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Nittany Lions In The NFL: Week Three Recap

In yet another high-octane entry into the 2021 NFL season, this past week saw returns to form for some past Nittany Lions and disappointing outings from others.

From career firsts to season streak continuations, here’s how Penn State’s NFL representatives fared over the past few days.

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

Following a slow start to the season, running back Saquon Barkley may finally have his rhythm. Barkley tallied 51 rushing yards, six receptions for 43 receiving yards, and even found the end zone for the first time since tearing his ACL last September.

Although Saquon’s effort did not result in a Giants victory, his increased amount of touches should be reassuring moving forward.

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Building on a productive start to the season, reigning Super Bowl champion Chris Godwin reeled in six receptions on seven targets for 74 yards in the Bucs’ 34-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Late in the second quarter, Godwin scored his team’s first points on a 2-yard handoff, marking his third touchdown in as many games.

Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys

In the Dallas Cowboys’ 41-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night, Micah Parsons continued making his early case for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

The 2021 first-round draft pick recorded four tackles, half a sack, and a pass deflection. Still filling in at defensive end due to a plethora of Cowboys injuries, Parsons has further entrenched himself as a major contributor on a young defense.

Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

Former Penn State running back Miles Sanders didn’t get much work in a game where his team certainly needed him. A relatively quiet day for the Eagles playmaker was characterized by only two carries for 27 yards, plus three catches for 28 yards.

Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears

Only catching two passes for 27 yards, Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson put up a quiet showing as rookie quarterback Justin Fields made his debut. Chicago put up only 68 passing yards in its 26-6 blowout loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Robinson’s status as the Bears’ top offensive weapon is nowhere near in danger, however, given the offensive line’s poor play and Fields’ lack of experience. His production might take a hit, though.

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers 2021 second-round draft pick Pat Freiermuth hit pay dirt for the first time in his NFL career Sunday. He also made three catches for 22 yards, in Pittsburgh’s 24-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Although officially slotted as the No. 2 tight end on the depth chart behind Eric Ebron, Freiermuth has played only six fewer snaps this season. The Nittany Lion is outpacing his counterpart in yards, receptions, targets, and touchdowns, indicating it may only be a matter of time before Freiermuth is the top tight end in Pittsburgh.

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

For the second week in a row, Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki doubled his target share, this time from six to 12. Gesicki turned that into a productive day with 10 receptions for 86 yards as his team lost 31-28 to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Odafe Oweh, Baltimore Ravens

A week after winning AFC Defensive Player of the Week, Ravens defensive lineman Odafe Oweh made another big impact and progress towards his early Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign. Oweh totaled four tackles and a quarterback hit on Jared Goff in the Ravens’ nail-biter victory over the Detroit Lions.

Amani Oruwariye, Detroit Lions

Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye made a massive impact in his team’s last-second 19-17 loss to the Ravens. Oruwariye made four tackles and deflected a pass, as well as recording his first interception of the season, giving his team possession to retake the lead.

Other Notables

  • Green Bay Packers defensive back Adrian Amos played 100% of defensive snaps and picked up five tackles over the course of his team’s 30-28 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. He also narrowly dropped an interception, keeping that stat column empty for the time being.
  • Robbie Gould, kicker for the 49ers, converted all four of his extra point attempts in the San Francisco’s loss to the Packers.
  • Carl Nassib, defensive lineman for the Las Vegas Raiders, recorded four tackles, a quarterback hit, and a half sack en route to a 31-28 win against the Miami Dolphins.
  • Denver Broncos receiver KJ Hamler made one catch for 28 yards, en route to a 26-0 victory over the New York Jets. His day came to an end after he suffered a knee injury in the second quarter that’s reportedly a season-ending ACL tear.
  • Austin Johnson, New York Giants defensive lineman, had one sack, five tackles, and a quarterback hit against the Falcons.
  • Former Penn State punter Blake Gillikin punted five times for 249 yards in the New Orleans Saints’ 28-13 win over the New England Patriots.

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

He may or may not read every single comment he gets.

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