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Nittany Lions In The NFL: Week Five Roundup

Another week of NFL action has come and gone, and several of the newest Nittany Lions-turned-pros had big weekends. Here’s how the NFL’s Penn Staters fared during week 5.

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

In his most impressive performance yet, Saquon Barkley exploded against the Carolina Panthers despite a heartbreaking 33-31 loss. Barkley totaled 129 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns as New York fell to 1-4 on the season. It didn’t look like it was going to be a great day for No. 26 early on. He had negative rushing yards midway through the second quarter, but that was before offensive coordinator Mike Shula reached into the bag of tricks.

Star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. found Barkley for a 57-yard score down the sideline, the first of many on the day for the Giants’ offense. Barkley struggled to run between the tackles though, finishing with only 48 yards on the ground. He also hauled in a 15-yard touchdown, which was capped off by one of his signature hurdles. Barkley didn’t stick the landing cleanly and went down injured, giving Giants and Penn State fans alike a momentary scare. Fortunately, head coach Pat Shurmur said No. 26 was “fine” following the team’s defeat.

Barkley is the only running back in the NFL who has accumulated at least 100 yards in all five games he’s played in this season. The only other backs to gain 100 yards from scrimmage in each of the first five games of their NFL career are Kareem Hunt and Adrian Peterson.

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

Gesicki pulled in three catches for 26 yards in a 27-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. After a nice start to the year, the Dolphins have now dropped back-to-back games. Like many rookie tight ends, Gesicki has struggled to produce early in his career. Entering Sunday, he had only five catches for 51 yards, so the big day was a nice indication. 

DaeSean Hamilton, Denver Broncos

Hamilton finally broke loose with three receptions for 44 yards after being buried in the depth chart for the first few weeks. Denver’s receiving corps had a productive day in a 34-16 loss to the New York Jets, with quarterback Case Keenum throwing for 377 yards. It’s tough to predict if Denver will continue to feed Hamilton on offense, but the future certainly looks bright for the Penn State product.

Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers

James had two catches for 20 yards in a blowout win against the Atlanta Falcons. It’s been a shaky start to the season for Pittsburgh, so an easy win was exactly what the Steelers needed. He actually outplayed Vance McDonald, who seemingly was the the top tight end on the depth chart.

Other Notables

Trevor Williams registered four total tackles and two pass deflections in the Chargers’ 26-10 win over the Oakland Raiders. His performance might not have been as flashy as last week, but regardless, he helped Los Angeles improve to 3-2 on the year.

Adrian Amos, Chris Godwin, and Allen Robinson had their bye weeks for Chicago and Tampa Bay, respectively.

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About the Author

Austin Smith

Austin Smith is a junior broadcast journalism major. He grew up in New Jersey and is a writer for Onward State. He specializes in football, basketball, and the New York Knicks.

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