The majority of games were less-than-stellar, but thankfully some prominent Beavers played major roles in the weekend’s two most exciting affairs.
There are currently no Beavers on the Cardinals or 49ers, so we will focus on Sunday’s games, starting with the Browns. But before we do that, let’s recap which former Beavers are on practice squads or injured reserve.
Practice Squad Players/Injured Reserve Players:
1. Terron Ward - RB Falcons - Terron Ward is on the Falcons practice squad.
2. Scott Crichton - DE/DT Minnesota Vikings - Scott Crichton is currently on Injured Reserve.
3. Kyle Peko - DT Denver Broncos - Kyle Peko is currently on the Broncos practice squad.
Beavers on Bye: Jacquizz Rodgers - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jordan Poyer - FS Browns - Jordan Poyer was active on Sunday as the Browns fought hard but ultimately lost to the Titans, totalling two tackles and a fair catch on a punt. One of his tackles came on a punt return when Poyer shot between blockers and tackled Marc Mariani by his feet. Unfortunately, Poyer was forced from Sunday’s game after a vicious--and illegal--blindside block by Titans running back Antonio Andrews. The hit drew a penalty, and Poyer was taken to the hospital with a possible concussion and to be treated for a lacerated kidney.
Poyer was released from a Nashville hospital on Tuesday and it’s unclear how long he will be missing in action. The last two players to suffer lacerated kidneys--Miles Austin and Keenan Allen--both missed a season to recover.
In response to the concerned messages, Poyer posted a brief message on his Twitter account.
“Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers.”
Everyone at BeaverBlitz wishes Poyer the absolute best as he returns to full health. He is one of my favorite players, and the NFL is just less entertaining without him in the Browns secondary.
Connor Hamlett - TE Browns - Connor Hamlett saw the field often during Sunday’s loss to the Titans, but he didn’t record any stats. Much like week five, Hamlett lined up opposite Gary Barnidge in two tight end sets and served as a blocker for Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell.
Steven Nelson - CB Chiefs - The Chiefs blew out the Raiders on Sunday 26-10 behind a big running game and a bend-don’t-break defense. Sure, Derek Carr hit Amari Cooper for huge gains all game long, but Oakland’s dynamic duo couldn’t turn these positive plays into points.
During this victory, Steven Nelson and D.J. White alternated coverage between Cooper and Seth Roberts. Nelson also helped out in run support, registering three tackles on the day. One tackle was a thing of beauty as Nelson ran forward and upended Roberts before he could get to the first down marker. It was a great open field tackle on the shifty receiver. The Raiders drive stalled on the very next play, forcing a punt.
Unfortunately, Nelson did have two missed tackles in the first quarter, both of which led to extra yards by Raiders receivers. The Chiefs corner recovered and played well for the remainder of the game as he avoided giving up big plays to Cooper.
D.J. Alexander - LB - Chiefs - D.J. Alexander didn’t record any trackable stats during a huge win against Oakland, but he was very active on special teams as the Chiefs and Raiders combined for eight kickoffs and six punts. Alexander saw the field on every single special teams play, and he helped contain the returners for fewer yards.
Brandin Cooks - WR - Saints - Sunday afternoon, Brandin Cooks was Drew Brees’ leading receiver as the Saints defeated the rival Panthers. Cooks had seven catches for 173 yards and one touchdown, including a beautiful 87-yard touchdown catch and run. The electric receiver was lined up against backup corner Zack Sanchez. As the ball was snapped, Cooks ran forward and faked an in route, fooling Sanchez and leaving him far behind. From that point on, the play was simply a track meet as Cooks outran both Sanchez and safety Kurt Coleman for the touchdown. No one can keep up with his straight line speed.
On a day where the Saints needed to outscore an explosive Panthers offense, Cooks showed why he is such a star. There were three different plays on Sunday where the former Beaver simply outran the Panthers defenders. One was the long touchdown, another was a 49-yard completion, and the third was a bad overthrow by Brees that should have been Cooks’ second long touchdown.
On a side note, Cooks should thank the Panthers for saving him from an embarrassing moment. His illegal motion penalty was overridden by roughing the passer on Carolina. The Saints were gifted 15 extra yards instead of losing a positive play because of Cooks.
Stephen Paea - DL Browns - In a fairly standard game for the Browns, Stephen Paea saw the field while rotating duties with Emmanuel Ogbah and Danny Shelton. The nature of this line rotation limits Paea’s ability to rack up stats, but he did tally one solo and one assisted tackle. The assisted tackle was a simple stop as DeMarco Murray ran straight up the middle into the waiting arms of Christian Kirksey and Paea. The solo tackle, on the other hand, showed that Paea can hustle when needed. Murray took a pitch from Mariota and was racing toward the left sideline and open field. Paea chased the Titans running back down and shoved him out of bounds after only a three yard gain.
I find it fascinating that Paea finished every single game with one solo and one assisted tackle. Either he is amazingly consistent, or we are all suffering from deja vu. Who cares as long as he is playing and isn’t hurting the Browns with stupid penalties or broken plays.
Andy Levitre - Guard Falcons - Andy Levitre was back in familiar territory Sunday as the Falcons traveled to the Pacific Northwest for a bout with the Seahawks. Despite facing off with fearsome pass rushers in Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, Levitre only gave up one sack on the day. This sack, courtesy of rookie Jarran Reed, actually came on a play where Matt Ryan danced around in the pocket, held onto the ball too long, and eventually ran right into Reed’s path.
Levitre excelled as a pass protector, but he also had some solid play as a run blocker. The Seahawks are a notoriously difficult team to run against, but the Falcons fared decently. Most of the 52 total rushing yards came between the blocking of Levitre and center Alex Mack. The yards were low, but Devonta Freeman made the most of his opportunities.
Mike Remmers - Tackle Carolina Panthers - For the third week in a row, Mike Remmers replaced a missing Michael Oher at the left tackle position during a loss to the Saints. Lined up primarily against Kasim Edebali and Nick Fairley, Remmers played fairly well but did give up a sack to end the Panthers promising first drive. Remmers was also called for a holding penalty during the third quarter that put the Panthers in third-and-long.
There was a scary moment early in the fourth quarter where Remmers led the way for a Jonathan Stewart touchdown run (seriously? Blocking for a Duck!). The score was successful, but Remmer’s helmet was knocked off as he took a hit to the head. Remmers seemed fine and didn’t miss any playing time, so it looks like a catastrophe was avoided. Ironically enough, Remmers blocked for another Stewart touchdown on the very next drive, and he was rewarded with a kick to the head as the former Duck jumped over the pile.
Derek Anderson - QB Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton was back in action on Sunday, so Derek Anderson was once again relegated to his backup role.
Johnny Hekker - P LA Rams The Rams lost to the Lions in a closely-fought battle, and Johnny Hekker saw very little action. Case Keenum led the Rams up and down the field early, avoiding punting until midway through the third quarter. Hekker punted twice for a total of 94 yards, with a long of 54.
Markus Wheaton - WR Pittsburgh Steelers - Markus Wheaton missed Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury.
Week seven of the NFL season starts Thursday when the Chicago Bears visit Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers. BeaverBlitz will keep you updated as the season moves along.