Week 3 of the NFL season is in the books and had a bit of it all. We had the usual suspects excelling, a few struggling and hoping to hold onto their playing time, while we also saw a few role players are looking to use their performance to improve playing time. Each week I’ll take a look at how each of the former Huskers did in their NFL games while also highlighting the performer of the week.
Top Husker Performer
Rex Burkhead, New England
With James White inactive for a second straight week, Burkhead was the running back who had the most snaps. This week we got to see Burkhead be a playmaker just like he used to for the Huskers. Burkhead scored all three of the Patriots offensive touchdowns and was the team’s leading receiver on the day. Whether it was rushing for two touchdowns or making plays in space, we got to see some vintage Rex this weekend.
Had a Good Day
Lavonte David, Tampa Bay
Week one saw David make some key tackles for loss, week two saw David lead the team in tackles and had a forced and fumble, and now in week three we see David get his 12th career interception as the Buccaneers cruise to an easy win over the Broncos. The interception wasn’t it for David as he also had two additional pass break ups to go with four tackles.
Sam Koch, Baltimore
Baltimore’s offense struggled on Monday night and that meant we got to see Koch a little more than we are used to. In three punt attempts Koch averaged 49 yards per punt and put one of them inside the 20 yard line. In his 15th year in the NFL, Koch continues to showcase one of the strongest legs in the league who can flip the field or place the ball exactly where he wants it.
Up and Down Game
Andy Janovich, Cleveland
Week in and week out it’s going to be a roller coaster for Janovich whose impact is largely going to be dictated by game flow. This week Janovich only saw 17 total offensive snaps but did block well for Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt while adding a catch for 13 yards. Throw in a special teams tackle and it was an alright game for a full back on a team that has two dynamic running backs that they want to get on the field as much as they can.
Joshua Kalu, Tennessee
Kalu may play primarily on special teams but he has shown that he can still make an impact. With a history of blocking field goals Kalu looked as if he had another one on Sunday blocking a third quarter kick but Kalu was flagged for being offsides. But Kalu may have gotten in the head of Minnesota kicker Dan Bailey who then missed the redo which proved to be crucial as the Titans won the game by a point. Kalu’s only tackle came against former teammate Ameer Abdullah on a kickoff return.
Cethan Carter, Cincinnati
He may have only played nine snaps on offense but Carter made the most out of his opportunities and had a solid game. His only catch came for one yard but Carter continues to show that he is a good blocker helping to spring a few Joe Mixon runs. Carter has seen a small uptick in playing time since starter CJ Uzoma was lost for the year. If Carter continues to play like this he could see even more snaps.
Alex Lewis, New York Jets
The Jets offense hasn’t been great this year but you can’t put all the blame on Alex Lewis who has been one of the Jets best offensive lineman. That was the case again against the Colts as Lewis had his ups and downs. Lewis played well for most of the game but was a part of a unit that gave up seven quarterback hits but did have one of their better offensive outputs.
Ndamukong Suh, Tampa Bay
We didn’t see the big statistical game from Suh like we did last week, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t impact the game. Suh only finished with three tackles and a quarterback hit, but that hit came on a third down play forcing an incompletion and forcing a punt. Suh continues to be a strong run defender who will flash at times as a pass rusher.
Had a Bad Day
Will Compton, Tennessee
Compton was at the center of one of the best highlights of the weekend, but too bad he was on the wrong side as Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph made a sick one handed catch in the back of the endzone. The catch came after he shook Compton in coverage. The Titans won the game, but with a limited amount of snaps, it wasn’t a great day for Compton.
Maliek Collins, Las Vegas
It’s been a rough start for Collins this season as he has only two tackles and a single quarterback hit. That includes one tackle this past week when he chased down Sony Michel on a nine yard gain. Collins got rave reviews during training camp but hasn’t been able to translate that to game time. The season is still young and John Gruden has publicly shown that he has faith in Collins, but at some point he’ll need to come through and make some plays.
Nick Gates, New York Giants
In his third career game at center Nick Gates has continued to struggle with several Giants fans calling for him to be benched. The Giants offensive line has graded out in the bottom five in both pass protection and run blocking by Pro Football Focus with Gates consistently grading out poor as well. With the Giants continuing to build for the future they’ll likely give Gates all the chances to develop as he can get, but with the Rams and Aaron Donald being next week’s opponent it may only get worse.
Nathan Gerry, Philadelphia
Stats can be deceiving as Gerry for a third straight game led the Eagles with tackles, but a majority of those tackles are down the field and made after he was trailing a receiver who had just made a catch. Gerry has struggled in coverage this year allowing a 156.9 passer rating and allowing his receiver to catch all 13 times he’s been targeted.
Ameer Abdullah, Minnesota
For the third straight game Abdullah didn’t get a snap on offense, but did get some action on special teams with two kickoff returns and even a tackle on a punt return. Averaging only 23 yards per return it wasn’t a significant impact, but at least he touched the ball.
Brent Qvale, Houston
In Houston’s game against the Steelers, Qvale did get into the game but it was for only three special teams snaps. As a backup lineman there is little opportunity to play barring an injury and that looks like the only way that he’ll be playing, even though the Texans offensive line has struggled to keep Deshaun Watson clean giving up five sacks and twelve quarterback hits against Pittsburgh.
Luke Gifford, Dallas
In his second game on the active roster Gifford played only on special teams but for a second straight game he didn’t register a single tackle. With Joe Thomas playing well in the absence of Leighton Vander Esch it looks less likely Gifford will be seeing time on the defensive unit.
Inactive or Non Participant
Carlos Davis, Pittsburgh
Khalil Davis, Tampa Bay
Randy Gregory, Dallas
Practice Squad or Injured Reserve
Richie Incognito, Las Vegas - Short Term IR
Freedom Akinmoladun, Cincinnati
Darrion Daniels, San Francisco
Lamar Jackson, New York Jets
Chris Jones, Arizona
Stanley Morgan, Cincinnati
Devine Ozigbo, Jacksonville IR