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Penn Staters In The NFL: Week One Recap

The NFL is officially back, and with that, the many Penn State alumni in the league kicked off their seasons with some week one action.

Although some, including Dolphins DE Cameron Wake and Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin, did not make their season debuts due to Hurricane Irma, here’s a look at how the others performed this weekend.

Jesse James, Pittsburgh (vs. Cleveland)

Jesse James was the Steelers’ most efficient receiver during Pittsburgh’s 21-18 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. The tight end hauled in six passes, gaining 41 yards and scoring the Steelers’ only two offensive touchdowns of the day. It’s the first multi-touchdown game of his career, and the first by a Steelers tight end since 2012.

Both touchdowns came in the red zone. The first was from five yards out, and the second was a screen pass from two yards out. While “the Outlaw” didn’t rack up as many yards as star wideout Antonio Brown, he could potentially establish himself as one of Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite red-zone targets this season.

Sean Lee, Dallas (vs. NY Giants)

The Cowboys defense suffocated the New York offense on Sunday night, and Sean Lee was a big reason Dallas only allowed a field goal in their 19-3 victory. He led the Cowboys with seven tackles and seemed to be around the ball all night long.

On a night when Jason Witten grabbed headlines for becoming Dallas’ all-time leading receiver, Sean Lee quietly led the Cowboys’ defense as they shut down one of the NFL’s better offensive units.

Paul Posluszny, Jacksonville (vs. Houston)

In the first football game played in Houston since Hurricane Harvey caused major flooding and damage, the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Texans handily, 29-7. Posluszny, a defensive captain for the Jaguars, made one tackle and assisted on another as the starting linebacker.

The veteran is still a steadying presence in Jacksonville’s front seven, and is one of many linebackers from Penn State that made it to the NFL.

Allen Robinson, Jacksonville (vs. Houston)

The standout receiver made one 17-yard catch in his team’s victory against Houston.  Unfortunately, though, Robinson’s season ended after that play.

The 2015 Pro Bowler tore his ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2017 season.

Despite QB Blake Bortles’ best effort to help his injured receiver, he will lose his favorite target for the rest of the year. The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for Robinson, as his contract expires after this season.

Robinson has recorded more than 2,200 receiving yards in the past two seasons, so the Jacksonville offense is losing a key piece and a huge presence.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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