Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Week 3 was perhaps a historic day in the NFL for West Virginia Mountaineers. In it, we saw two lead their team in rushing, one in receiving, and another lead their team in tackles. Oh, and three touchdowns by three different players. Let’s get started.

Raiders 17 vs. Titans 10

After the Raiders revamped defense unexpectedly hemorrhaged yards and points during the first two weeks, head coach Jack Del Rio made a few adjustments. One: insert rookie Karl Joseph as the starter. In the first two weeks, he appeared almost exclusively on special teams. Against Tennessee and Marcus Mariota, Joseph saw the field early and often, joining fellow starter Bruce Irvin. The new WVU duo made an early mark:

So how did Joseph do otherwise? He led the Raiders with 10 total tackles in the game (six solo). Bruce Irvin finished with four tackles, a forced fumble and one quarterback hit.  Irvin swapped jerseys with Titans offensive lineman Quinton Spain following the game. 

“There was a nervous feeling during the first couple drives,” Joseph said after the game, “but that wore off as the game slowed down and I started feeling comfortable.”

Vikings 22 vs. Panthers 10

Daryl Worley saw more playing time for the Panthers in what was a listless performance from the defending NFC Champs. He made a great play to break up a pass in the first half, but made a few mistakes in punt coverage, one ending in a Vikings TD. Daryl Worley had a mix of good and bad for the Panthers. The bad: an illegal motion penalty on a punt in the first quarter followed by him misplaying a punt return that ended in a touchdown. He played much better on defense, including this nice pass breakup:

 

Steelers 3 vs. Eagles 34

It took three weeks, but Wendell Smallwood is starting to show why the Eagles thought so highly of him when drafted. He stepped in and carried 17 times for 79 yards as the Eagles blew out cross-state rival Pittsburgh. Four of his carries picked up more than ten yards. He also scored his first career NFL touchdown:

Broncos 29 vs. Bengals 17

Adam Pacman Jones fumbled a punt in the first half, but led the team in tackles with seven. He also broke up a pass. Will Clarke recorded his second sack of the season.

Redskins 29 vs. Giants 27

In a game where we could have seen three WVUPros, only one played. Both Will Johnson and J.T. Thomas are on injured reserve for the Giants. Terence Garvin recorded one tackle for Washington.

Rams 37 vs. Bucs 32

This game featured two touchdowns from Mountaineers. Charles Sims got on the board first for Tampa with a 1-yard touchdown. Later, Keith Tandy had a chance to catch up with Tavon Austin. But only briefly.


Austin finished with 82 yards on five catches and that touchdown, and carried the ball twice for 22. Charles Sims gained 55 yards on 15 carries and a TD on the ground and contributed an additional 69 yards in the passing game. Keith Tandy had one tackle.

Chargers 22 vs. Colts 26

Pat McAfee punted three times, landing all inside the 20.

Bears vs. Cowboys

 

Nick Kwiatkoski was inactive for the first two weeks of the season, but started at ILB for the Bears who were without Danny Trevathan. Kwiatkoski missed almost all of training camp, the preseason, and the first two weeks due to a hamstring he opened the first Saturday of training camp. The hamstring appears fine. Ask La’el Collins:

Kwiatkoski finished with one tackle. The Bears offense struggled with Jay Cutler sidelined with a thumb injury throughout much of the game. Kevin White had five of his six catches (for 62 yards) late in the game. We’ll leave you this week with this catch from White.

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