Most of this list remains the same from a week ago as only four teams played last week. The top two rookies continued their clutch performances to help lead their team to a Super Bowl appearance. Even though the first three listed will not be in the big game, they all had tremendous first years and will be instrumental in their teams’ success next year.
5. Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers
It was not the best rushing performance from Mitchell on the year. He finished the NFC Championship with 11 carries going for 20 yards. The 49ers were not at their best in the trenches running the football Sunday. However, Mitchell was productive as a receiver in the passing game. He caught all three of his targets for 50 yards receiving. In total, it put him at 70 scrimmage yards for the game. Mitchell has a promising future with the 49ers.
4. Trey Smith, OG, Kansas City Chiefs
Smith had a fantastic rookie season for the Chiefs as a late day-three draft selection. In the game Sunday, he had a mauling block on the Chiefs’ second touchdown. Smith helped give Patrick Mahomes time to extend on the play. He helped contribute to some good running plays the Chiefs had. On the year, Smith played every snap for the Chiefs which is incredible.
3. Creed Humphrey, C, Kansas City Chiefs
Humphrey helped make a difference for the Chiefs again in the AFC Championship game. He continued his success as a pass blocker. The defensive line he went up against had a dominant performance rushing the passer the week before. Humphrey helped keep Mahomes clean all game. The grade Humphrey was given on the year from PFF was their best ever to a first-year offensive lineman. He is a huge piece to the Chiefs’ future.
2. Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
Chase did not have his typical big game but was still productive against the Chiefs. He was targeted nine times, catching six of those for 54 yards and a touchdown. He also had a carry go for three yards. The touchdown catch Chase had was a great play in a big moment. The attention given to him by the Chiefs secondary helped open up opportunities for Tee Higgins, who had a productive game. Chase will need to have a big game in the Super Bowl for the Bengals to win.
1. Evan McPherson, K, Cincinnati Bengals
Once again, McPherson deserves the top spot as he had another clutch performance. On the day, he once again went four-for-four. His longest kick of the game was 52 yards. McPherson made his lone extra-point attempt. He made big kicks in crucial moments helping his team clinch a Super Bowl appearance. His game-winning kick in overtime was a special moment for all Bengals fans. With the way every playoff game the last two weeks has been decided, the Super Bowl may come down to McPherson’s leg for a game-winner.
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images