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NFL Beavs: Week 4

What a week in the NFL. Multiple games came down to the last-ditch comeback attempts while others played out like two sugar-addled teenagers with a copy of Madden. Week four was a blast to watch as multiple Oregon State players made big contributions for their teams.

Let’s recap which former Beavers are on practice squads or injured reserve.

Practice Squad Players/Injured Reserve Players:

  • Terron Ward - RB Falcons - Terron Ward is on the Falcons practice squad.
  • Scott Crichton - DE/DT Minnesota Vikings - Scott Crichton is currently on Injured Reserve.
  • Connor Hamlett - TE Cleveland Browns - Connor Hamlett is currently signed to the Browns practice squad.
  • Dylan Wynn - DL Cleveland Browns - Dylan Wynn is currently on the Injured Reserve.
  • Kyle Peko - DT Denver Broncos - Kyle Peko is currently on the Broncos practice squad.
  • Sean Mannion - QB Los Angeles Rams - Sean Mannion did not play

Steven Nelson - CB Chiefs - Steven Nelson was active on special teams and as a starting corner against the Steelers. Nelson alternated between Sammie Coates and Antonio Brown depending on which receiver was on the left side of the field. Early in the first half, Nelson was the victim of Antonio Brown and some bad defensive schemes. For some reason, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton put his corners in man coverage against the extremely speedy Steelers receivers. One on play in particular, Nelson was matched up with Brown on a deep post route. The safety ran the other way instead of providing help, leaving Nelson in man coverage as Ben Roethlisberger threw a perfect pass to Brown’s inside shoulder. There was literally nothing Nelson could do besides tackle Brown in the end zone for a touchdown.

The Chiefs were completely embarrassed by the Steelers on Sunday as Roethlisberger and his receivers put up a ton of points. Every single Chiefs defensive back gave up a big play in a complete meltdown. Nelson finished with two tackles.

On a side note, it was super weird to watch Nelson cover Markus Wheaton late in the game.

Jordan Poyer - FS Browns - Watching Browns games is a lesson in Deja Vu. The team looks promising early, but the offense commits costly turnovers. On the defensive side, the cornerbacks blow the coverage on receivers, leaving Jordan Poyer to make touchdown saving tackles. Well, this happened on again during a close loss to the Washington Redskins as Poyer notched four tackles. One tackle stopped running back Chris Thompson on the right side as he was breaking away for a long score. Another stopped Jordan Reed after he completely faked out Jamar Taylor.

Unfortunately, Poyer had two bad plays that led to Redskin scores. On Washington’s opening drive, Poyer was beaten by Reed on a slant pass that resulted in a eight-yard touchdown. Poyer was also called for pass interference after he almost intercepted a deep pass intended for DeSean Jackson. Although the penalty was a little iffy seeing how Poyer was looking for the ball.

Poyer has also been working into the punt return rotation, returning his only opportunity on Sunday for two yards after a directional kick.

D.J. Alexander - LB Chiefs - D.J. Alexander didn’t record any stats against the Steelers, but he spent considerable time on special teams. Alexander was very busy as the Chiefs were forced to punt on almost every possession.

Stephen Paea - DL Browns - Stephen Paea had one tackle against the Redskins to stop Matt Jones for only a two-yard gain and force a fourth down punt. Paea also had an assisted tackle on second down to stop Jones for no gain.

Brandin Cooks - WR Saints - After an insane start to the 2016 season, Brandin Cooks was once again held to almost no production. Cooks only had three catches for 31 yards in a victory against the Chargers. To be fair, no Saints receiver had a big game as Drew Brees only passed for 207 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Brees targeted Cooks six times, but one pass was out of bounds, one was almost intercepted, and one was way too high. Cooks was open on all six targets, but he and Brees couldn’t connect.

Andy Levitre - Guard Falcons - The Falcons were a juggernaut on Sunday as Matt Ryan and Julio Jones completely destroyed the Panthers defense. Jones had 300 yards receiving and Ryan passed for more than 500. These numbers are ridiculous, and they wouldn’t have been possible without solid protection. Andy Levitre played very well against the Panthers even though he is credited with giving up a sack. Levitre’s play wasn’t bad on this sack; defensive tackle Kyle Love is built like a brick outhouse, and he just reached around Levitre to grab Ryan. Excluding this crazy play, the former Beavers guard was fantastic in pass protection and even better as a run blocker. Some of biggest runs by Atlanta went right behind Levitre, including a touchdown run where he served as a bulldozer for Devonta Freeman.

