There are currently no Beavers on the Bills or Jets, so we will focus on Sunday’s games, starting with the Chiefs and Texans.
Steven Nelson - CB Chiefs - Nelson had a quieter game against the Texans, only recording one tackle. This tackle came on a play where Nelson was playing deep center field to prevent more big plays by Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins. Despite the Chiefs best efforts, the big plays kept coming, and Nelson was involved in one. Hopkins caught a long pass from Brock Osweiler, broke an attempted tackle by Phillip Gaines, and raced upfield for extra yardage. Nelson sprinted up from his deep position and tackled Hopkins, saving a touchdown.
Jordan Poyer - FS Browns - The Browns may have lost a heartbreaker to the Ravens, but a few players made some positive plays. Jordan Poyer followed up his week one performance with two more solo tackles and three assists. The safety should have registered an interception on a deep pass, but Ravens receiver Breshad Perriman grabbed him in midair and knocked the ball away. Poyer’s first tackle on tight end Dennis Pitta actually helped prevent a touchdown on a broken play. Pitta had beaten the coverage and was wide open up the seam. Poyer came from the safety position and stopped Pitta for “only” a 22-yard gain.
The former Beaver spent much of Sunday cleaning up other plays for the Browns secondary. Late in the second half as the Ravens were driving for a field goal, Joe Flacco hit Steve Smith on the right hash immediately after the veteran eluded the coverage of corner Joe Haden. Poyer came up from his safety position and helped finish off the tackle. Cleveland’s defense had some issues stopping Baltimore late in the game, but Poyer’s tackling helped limit the damage done.
Stephen Paea - DL Browns Sunday, Stephen Paea made his first official appearance in a Browns uniform. The loss to Baltimore was the picture of an intro game as Paea only played 16 snaps and registered one tackle. Terrance West broke through the left side of the Cleveland’s defensive line and appeared to be on his way for a long gain, but Paea came off his block and dove for West’s feet, barely knocking him down. The shoestring tackled stopped West after only nine yards and prevented a 20 or 30-yard gain.
Unfortunately, Paea also had a roughing the passer penalty that put the Ravens in the red zone and ultimately led to a touchdown.
Brandin Cooks - WR Saints - Week one was an incredible performance for Brandin Cooks, and a repeat performance was expected as the Saints headed to New York to take on the Giants. Last season, these two teams combined for more than 100 points in a shootout featuring 13 touchdown passes, so most fans expected more of the same. The Giants, however, spent the offseason revamping the secondary in an effort to shut down passing attacks. These moves worked out for new head coach Ben McAdoo as Drew Brees only passed for 263 yards and one touchdown.
Cooks was still the Saints leading receiver, and he caught seven of his nine targets for 68 yards. Most of the receptions came on shallow crossing routes or bubble screens, with barely any down the field. The two longest passes to Cooks were both incompletions because of good plays by the Giants secondary. Seven catches for 68 yards is by no means a bad performance, but Cooks has just raised the bar so high that anything under 100 yards is a disappointment. At least he should have a bounce back game next week against a Falcons team that couldn’t stop Derek Carr and Amari Cooper.
Andy Levitre - Guard Falcons The Falcons and Raiders game didn’t exactly feature a lot of defense, but it sure was a lot of fun. Derek Carr and Matt Ryan were throwing the ball all over the field, hitting their former Alabama receivers for huge gains. Matt Ryan ended up passing for 396 yards and three touchdowns, mostly because of his offensive line. The Falcons line kept Ryan upright during his victory performance, and Levitre played fairly well. The former Beavers guard kept Oakland’s pass rushers at bay and helped tackle Jake Matthews protect Ryan’s blind side. The Raiders defense only notched one sack as the protection held up extremely well. However, Levitre didn’t fare as well in the run blocking portion. The duo of Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for 139 rushing yards, but the majority came on the right side away from Matthews and Levitre. Too often Levitre was pushed around by the defensive line, resulting in minimal gains by the running backs.
This performance was a change from the loss to Tampa Bay where Levitre struggled as a pass blocker and excelled in the run game. Maybe next Monday against the Saints will be the complete performance by Levitre.
Jacquizz Rodgers - Running Back Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Quizz only signed with the Bucs last week, so an appearance against the Cardinals initially seemed unlikely. The situation changed when Doug Martin injured his hamstring, forcing Charles Sims into the starting role. Now serving as Sim’s backup, Rodgers had two carries late in the third quarter as the Bucs attempted a major comeback. The first run was straight up the middle for only five yards, but the second was a big play just like Beavers fans expect. Rodgers took the handoff from Jameis Winston and rushed around the right end for 24 yards.
Two carries is a quieter performance for the sixth-year back, but he still made the most of the opportunities. Depending on Martin’s hamstring, Quizz could possibly see some more action next Sunday when the Rams come to town.
Mike Remmers - Tackle Carolina Panthers - Simply put, Remmers was superb on Sunday against the 49ers. The former Beavers tackle lined up against pass rushers like Tank Carradine and Ahmad Brooks all game, and not once did he fail in pass protection as Cam Newton passed for 353 yards and four touchdowns. In fact, the only pressure Cam faced came from the left side of the line. Sure, the 49ers aren’t the best team on the block, but Brooks is no slouch. The linebacker has caused havoc for many teams during his career, and Remmers kept Brooks in check.
Of course, the Panthers are a rushing team, and Remmers definitely helped out in that aspect. Remmers kept tacklers at bay and occasionally bounced upfield on screen passes. Fozzy Whittaker, filling in for Jonathan Stewart, found the most rushing room on Remmer’s side of the offensive line en route to his first career 100-yard performance. The Panthers had a phenomenal offensive performance, and Remmer’s play was a major reason why.
Johnny Hekker - P LA Rams One week after punting a dozen times against San Francisco, Johnny Hekker had a very relaxed game against the Seahawks. Case Keenum and the Rams offense moved the chains surprisingly well against the Seahawks vaunted defense. Hekker only punted six times as the Rams secured a victory in LA’s home opener, but each punt was exactly what the team needed. Each of Hekker’s six punts landed inside Seattle’s 20-yard line, including a 52-yard bomb that flipped the field. More importantly, every punt resulted in a fair catch as the Seahawk’s returners had no time or opportunity to make a move. Hekker’s performance was exactly what the Rams needed to limit Seattle’s explosive plays.
Week three of the NFL starts Thursday evening when the Texans visit the Patriots. The Beaver Blitz will be here to keep you updated as the weekend progresses.