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Nittany Lions In The NFL: Week 14 Recap

It was another busy weekend in the NFL for Penn Staters. Some experienced career firsts, while others added to their already glowing professional resumes.

As the NFL’s regular season begins to wind down and the playoff races heat up, here’s how the former Nittany Lion stars fared through week 14.

Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys

Micah Parsons may already have Defensive Rookie of the Year locked up at this point. The rookie linebacker put in another incredible performance in the Cowboys’ 27-20 win against division rival Washington, leading to speculation that he may be in the running for Defensive Player of the Year. If he were to win, he would be the first rookie since Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor to take home the honor.

This week, Parsons had three tackles and two sacks (No. 11 and 12 on the season), including a strip-sack that led to a defensive touchdown.

Since week nine, the star of America’s Team leads the NFL in sacks (with 9.5), quarterback hits (with 16), and tackles for loss (with 10). He also shares the lead for forced fumbles over that timeframe (with three).

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady’s favorite target was once again former Penn State wide receiver Chris Godwin. On fifteen passes, Godwin reeled in ten receptions for 105 yards, as the Bucs beat the Buffalo Bills 33-27 in overtime.

Godwin now holds the league’s second-highest number of receptions on the season with 92. The reigning Super Bowl champion’s 1,054 receiving yards is also good for fourth in the NFL.

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

Rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth had a lighter load than has been the case recently, though he made the most of his limited target share. Of his three targets, Freiermuth caught two for 32 yards and a touchdown.

The one incompletion came on a last-second throw to the end zone that would have capped off an incredible comeback. Instead, the Steelers fell 38-26 to the Minnesota Vikings.

One moment will not define the former Nittany Lion’s season, though, as his individual performances have been unparalleled. As it stands, Freiermuth has more receiving touchdowns (7) this season than every other rookie tight end combined, including “generational talent” and draft class rival Kyle Pitts.

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

In his team’s 37-21 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, running back Saquon Barkley picked up 64 yards on 16 carries. He also caught three passes for 31 yards and a touchdown.

Although he had a successful showing against the Chargers, it’s been hard to call Barkley’s injury-riddled season exciting. On the year, the former No. 2 overall draft pick has only 379 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns to his name. Next week’s matchup against a reloaded and newly healthy Dallas Cowboys defense likely should not inspire much confidence.

Shaka Toney, Washington Football Team

Rookie defensive lineman Shaka Toney earned his first career NFL start when Washington’s top four defensive ends found themselves either on the injury report or the COVID-19 list.

Toney made the most of his opportunity. Playing by far the most number of single-game snaps on the year, Toney amassed four tackles and a hit on Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. As yet another two Washington defensive linemen were placed on the COVID-19 list following the game, it is likely Toney will see significant time again next week against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Other Notables

  • Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson brought in two catches on six targets for 14 yards. His underwhelming season continues as rumors continue to mount that it will be his final one at Soldier Field.
  • San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould connected on two of his three field goal attempts and each of his two extra point attempts, as his team prevailed 26-23 over the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime.
  • Green Bay Packers defensive back Adrian Amos recorded four tackles and a pass deflection as his team won 45-30 over the Chicago Bears.
  • Rookie defensive lineman Odafe Oweh‘s five tackles weren’t enough to lift the Baltimore Ravens over the Cleveland Browns. Baltimore fell 24-22 to its division rival.
  • New Orleans Saints punter Blake Gillikin punted five times for 258 yards, continuing a season that saw him named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month back in October. The Saints decimated the New York Jets 30-9.
  • Detroit Lions fullback and Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee Jason Cabinda rushed for 33 yards on three attempts, as well as picking up a catch for four yards in his team’s 38-10 losing effort against the Denver Broncos.

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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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