After a dud of a performance last week by the former Huskers, Week 9 was a strong one as the race for top Husker Performer was a heated contest. But what was even more impressive was the fact that numerous former Huskers showed off the skills that we were used to seeing in Lincoln. In this look at Huskers in the NFL I don’t just give you a stat line, instead I summarize how each former Husker did in their Week 9 games.
Top Husker Performer
Randy Gregory, Dallas
Randy Gregory was shot out of a damn cannon off the LOS. Sells speed then throws on the brakes & hits an inside club-arm over off a subtle stutter-step to put a big hit on Ben Roethlisberger.— John Owning (@JohnOwning) November 9, 2020
Love it. #Cowboys pic.twitter.com/gXbYpgbXj9
In his third game back we are starting to see the same Randy Gregory we saw at Nebraska. Gregory gave the Steelers offensive line all they could handle on Sunday finishing with five pressures along with a couple quarterback hits. Those pressures forced Roethlisberger to be off the mark on his throws and nearly forced an interception. And when you throw in a tackle for loss on fourth down to give the Cowboys offense a chance to win the game, Randy Gregory had himself a game.
Had a Good Day
Lavonte David, Tampa Bay
Other than having to play cornerback in isolation against a tight end for a red zone touchdown, it was a pretty solid game for David in the Bucs blowout loss to the Saints. David’s seven tackles were third highest on the team and he showed his coverage skills often taking away tight ends and running backs throughout the game. Not to mention his read of a screen pass in the second half was a thing of beauty. Losses like this have to sting, but you can’t fault David here.
Ndamukong Suh, Tampa Bay
The stat sheet won’t tell you the whole truth as Suh was only credited with two tackles and a tackle for loss, but he provided much more than that. Suh was able to create pressure all night. On the Saints first touchdown Suh was able to get a hit on Brees forcing the ball to float but the receiver was so open that he had time to let it fall to him. At other points in the game Suh was able to affect Brees’ throws but the Bucs just couldn’t capitalize on it.
Rex Burkhead, New England
Burkhead was another former Husker whose performance this week was reminiscent of his days with the Huskers. Sure Burkhead didn’t rush for over 100 yards, but he did end up with a touchdown and some impressive runs. Burkhead continues to lead the Patriots running backs in snaps and touches. Not only that but we saw some impressive runs for Rex as he showed his lateral agility and burst to pick up some key first downs.
Carlos Davis, Pittsburgh
An injury to Tyson Alualu, Carlos Davis was active for the first time and got to see his first NFL snaps. Davis only had 16 total snaps in the game but he showed some promise when he was in there finishing with two tackles and one of them was a key third quarter tackle for loss. Davis looked like he belonged on the field and could see an increase in playing time if Alualu is out another week.
Brent Qvale, Houston
When starting left guard Senio Kelemete went down with a concussion early in Sunday’s game that meant we got to see Qvale get his first offensive snaps of the season. Playing a majority of the game Qvale did a good enough job to help the Texans put up 27 points and get out of Jacksonville with the win. Qvale wasn’t a dominant blocker by any means but did a good job of staying in front of blockers in pass protection while he was just ok as a run blocker. With Houston having issues with their offensive line and his performance on Sunday, maybe the Texans will give Qvale some more reps?
Ameer Abdullah, Minnesota
If you’re only going to play one snap on offense all game, why not just score. That’s exactly what Ameer did against his former team taking a screen pass 22 yards for a touchdown. The Vikings have only given Abdullah a few touches, so it was nice to see him get into the endzone and showcase the playmaking ability we saw at Nebraska.
Alex Lewis, New York Jets
Monday night was another strong performance for Alex Lewis whose play has been vastly underrated. In pass protection Lewis was able to keep the Patriots defenders at bay sliding laterally and using his anchor to keep them out of the backfield. Lewis was even improved as a run blocker opening a few huge holes for Frank Gore to run through.
Sam Koch, Baltimore
Koch had his busiest day of the season with six total punts in the Ravens win over Indianapolis. Koch only had one punt downed within the 20 yard line but he was able to flip the field with a couple of his punts and forced the Colts to have to work for their drives.
Up and Down Game
Nick Gates, New York Giants
In the Giants win over Washington we had a mixed bag from Gates. He was much better in run blocking being able to turn a defender to spark a chunk run early in the game while also sealing the defensive tackle at the goalline opening a huge hole for a Wayne Gallman touchdown. In pass protection Gates was adequate when he had a defender lined up over him but continued to struggle when he had to find work as he often got caught standing there and just looking around.
Had a Rough Day
Maliek Collins, Las Vegas
After a sluggish game last week it looked as if Collins had his legs back as he was a lot more aggressive and was able to get some push against the Chargers. The bad thing is that his renewed energy didn’t allow him to make a play as he only finished with three tackles and they were all past the line of scrimmage. Not only has Collins failed to get a sack this season but he has struggled to get any pressure on the quarterback.
Joshua Kalu, Tennessee
Lamar Jackson, New York Jets
Devine Ozigbo, Jacksonville
Luke Gifford, Dallas
Khalil Davis, Tampa Bay
Cethan Carter, Cincinnati
Andy Janovich, Cleveland
Practice Squad or Injured Reserve
Nathan Gerry, Philadelphia - IR
Richie Incognito, Las Vegas - IR
Will Compton, Tennessee
Darrion Daniels, San Francisco
Freedom Akinmoladun, Cincinnati
Stanley Morgan, Cincinnati
Prince Amukamara, Arizona