Brad Penner

Beavs in the NFL: Week 17

The NFL Wildcard race begins this weekend, but before the play-offs begin, lets take a look back to the Beavers in the NFL who finished up the regular season.

Week 17 was slightly depressing, simply because most teams ended their seasons. Former Oregon State players on the Rams, Bucs, Broncos, Browns, Eagles, Panthers, and Saints all logged some final snaps of the 2016 season. Now, they will clean out lockers, possibly wait for news of a new coach, and cheer on fellow alumni that are still in the race for a Lombardi Trophy.

Luckily, a former Practice Squad player made his season debut on Sunday, so let’s talk about that! First, we will recap which former players are on practice squads or injured reserve.

Practice Squad Players/Injured Reserve Players:

1.    Rashaad Reynolds - CB Chicago Bears - The Chicago Bears signed corner Rashaad Reynolds to the Practice Squad.

2.    Jordan Poyer - S Cleveland Browns - Jordan Poyer is on Injured Reserve with a lacerated kidney.

3.    Scott Crichton - DE/DT Minnesota Vikings - Scott Crichton is currently on Injured Reserve.

4.    Dylan Wynn - DT Cleveland Browns - Dylan Wynn is currently on Injured Reserve.

5.    Obum Gwacham - DE New Orleans Saints - Obum Gwacham is on Injured Reserve with an undisclosed ailment.

6.    Connor Hamlett - TE Cleveland Browns - Connor Hamlett is on the Browns practice squad.

7.    Markus Wheaton - WR Pittsburgh Steelers -Markus Wheaton is on Injured Reserve with a shoulder injury.

Beavers on Bye: None

Kyle Peko - DT Denver Broncos - Kyle Peko spent all season on the Denver Broncos’ practice squad, but he was actually activated for the season finale against Oakland. Normally, Peko wouldn’t have played, but DeMarcus Ware was placed on injured reserve last week, opening up a roster spot.

During a beatdown of Oakland, Peko totaled two solo tackles. The first came when Peko plugged a hole in the middle of the line and enveloped running back Jalen Richard for no gain. The second was after rookie quarterback Connor Cook threw a pass to Seth Roberts. Peko came flying up and tackled Roberts from behind while the receiver was attempting to juke some defenders. The key stop kept the Raiders from getting a first down on a fourth quarter drive.

Peko may have only totaled two tackles on the day, but he was actually on the field for a good majority of snaps. He even saw action during the second series of the game. Hopefully this bodes well for his second career year in 2017.

Isaac Seumalo - G Philadelphia Eagles - The Philadelphia Eagles closed out the regular season schedule with a victory over the Dallas Cowboys’ third string offense. Isaac Seumalo was back on the field for this victory, starting at right guard for a series before ultimately moving to left guard for the game’s remainder. Seumalo was very good all game long, avoiding penalties and preventing any sacks. He also played a big part on a first down run where he knocked would be tacklers away and made room for a scrambling Carson Wentz. This play put the Eagles in a first-and-goal situation and led to a crucial score during this NFC East matchup.

Josh Andrews - G Philadelphia Eagles - Josh Andrews was inactive on Sunday during a victory over the Cowboys.

Johnny Hekker - P LA Rams - Johnny Hekker punted seven times during a blowout loss to the Cardinals, averaging 44.4 yards and nailing his third 70+ yard punt of the season. Hekker also pulled off another successful fake punt when he threw a four yard completion for a first down on fourth-and-one.

Sean Mannion - QB LA Rams - Sean Mannion was Jared Goff’s backup once again as the Rams were blown out at home by the Cardinals. He did see the field briefly as the Rams had four different players attempt passes. During these plays, Mannion went 3-6 for 19 yards and threw an interception. He looked good at first, heaving a nice pass deep that netted a Patrick Peterson interference penalty. However, he mixed in some OK throws with a couple of bad ones. The pick six came on a pass intended for Pharoh Cooper as corner Justin Bethel perfectly read Mannion’s eyes and jumped the route. This was the fourth out route that the Rams used on one drive alone, and Bethel saw the signs all the way. It also didn’t help that Mannion failed to put enough mustard on the pass.

