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African players who shone this week 11

Nov 21, 2023 #Brandon Aiyuk, #NFL

African players who shone this week included Gus Edwards, Foyesade Oluokun, Odafe Oweh, Justin Madubuike and YaYa Diaby, Brandon Aiyuk.

Gus Edwards and Nelson Aghorol and Odafe Oweh

Edwards (Monrovia, Liberia) and Aghorol (Lagos, Nigeria). Without their influence, the Ravens probably wouldn’t have been able to beat the Bengals.

With quarterback Lamar Jackson in prime form and the Ravens very likely being a Super Bowl contender this season, he will need support from Agholoa and Edwards up front.

Liberia’s Gus Edwards continued his incredible run for the Baltimore Ravens, scoring two rushing touchdowns in a 34-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.


In the same game, Nigerian Nelson Aghorol scored a 37-yard touchdown to lead his team on track for victory, while fellow Nigerians Odafe Oweh and Justin Madubuike each scored on defense. He contributed to the victory with a sack.

Yaya Diaby a Guinea for Buccaneers Tampa Bay

Yaya Diaby, whose parents are from Guinea, was drafted in the third round by the Buccaneers and exceeded his expectations in his rookie season.


The former Louisville linebacker was one of the standouts in the loss to the 49ers, but his efforts ultimately didn’t result in the victory.

Diaby had two sacks, bringing his total to four on the season, which he racked up over his last three games with the Bucs.

BJ   Ojulari a Nigerian for Arizona Cardinals


BJ Ojulari, a rookie linebacker of Nigerian descent who plays for the Arizona Cardinals, was sacked in a 21-16 loss to the Houston Texans.

Ogbo Okoronkwo


Ogbo Okoronkwo had a great game in the Cleveland Browns’ 13-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, totaling five tackles and one sack.

Foyesado  Oluokun

Foyesado Oluokun once again led the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense with a half-sack in a 34-14 win over the Tennessee Titans.


As a team, they once again showed their cohesiveness on defense, and aside from his sack contributions, Oluokun is clearly one of the leaders of the group.

Jackson   Smith-Njiba 

Sierra Leone native Jackson Smith-Njiba starred for the Seattle Seahawks, making an acrobatic 32-yard catch against the Los Angeles Rams, but the Seahawks lost 17-16.


Views from an African-born player:
Two outstanding African-born players stood out this week:

Minnesota Vikings placekicker Greg Joseph

Greg Joseph, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, scored eight points against the Denver Broncos, but the game ended in a 21-20 loss.


Brandon Aiyuk (49ers)

The Cameroonian-American was the standout African player in week 11, with the 49ers beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-14 largely as a result of his 77-yard touchdown and superb overall performance.

Aiyuk was the standout offensive player for the 49ers in their win over the Buccaneers, making a total of five receptions for 156 yards and one spectacular touchdown.

It was the second straight win for the 49ers, and the second straight game in which Aiyuk scored a touchdown, after he also got one in the 34-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.


Of his 43 receptions this season, 38 were first downs. This is a statistic that suggests that Aiyuk’s catches have a big impact, and that was certainly the case against the Bucks.

Africa Moment of the Week: Brandon Aiyuk (San Francisco 49ers)

The game remained even early in the third quarter, with the 49ers leading 13-7, when Aiyuk slipped off the back of Jamel Dean and perfectly timed the trajectory of Purdy’s pass for a touchdown. I chased after him.

The Bucks tried to fight back in the fourth quarter, but Aiyuk’s touchdown gave them a mountain too high to climb and they ultimately could not recover.

Following the win, the 49ers lead the NFC West with a 7-3 record, and Aiyuk is on pace to surpass his total from last season, which was his career-high with 1,015 receiving yards in the regular season.

He has 831 points in just nine games this season.

In fact, the 77-yard touchdown was already his longest catch and was also the longest touchdown reception by an NFL player this season until Khalil Shakir of the Buffalo Bills broke that record just 30 minutes later.

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