Did Burundian Matt Judon's defensive masterclass save the New England Patriots' season?

The third week of NFL action was the most consequential for African players in the league this season, with New England Patriots' Matt Judon the difference between victory and defeat for his side.

Kwity Paye and Victor Dimukeje also put in solid shifts, as did Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Foyesade Oluokun and Bobby Okereke.

Certainly, it was another week in which defensive players shone, although the most memorable team performance was an attacking masterclass from the Miami Dolphins.

African Player of the Week: Matthew Judon (New England Patriots)

Matt Judon, who is of Burundian descent, reminded fans why he has been selected for four Pro Bowls with a mammoth performance in a must-win game for the Patriots, who went 0-2 in their first two games but bounced back with a 15-10 win over the New York Jets.

The scoreline ultimately flattered the Jets, who were completely squeezed out of the game by a defensive masterclass from Judon and his teammates for most of the game.

Until deep into the fourth quarter, the Patriots had restricted the Jets to 61 offensive yards throughout the entire game. Ultimately, the Pats' inability to capitalize on opportunities, and a few errors on defense in the fourth quarter, meant that the Jets enjoyed a brief spell on the front foot that made their stats at the full-time whistle look more respectable.

Still, the Jets only managed 171 total yards by the end of the game, compared to the Patriots' 358.

What the scoreboard and stats board can only partially capture is how, to a man, Bill Belichick's charges executed their defensive strategy and consistently left Jets QB Zach Wilson with little to no options. Judon was an integral cog in the wheel with four tackles, two sacks and one safety sack.

African Moment of the Week: Matthew Judon (New England Patriots)

For the first time, our Player of the Week and Moment of the Week go to the same player. Judon simply cannot be overlooked for this award, as his safety sack on Wilson with just over two minutes to go in the fourth quarter effectively clinched a win which might just have saved the Patriots' season.

The Pats led 13-10, but suddenly found themselves under pressure from the Jets, having allowed them to score a touchdown and move within touching distance.

Up stepped Judon, who snuck around Jets left tackle Mekhi Becton and left Wilson stranded as he completed the decisive sack - his second of the game and fourth of the season.

"They started moving the ball and it kind of got them life," Judon said after the game. "We really needed that. It was good to get that and get some points for myself."

Honorable Mentions:

Liberia's Kwity Paye once again put in an important shift for the Indianapolis Colts - perhaps the most impactful performance from an African player in Week 3 aside from Judon's masterclass.

Paye picked up three tackles and a sack for the Indianapolis Colts as they beat the Baltimore Ravens in overtime.

Victor Dimukeje had a similarly impactful game for the Arizona Cardinals as they picked up their first win of the season by upsetting the previously unbeaten Dallas Cowboys 28-16. He, too, had three tackles and a sack.

Far from only being notable for his dazzling outfits, memorable as they are, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has been a consistently solid part of the Cleveland Browns defense and had another impressive performance in their 27-3 win over the Tennessee Titans with six tackles.

Owusu-Koramoah is the son of a Ghanaian father and a teammate of Nigerians Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and David Njoku, who also featured in the win - the Browns' second of what looks set to be a promising season.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were on the losing side against the Houston Texans, going down 37-17, but Foyesade Oluokun put in another impressive defensive effort with 14 tackles.

The New York Giants' Bobby Okereke, who, like Oluokun, is of Nigerian descent, also put in a strong defensive shift in a defeat as he recorded nine tackles in a 30-12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Africa-born players watch:

In the Miami Dolphins' 70-20 win over the Denver Broncos, two African-born players played notable roles on defense, with Lagos-born Emmanuel Ogbah picking up a sack and three tackles, while Abidjan-born cornerback Kader Kohou also contributed three tackles.

This was arguably the best week yet of the NFL season for African-born players as Paye, who was born in Guinea, and Dimukeje, who like Ogbah was born in Lagos, Nigeria, also picked up sacks.

Dimukeje and his family moved to the United States - specifically Owings Mills, Md. - from Nigeria when he was eight years old, while Ogbah was nine when he moved to Houston, Texas.

Kohou left the Ivory Coast at the age of nine and grew up in Euless, also in Texas, while Paye moved to Providence, Rhode Island at six months old as a refugee of the First Liberian Civil War.

The NFL airs on ESPN's channels in Africa.