Most of Mannion’s snaps came in garbage time after the Cardinals built up a 38-6 lead. Maybe the Rams wanted to see him in action, or they just wanted to avoid injury to Goff.

Matt Moore - QB Miami Dolphins - The Dolphins suffered a bad loss on Sunday as they fell prey to a vicious Patriots team at Hard Rock Stadium. Tom Brady and his offense built up a big lead and kept the Dolphins’ defense on its heels with multiple clock-killing drives. Even the Patriots defense made Miami’s offensive line look like glorified practice dummies as they racked up quarterback hits.

Despite being under constant pressure and running for his life, Matt Moore was pretty solid. He completed 24 of 34 passes for 205 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Unfortunately, the interception was completely on Moore as he threw the ball much too short of Dion Sims. Too bad, because the beginning of the play was quite impressive as Moore evaded a sack and ran toward the sideline looking for a receiver. He just didn’t finish with a good throw.

The interception may have been a bad way to start the game, but Moore did quickly gain confidence. He led a scoring drive to close out the first half and another to start the third quarter. On both of these drives, he stood tall in the pocket and made throws right before getting leveled. The only problem was that he didn’t have much time in the pocket, so the vast majority of his throws were on slants and crossing routes. This isn’t the most effective chain-moving offense, but Moore made it work a few times. At least the short throws did set up a deep toss to Kenny Stills for Moore’s second touchdown of the day. 

The Dolphins will now head to the Wild Card round of the Playoffs for a battle with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s unclear whether Moore or Ryan Tannehill will start at quarterback. Tannehill hasn’t practiced yet, which he will need to do before coach Adam Gase rolls the dice with him.

D.J. Alexander - LB - Chiefs - The Chiefs defeated the Chargers on Sunday to lock up the AFC West and clinch a first round bye for the Playoffs. D.J. Alexander was used primarily on special teams during this victory, covering kickoffs and blocking on punts. He didn’t see a lot of action, but Alexander did combine with Steven Nelson to block the Chargers punter, Drew Kaser, and spring Tyreek Hill during a 98-yard punt return touchdown.

Steven Nelson - CB Chiefs - Steven Nelson notched three solo tackles during Sunday’s victory over the Chargers while primarily covering the slot receivers. Philip Rivers barely targeted any receivers covered by Nelson, so he wasn’t really tested. It truly was a quiet game for the Chiefs corner as his biggest play was stopping Antonio Gates one yard shy of the sticks on third down.

On the humorous side, Nelson was directly responsible for a punt return touchdown. Right after Alexander and Nelson blocked Drew Kaser during Tyreek Hill’s return, the speedy receiver appeared to head out of bounds. However, Hill stiff armed Nelson in the back to keep his balance and avoided the boundary. Nelson landed flat on his face, and Hill ended up scoring a touchdown. He definitely took one for the team, but at least it paid off in the end.

The Chiefs will now relax for a week and wait to see which opponent comes to town for the Divisional Round of the Playoffs.

Brandin Cooks - WR - Saints - The Saints and Falcons season finale started out as a lopsided affair, but some big plays by Drew Brees made it competitive late. Brandin Cooks caught three passes for 19 yards during this loss to the Falcons as Brees mainly targeted Michael Thomas. It didn’t help that the few throws to Cooks weren’t exactly accurate. The spot-on example was a deep seam pass to Cooks in triple coverage. The pass was slightly behind and almost intercepted by Jalen Collins. There was another throw to Cooks down the sideline that was underthrown and batted away by a Falcons corner. The QB/WR duo has been out of sync at times this season, and the loss to Atlanta was just another example. Hopefully, they display some better chemistry next season.

On the plus side, Cooks was part of history on Sunday. He became one of three Saints receivers to have 70+ catches in a single season, the first time in franchise history. Willie Snead and rookie Michael Thomas were the other members of this prolific trio.