The Falcons were dominant on Sunday, and Levitre was a big reason why. Sunday’s victory over Carolina was Levitre’s second complete game of the season, and he appears to be reaching midseason form.

Jacquizz Rodgers - RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Despite injuries to starting running backs Charles Sims and Doug Martin, Jacquizz Rodgers saw limited action as a runner against the Broncos. Part of this was caused by quarterback Jameis Winston throwing bad interceptions that led to Broncos points. The Bucs were in a hole early, forcing them into passing situations on every down. Quizz was on the field quite often as a pass protector and extra receiver, but Winston kept forcing deep throws to Mike Evans.

The Bucs were unable to gain any ground behind an awful offensive line. In a 27-7 loss, Quizz had six carries for 25 yards and one catch for four yards. Quizz’s best runs were straight up the middle as he hit the accelerator and made it through the hole before the defensive linemen even noticed. He would have had 15 more yards on a great run up the middle, but a holding penalty across the field negated the play.

Even though Doug Martin is coming back soon from injury, Quizz will still see plenty of work for the Bucs. The former Beavers star plays on special teams, serving as a blocker on punts and covering kickoffs.

Mike Remmers - Tackle Carolina Panthers - In Sunday’s loss to Atlanta, Mike Remmers made the switch from his more comfortable right tackle position to the left spot after Michael Oher was ruled out with a concussion. It’s also possible that the move was made because all eight sacks last week came from Oher’s side of the field. Unfortunately for Remmers, he was lined up against the living legend Dwight Freeney.

Remmers held up against Freeney and his spin move fairly well throughout Sunday’s game, but he did give up two sacks. Despite playing well, the stress began to get to Remmers, and he almost messed up a touchdown drive. The Panthers had first-and-goal from the Falcons one-yard line, but Remmers committed a false start, followed that up with a holding penalty, and finished with another false start. First-and-goal from the one turned into second-and-goal from the 15 after four plays. Luckily, Derek Anderson still threw a touchdown pass and bailed out Remmers.

After four games, it’s evident that Remmers is still one of the better right tackles in the NFL. However, the former Beavers tackle isn’t truly suited to play on the left side. Once Oher returns and Remmers returns to his natural position, he should be able to better protect Newton.

Derek Anderson - QB Carolina Panthers - Once again, Derek Anderson entered a game after Cam Newton suffered an injury. This  time, however, Anderson took over in a deep hole against the Falcons as Newton underwent concussion protocol. Anderson has been rarely used since Newton was drafted, but the former Beavers quarterback saw plenty of action and made the most of his opportunities. Anderson led a 94-yard scoring drive on his first possession that culminated with a touchdown pass to Greg Olsen, followed by a two-point conversion also to Olsen. After a Falcons punt, Anderson led yet another successful drive and hit Corey Brown for a touchdown. Unfortunately, Anderson made a bad mistake while trying to lead a game-tying drive. On first down, Anderson threw a pass over Olsen’s head that was intercepted and returned by Robert Alford for a touchdown. Anderson also threw another interception in a last-ditch effort to put points on the board, but the blame should fall on Ted Ginn, Jr. who couldn’t catch the pass and batted it into the air for Alford to intercept. 

Anderson may not have led the storybook comeback on Sunday, but he proved once again that he can be a solid backup when needed. The touchdown pass to Olsen showed off touch and placement as Anderson put the ball where only Olsen could get to it.

With Newton in Concussion Protocol, it’s likely that Anderson will start next Monday night against the Bucs.

Johnny Hekker - P LA Rams Johnny Hekker punted six times as the Rams defeated the Arizona Cardinals and moved to 3-1 on the season. Four of these punts landed inside the Cardinals 20-yard line, with one being downed at the five. Once again, Hekker helped his team by flipping the field and putting the Cardinals in bad field position.

Markus Wheaton - WR Pittsburgh Steelers - Markus Wheaton looked much better in his second game back from injury. On the Steelers second drive, Ben Roethlisberger threw a deep touchdown pass to Darrius Heyward Bey. And of course the Steelers went for two because head coach Mike Tomlin is gutsy. Roethlisberger threw a slant pass and hit Wheaton for a successful conversion. Early in the third quarter and facing third down, Roethlisberger dropped back and threw a deep pass to a wide open Wheaton for a 30-yard touchdown.

One week after dropping four of his five targets, Wheaton caught both passes thrown his way for a total of eight points.

Week five of the NFL season starts Thursday when the Cardinals take on the 49ers. BeaverBlitz will keep you updated as the season moves along. 

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