Kwity Paye was the standout African NFL player in week 2 as the Indianapolis Colts bounced back from their opening defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars with victory over the Houston Texans.
Additionally, Osa Odighizuwa continued to make a strong case to be considered as a pro bowl candidate, while Uchenna Nwosu and Nelson Agholor were among the week’s other star performers.
African Player of the Week: Kwity Paye (Indianapolis Colts)
Paye was probably the most impactful player in the Colts team in an important 31-20 win over the Texans at NRG Stadium, starring with five tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.
Born in Guinea as a refugee during the First Liberian Civil War, Paye moved to the United States as a baby. He has actively been involved in spreading the game in Africa, including at last year’s NFL Africa Touchdown camp in Ghana.
Paye, 24, has been impressive so far this season, early as it is. In the Colts’ first game, against the Jaguars, he had already picked up four tackles and a sack before this week’s African MVP performance.
African Moment of the Week: John Metchie III (Houston Texans)
John Metchie, who was born in Taiwan to a Nigerian father and Taiwanese mother, was on the losing side of the clash between the Texans and the Colts, but his NFL debut was notable for different reasons.
The 23-year-old wide receiver finally set foot on an NFL field after missing his rookie season with leukemia.
Posting a single reception and 17 yards, Metchie took his first step towards recovering his form from his superb college career with Alabama, which saw him finish as a CFP national champion in the 2020 season, winning the final in January 2021 over Ohio State.
“It was an amazing feeling,” Metchie told ESPN of his NFL debut. “Something I thought about every day in the hospital, so it was great to be out there playing football.”
Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa has probably been the African player of the season so far, having been one of the standout performers for the Cowboys in both their blowout 40-0 win over the New York Giants in week 1 and their follow-up 30-10 win against the New York Jets.
Against the Jets, Odighizuwa picked up two tackles and a sack, taking his sack total for the season to three.
Uchenna Nwosu was also solid for the Seattle Seahawks in their 37-31 win over the Detroit Lions, picking up two tackles.
Nelson Agholor picked up a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in a 27-24 Baltimore Ravens win.
Foyesade Oluokun, one of the most prolific tacklers in the NFL, followed up his 13 tackles in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ win over the Indianapolis Colts with another 10 this week, albeit in defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Asante Samuel Jr.’s six tackles for the LA Chargers against the Tennessee Titans were not quite enough as his team lost in overtime.
Africa-born players watch:
Kader Kohou, who was born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, but grew up in Euless, Texas, picked up four tackles as the Miami Dolphins maintained their perfect start to the season with a 24-17 win over the New England Patriots.
Nate Landman, who was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, where his father was playing international rugby, had a solid game for the Atlanta Falcons in their nail-biting 25-24 win over the Green Bay Packers. Cameroon-born Arnold Ebiketie and Nigerian-born David Onyemata also played their part with two tackles apiece.