdown run, Bell laid back on JuJu Smith-Schuster and had others serve as spotters as he pretended to bench press.
On that primetime workout plan. pic.twitter.com/vFKPmG1WD7
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 30, 2017
Julio Jones isn’t putting up numbers this season anywhere close to what he’s put up for the last four – in each season from 2013-16, Jones averaged over 100 receiving yards per game. This season he’s down to just 77 YPG with just one touchdown, with many pointing to offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian as part of the problem. But on Sunday, Jones and Matt Ryan reminded everyone just how great the seventh-year receiver is with a 53-yard bomb in the third quarter, with Jones making a subtle adjustment to make the catch after outrunning two Jets defenders.
— NFL (@NFL) October 29, 2017
Most Likely to Leave the Witness Protection Program: Jimmy Graham, Seattle
When he was with New Orleans, Graham looked like a superstar in the making. But since being traded to Seattle in 2015, he’s largely seemed like an afterthought. On Sunday, as the Seahawks were in a shootout with the Houston Texans, Russell Wilson looked to Graham in key moments, including on the game-winning touchdown, when Graham was left wide open on a skinny post for the 18-yard score. He only had four catches for 39 yards, but two of them were touchdowns, just the second multi-touchdown game he’s had since arriving in Seattle.
Best Shoes: DeMarcus “Tank” Lawrence, Dallas
Usually we use this space to highlight some great custom-made cleats, but Lawrence’s bedazzled kicks deserve some shine (pun intended). He wore the white sneakers with silver crystals on Dallas’ trip to Washington. As they say, when you look good, you play good: the fourth-year defensive end recorded a fumble recovery and an 11-yard sack in the Cowboys’ win over their NFC East rival.
Best Personality: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh
The rookie had quite the week. It started with playing hide-and-seek with Bell after his touchdown against the Bengals, and included the loss (and return) of his beloved bike, playing hide-and-seek with children at a Pittsburgh Penguins game, and a seven-catch, 193-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Lions on Sunday night. Smith-Schuster even mocked the bike incident on his cleats, as you can see above.
Best Gamer: Russell Wilson, Seattle
The Seahawks haven’t done a good job giving Wilson a good offensive line to protect him, but he’s made it work and continues to rise to the occasion for his team. On Sunday, Wilson again showed the gamer he is, throwing a career-best 452 yards (he’d never topped 400 yards before) against the Houston Texans, with four touchdowns and one late interception in the shootout win. Starting at his own 20 on Seattle’s final touchdown drive, Wilson was an efficient 3-for-3, with passes of 48, 19 and 18 yards to get his team into the end zone. Honorable mention to Wilson’s quarterback counterpart in the game, Texans rookie Deshaun Watson, who proved that big moments are not too big for him.
Most Likely to Be on ‘Dancing with the Stars’: Boris Cheek and Greg Steed
We think DWTS judge Bruno Tonioli would be impressed with the timing and choreography of Cheek and Steed, the officials who announced the Patriots’ special teams safety with flair on Sunday afternoon. The side judge and back judge on referee Pete Morelli’s crew confirmed with each other that it was a safety, then clapped their hands over their heads at the same time. It’s even better set to music:
— DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) October 29, 2017
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