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NFL Beavs: Week 3

After a fairly lackluster second week in the NFL, week three raised the bar back to an acceptable level. Check in to see how the Beavers in the NFL fared this week in their gridiron action.

The Browns and Dolphins game was fascinatingly sloppy, the Chiefs destroyed the Jets, and the Vikings and Panthers game was a shocking beatdown. Even Monday Night Football featured two high-powered offenses and no defense. Week three was a little strange but for all the right reasons.

There are currently no Beavers on the Texans or Patriots, so we will focus on Sunday’s and Monday’s games, starting with the Chiefs. But before we do that, let’s take a look at which former Beavers are on practice squads or injured reserve.

Practice Squad Players/Injured Reserve Players: 

  • Terron Ward - RB Falcons Terron Ward was moved to the practice squad.
  • Scott Crichton - DE/DT Minnesota Vikings Scott Crichton was signed to the Vikings injured reserve with an undisclosed injury.
  • Connor Hamlett - TE Cleveland Browns Connor Hamlett is currently signed to the Browns practice squad.
  • Kyle Peko - DT Denver Broncos - Kyle Peko signed to the Broncos practice squad on Thursday. The Broncos liked the defensive tackle’s potential enough to keep him around. The Broncos also waived former Beavers safety Ryan Murphy to make room for Peko. This is classified as Oregon State on Oregon State crime.

Steven Nelson - CB Chiefs - CB Chiefs - Steven Nelson was tasked with covering superstar Brandon Marshall on Sunday. The former Beavers corner had a picture perfect pass breakup early in the first quarter. Unfortunately, Nelson had a missed tackle on Quincy Enunwa that led to extra yards. Nelson recovered later with a tackle on Matt Forte that stopped him short of a first down. In a completely lopsided beatdown, Nelson finished with three tackles and a pass defensed. 

Jordan Poyer - FS Browns - Poyer had 13 tackles and a pass deflected against the Dolphins on Sunday. Poyer’s best tackle came when he was thrown backwards by a blocker. Poyer landed on his back and still managed to reach up and tackle rookie running back Kenyan Drake. Like normal, Poyer was the final man tackling players before they reached the end zone. The Browns have some bad tacklers, but that is one area where Poyer excels. Poyer kept the Browns competitive in the fourth quarter with a big pass breakup on Jarvis Landry to stop the Dolphins. The corner also had a nice 15-yard punt return negated by a holding penalty.

D.J. Alexander - LB Chiefs - Alexander didn’t technically record any stats in the blowout victory against the Jets, but he played extensively on special teams. Alexander played on both kick coverage and return teams. 

Stephen Paea - DL Browns Stephen Paea was upgraded to a starter against the Dolphins after spending the first two weeks as a role player. The big defensive lineman didn’t record any stats during an overtime loss, but he was active in limited snaps. Paea helped pressure Ryan Tannehill into throwing the ball earlier than he wanted by pushing back the offensive linemen into the pocket.  

Brandin Cooks - WR Saints - The Saints came into Monday night’s game missing wideout Willie Snead, so it was expected that Drew Brees would target Cooks more than normal. Strangely, Brees went away from his star receiver and instead focused on Coby Fleener, Brandon Coleman, and rookie Michael Thomas.

Cooks had one rush on a fly sweep for six yards to set up a Fleener touchdown, and he only caught two passes for 13 yards. Brees targeted Cooks four times in the first half, but only completed one of the passes. One incompletion was an awful pass that went into the dirt before it even reached Cooks. Another incompletion was just much too high for a leaping Cooks. In the second half, Brees only targeted Cooks twice with two horrible throws.

Andy Levitre - Guard Falcons Like normal, the matchup between the Saints and Falcons on Monday night was a lot of fun. Neither team played defense particularly well, so there were many opportunities for big plays and points. After two different performances to start the season, Andy Levitre put together what was his most complete game. The Falcons offense moved well up and down the field, and Levitre excelled as both a pass protector and a blocker on big plays for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Freeman in particular excelled when running behind Levitre and tackle Jake Matthews. In the second quarter alone, Freeman had a 36-yard run and a 13-yard catch. Coleman even had a short touchdown run that went right behind Levitre’s block. Three of the Falcons touchdown runs were on Levitre’s side of the offensive line as he pushed defenders around, and the majority of the rushing plays went to the left side of the field.

Sadly, Levitre gave up a sack to Nick Fairley late in the fourth quarter with the Falcons winning 45-32. The situation was third-and-eight, and the Saints sent a jailbreak blitz in a last-ditch effort to stop the Falcons from scoring on their seventh straight drive.

Levitre has tons of potential, and it was great to see him finally put together a complete game.

Jacquizz Rodgers - RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Rams and Bucs played a very strange game that went back and forth for three-and-a-half quarters until a lightning storm disrupted play. At times the Bucs offense looked like an unstoppable juggernaut while others were much less watchable. Jacquizz Rodgers split time with Charles Sims on Sunday, rushing five times for 15 yards. Quizz also caught one pass for eight yards and showed some elusiveness, juking out a defender and breaking the tackle of another.

The strangest part about Quizz’s usage on Sunday was the fact that he got a ton of work during the second quarter, but gave way to Sims for the third and most of the fourth. Quizz did come back during the fourth quarter to rush one more time and serve as a protector on a few pass plays. Head coach Dirk Koetter is very sporadic when using his running backs, but at least Quizz is getting playing time. 

Mike Remmers - Tackle Carolina Panthers - This is quite shocking, but the Vikings beat up on the Panthers on Sunday. Minnesota’s defensive line dominated the Panthers all game long and sacked Cam Newton eight times. Despite the fact that Remmers faced off with Everson Griffen and Brian Robison, the right tackle held up well in pass protection. All eight of the sacks came from the left side of the offensive line where Michael Oher severely struggled.

In a losing effort, the only thing that Remmers did poorly was commit a holding penalty that was eventually declined because Newton was sacked to force fourth down. 

Derek Anderson - QB Carolina Panthers - In a surprising turn of events, Derek Anderson actually came into the game against the Vikings after Cam Newton left briefly with injury. Anderson completed his lone pass for three yards before Newton came back into the game. 

Johnny Hekker - P LA Rams Johnny Hekker punted five times on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Three of those punts landed inside the Bucs 20-yard line with one landing at the eight. Hekker has become quite proficient at pinning teams deep in their own territory, something that helped propel his team to victory over the Bucs. 

Markus Wheaton - WR Pittsburgh Steelers - Sunday’s loss to the Eagles was a rough return for Markus Wheaton. Big Ben targeted Wheaton five times, but the former Beavers receiver only caught one pass for two yards. The first target of the day was a sure touchdown, but it went through Wheaton’s arms in the back of the end zone. The second target was less of a drop and more of a great play by corner Nolan Carroll who knocked the ball away from Wheaton at the last moment.

Wheaton’s return to the field from shoulder surgery wasn’t exactly a thing of beauty. Hopefully he will get back to form while getting healthier.

Week four of the NFL season starts Thursday when the Dolphins visit the Bengals. BeaverBlitz will keep you updated as the season moves along. 

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