DENVER — Marvin Mims Jr. crinks necks. He attracts eyeballs. Forces us to watch.
When the rookie fields a punt or kick, there remains wonder about what will happen next. At Buffalo, he continued his season of "Wows!" He totaled 75 yards on returns, snaring AFC Special Teams Player of the Week on Tuesday.
Mims set up the Broncos offense in favorable positions consistently, delivering returns of 17, 27 and 31 yards. Denver’s starting field position began at the 39-yard line or better three times because of the former Oklahoma star.
Mims has starred from jump on special teams. He leads the league in kickoff (33.6, seven for 235 yards) and (20.7, nine for 186) punt return average. He bolted 99 yards for a kickoff return touchdown against Miami, and 8 of his nine punt returns have gone for at least 11 yards. Generally, if a punt returner averages a first down, he will lead the NFL. With the Broncos offense still finding its way – Denver has a physical identity but needs more consistency – Mims has won in the margins.
He becomes the fourth Broncos returner to earn this award. Diontae Spencer (2020), Eddie Royal (2009, 2001, and wore No. 19) and Glenn Martinez (2007) were the previous winners. Derius Davis of the Chargers and the Jets Xavier Gipson are the only other AFC returners to claim weekly award this season.