We are at the halfway mark of the 2020 NFL season and more and more Huskers are beginning to see the field and make impacts. This week we saw the Tampa Huskers back to their old selves while a few former offensive lineman are looking to steal the show. As always I take a look at each former Husker in how they did in their Week 8 games while looking at the top Husker performer.
Top Husker Performer
Nick Gates, New York Giants
New York Giants center Nick Gates was very effective pulling on Monday Night. Here he gets out to his right and cuts the LB to help spring the RB for a 1st down. #NFL #NYGiants pic.twitter.com/L2KjPdMj1T— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) November 3, 2020
The top Husker performer could have easily gone to Suh who had a good statistical game, but we have to recognize the performance that Gates had against the Bucs in that same game. It’s been an interesting season for Gates who transitioned to center and has had to learn on the fly. However against a tough Bucs team he not only held his own but played very well. Sure he may have gotten tossed around a few times by Suh but he rarely gave up any pressure and was very effective as a run blocker, especially when used to pull to the outside.
Had a Good Day
Lavonte David, Tampa Bay
Highest graded players from MNF:— PFF (@PFF) November 3, 2020
1. Leonard Williams - 85.7
2. Lavonte David - 82.7
3. Tom Brady - 82.5
4. Ndamukong Suh - 78.3
5. Sterling Shepard - 77.2 pic.twitter.com/2XD0G3JIiG
Not flashy but productive that was the story for Lavonte David in the Buccaneers win on Monday Night. David only had five tackles and one pass defended but he did everything he needed to do. Whether that was covering tight ends down the seam, getting penetration as a blitzer or just being in a place to make a tackle.
Ndamukong Suh, Tampa Bay
@NdamukongSuh now has four sacks on the season, 1.5 more than his entire 2019 output.— Y2Flu (@y2flu) November 3, 2020
The Buccaneers defense has been one of the league's best this season, and Suh's dominant play in the trenches is a big reason why. pic.twitter.com/qzMFVjNNg5
Suh isn’t the dominant player that he had been in Detroit but he still has shown the ability with Tampa to help the Buccaneers unit be one of the best in the NFL. That continued Monday night where he had his fourth sack on the season but he also was able to get five total quarterback hits on Daniel Jones. That pressure showed as Jones often back pedaled in the pocket and even made a few throws off his back foot.
Rex Burkhead, New England
As usual Burkhead led the Patriots running backs in total snaps but lost out on touches as Damien Harris had a breakout game rushing for over 100 yards. But when the Patriots needed a clutch run they turned to Burkhead who had a big third and 10 conversion on a draw play while he was able to pick up a 3rd and one run in the fourth quarter. Even more Burkhead’s blocking was good as he was able to occupy a defender on Cam’s final run in the fourth quarter where Newton got a big gain but ended up fumbling. Burkhead may have only had 7 touches and only 31 total yards, for what he’s being asked to do he’s doing it well.
Cethan Carter, Cincinnati
A week after being a surprise inactive with an injury Carter was back and logged his highest number of snaps on the season. Used primarily as a blocker Carter continued to block well with a couple of key blocks that helped Samje Perine get a touchdown and a nice chunk run by Gio Bennard. Carter wasn’t done there as he had two targets in the passing game drawing a pass interference on one play and making a nice sideline grab on the other.
Sam Koch, Baltimore
Another solid punting day for Sam Koch whose three punts all did what the Ravens needed them to do. Two punts on short field put the Steelers to field the ball at the ten yard line, while his other punt went 44 yards flipping the field. Koch didn’t have any highlight level punts but continues to prove that he is one of the best in the game.
Up and Down Game
Alex Lewis, New York Jets
Back into the starting lineup after missing last week’s game, Alex Lewis had a tough assignment as he had to block one of the best interior defensive line in Chris Jones. After giving up some initial penetration and a couple of quarterback hits, Lewis settled in and did a quality job of keeping Sam Darnold clean. Yeah it was Lewis who was blocking Tershawn Wharton, but it was Darnold who scrambled up and ran right into him. Lewis gave up some plays but for the most part had a good game, especially as a run blocker.
Randy Gregory, Dallas
In only his second game back we are starting to see that Randy Gregory hasn’t lost any of his athleticism while he was away from the game. Against the Eagles Gregory finished with only one quarterback hit and was called for a questionable roughing the passer call, but did show the speed and agility that commanded a few double teams throughout the game. Against the run was another story as Gregory did finish with four tackles but was moved around quite a bit. Gregory is quickly catching up to speed and I cannot wait to see what the rest of his season looks like.
Had a Rough Day
Andy Janovich, Cleveland
You would think that in a low scoring game being played in 35-40 mph winds that the Browns would be committed to their run game and that Janovich would play a huge role. Right? Nope, instead the Browns played Janovich only 6 snaps and the Browns ran the ball only 22 times. At least Janovich did get a target in the passing game on a screen pass on third a long, too bad the ball was high and a bit behind going right through Janovich’s hands.
Maliek Collins, Las Vegas
After a strong return last week against the Buccaneers it looked as if Collins was going to be on his way to turning his season around. Instead against the Browns Collins looked lethargic and struggled to make an impact as he finished the game with just one assisted tackle. At times Collins looked like he was limping and didn’t have the same juice that he did last week. Maybe it was the cold causing some stiffness, but regardless it was a bad day.
Joshua Kalu, Tennessee
Ameer Abdullah, Minnesota
Lamar Jackson, New York Jets
Inactive or Non Participant
Luke Gifford, Dallas
Carlos Davis, Pittsburgh
Khalil Davis, Tampa Bay
Brent Qvale, Houston
Devine Ozigbo, Jacksonville
Practice Squad or Injured Reserve
Nathan Gerry, Philadelphia - IR
Stanley Morgan, Cincinnati
Freedom Akinmoladun, Cincinnati
Prince Amukamara, Arizona
Darrion Daniels, San Francisco
Richie Incognito, Las Vegas -IR
Will Compton, Tennessee