Nittany Lions In The NFL: Week Eight Roundup

Many Nittany Lions have made their marks in the pros as the NFL reaches the midpoint of its season. Here’s a look back at each of their performances from the past week.

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

Saquon Barkley was bottled up for the most part on Sunday, but still managed to finish with 111 total yards. He found no room to run through a stout Washington defense, and he did most of his damage through the air. No. 26 only ran for 38 yards on 13 carries, but caught nine passes for 73 yards. It was a brutal outing for the Giants, who fell to 1-7 after a 20-13 loss to the Redskins.

New York’s offense has proven incapable of stringing together long drives, despite Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. putting up big numbers. It’s clear that the team is searching for answers at quarterback and offensive line. The G-Men now head into their bye week, with time to prepare for a week 10 tilt against the San Francisco 49ers.

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

Mike Gesicki pulled in four catches for 14 yards in a 42-23 loss to the Houston Texans Thursday night. Miami has now dropped four of its past five games after a 3-0 start to the season. The Dolphins’ offense hasn’t necessarily been the whole problem, but quarterback Brock Osweiler is certainly a step down from the injured Ryan Tannehill. The coaching staff seems to be comfortable giving Gesicki more playing time as well, mainly because the team lacks playmakers on the outside. Miami will have a much easier test at home when it faces off against the New York Jets next weekend.

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Chris Godwin had a quiet day on Sunday in a 37-34 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He finished with two receptions for 32 yards, which was fifth-most on the team. However, the wideout did haul in a crucial two-point conversion from Ryan Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 34 with 1:05 remaining. Fitzpatrick was once again named the starting quarterback over Jameis Winston, which could lead to an uptick in production for Godwin.

A lot of Godwin’s output hinges on his ability to find the end zone; Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson combined for 247 yards and two touchdowns this week. Jackson’s name has also been mentioned in trade rumors, a move which would immediately raise Godwin’s stock as the Buccaneers’ No. 2 receiver.

Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers

Jesse James had two catches for nine yards on the day, not making much noise for Pittsburgh in a 33-18 victory over the Browns. The game was dominated by running back James Conner for the most part, who totaled over 200 yards from scrimmage. Still, fellow tight end Vance McDonald snagged three catches for 47 yards. Pittsburgh should continue to deploy both tight ends often in its offense, so fans shouldn’t be concerned with James’ quiet game.

Other Notables

Grant Haley made his NFL debut for the New York Giants, registering four total tackles in his first career start. He faced off against Troy Apke and the Washington Redskins, and the two players participated in one of the NFL’s most popular postgame traditions by swapping jerseys on the field.

Apke was placed on injured reserve following the game, so it appears he won’t be in the lineup for Washington in the foreseeable future.

Allen Robinson was inactive with a groin injury, while Adrian Amos had two tackles in Chicago’s 24-10 win over the New York Jets.

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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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