Unfortunately, there was a very scary moment late in this loss where Cooks went up to make an attempt at a sideline catch, but he came down hard on his head out of bounds. Cooks was knocked out cold for a few moments, but he eventually came to and left the field under his own power. This game was ultimately meaningless, so the Saints smartly left him on the sideline for the remainder of regulation play.

Cooks finished his third season with New Orleans catching 78 passes for 1,173 yards (a career high) and eight touchdowns. He also rushed six times for 30 yards.

Terron Ward - RB Atlanta Falcons - Terron Ward was inactive as the Falcons clinched a first round bye in the Playoffs.

Andy Levitre - Guard Falcons - Andy Levitre was solid as ever during a victory over the NFC South rival Saints. He lined up primarily against Nick Fairley and Tyeler Davison, pushing both defensive tackles back in one-on-one opportunities. On one touchdown play in the second quarter, Levitre was left on an island against Fairley. He kept the former Lions tackle engaged long enough for Ryan to step up in the pocket and throw a perfect pass to Mohamed Sanu in the end zone. This play was just another example of his great pass protection. Levitre was great all game with the exception of one penalty. He committed a false start penalty on first-and-goal, but it didn’t prevent Matt Ryan from hitting Julio Jones for a touchdown two plays later.

The Falcons will now relax for a week and wait to see which opponent comes to town for the Divisional Round of the Playoffs.

Mike Remmers - T  Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense was atrocious on Sunday during a close loss to Tampa Bay. Strangely, the majority of these issues came from Newton’s wild throws. The protection was actually spot on for most of the game, but Newton still threw three interceptions.

Remmers played well early during this loss, leading the way on a few solid runs by Jonathan Stewart and keeping Newton clean. Unfortunately, frustrations led to bad mistakes by the entire team as the game progressed. Remmers completely whiffed on a block against Lavonte David that led to a sack and killed a promising drive. He also committed a holding penalty that derailed any momentum on another drive.

The Panthers ended their trainwreck of a season in fitting fashion, falling to 6-10. They will now try to find answers as to where everything went wrong. Remmers can rest assured that he isn’t the problem.

Derek Anderson - QB Carolina Panthers - Derek Anderson was inactive against the Buccaneers on Sunday. The Panthers official website and Twitter account didn’t provide a reason. Joe Webb served as Newton’s backup.

Jacquizz Rodgers - RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers - One week after being a healthy scratch, starting running back Doug Martin stepped away from the Bucs to attend a treatment facility for Adderall. Quizz Rodgers served as the starting running back again, carrying 17 times for 75 yards and catching one pass for four yards. His first carry set the tone as Quizz rumbled and spun his way for a 15-yard gain. He was very effective on quite a few carries, also rushing for a 27-yard gain in the first quarter.

Quizz played a huge role on a late first-half drive as the Bucs needed a score. He converted a first down to put the team in field goal range and laid a huge block on Thomas Davis to spring Jameis Winston on another first-down run. Unfortunately, Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo shanked the field goal attempt and wasted Quizz’s hard work. Quizz didn’t play as often during the fourth quarter as the Bucs used Peyton Barber as a change-of-pace back, but he was still present for obvious passing downs.

The Bucs barely missed the Playoffs after two weeks of losing critical games, so we unfortunately won’t see Rodgers again until OTA’s (Organized Team Activities). He finished his first season in Tampa Bay with 129 carries for 560 yards (4.3 yards-per-carry) and two touchdowns in 10 games with five starts. He also added 13 receptions for 98 yards. Doug Martin’s status is unclear heading into the offseason, so the Bucs will most likely plan on keeping Quizz around.

Stephen Paea - DL Browns - Stephen Paea was inactive during an overtime loss to the Steelers. Will he be with the Browns next year?

The Playoffs tomorrow with the Wild Card Round, and only Matt Moore will be playing. Andy Levitre, Terron Ward, Steven Nelson, and DJ Alexander all have the week off and won’t be active until the Divisional Round. BeaverBlitz will keep you updated. 


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