It was a sterling week for some of the best Huskers in the NFL, with the five highlighted today going 4-1-0 and generally proving their dominance on the field. Eighteen former Huskers in total suited up to play this week, in a good week all around for the alumni.
Let’s look at how some of the top performers fared in Week 3 of Huskers in the NFL.
Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots
Running back Rex Burkhead shined for the second consecutive week in the absence of starting running back James White, contributing 98 total yards and a career-high three total touchdowns in the New England Patriots’ 36-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
Burkhead has always been utilized as a receiver out of the backfield in New England under head coach Bill Belichick and Sunday was no exception. Burkhead tallied a team-leading seven receptions and a team-high 49 yards, as well as a touchdown reception. He added another 49 yards and two touchdowns on the ground from six carries.
Though Burkhead appeared in just 46% of the Patriots’ snaps on Sunday, compared to 71% in Week 2 against the Seahawks, there may be reasons beyond a dip in quality for the seasoned running back. For one, the Patriots established a big lead in the third quarter. It’s also possible that the answer is tied to Burkhead’s efficiency with the ball over previous weeks.
Against the Raiders, he averaged over 7.5 yards on 13 touches, while in Week 2 he only averaged 4.9 yards on 10 touches. This may have spurred Belichick’s decision to reduce Burkhead’s overall load against the Raiders.
Next up, the New England Patriots have a road matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.
Nathan Gerry, LB, Philadelphia Eagles
Linebacker Nathan Gerry tallied eight tackles and one pass defended in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 23-23 tie against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Gerry and the Eagles defense performed well, surrendering just over 300 total yards and 24 first downs, but were hampered by two costly interceptions from quarterback Carson Wentz.
Despite another all-around mediocre performance, the Eagles were able to force overtime against the Bengals thanks to a late Wentz rushing touchdown.
Gerry and the defense held their end of the bargain, stalling the Bengals offense, but the Eagles offense was completely stagnant in overtime. They even passed on a 64-yard game-winning field goal in the waning moments of overtime in favor of a tie-sealing punt.
The Eagles and Bengals now have the dubious title of being the only NFL teams to ever tie twice, despite being in separate conferences and only playing once every four years.
The Philadelphia Eagles will continue to search for their first win of the season when they face the injury riddled San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at 7:20 p.m. on NBC.
Lavonte David, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Linebacker Lavonte David compiled four tackles and two passes defended in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos.
David and the Tampa defense had another great performance on Sunday against Broncos quarterback Jeff Driskel, who made his first career start against the Buccaneers in place of the injured Drew Lock.
David played in 100% of the Buccaneers’ crushing blowout of Denver, he has yet to miss a defensive snap so far this season.
Next, the Buccaneers have a home matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday at noon on CBS.
Andy Janovich, FB, Cleveland Browns
Fullback Andy Janovich made one reception for 13 yards and one tackle on special teams in the Cleveland Browns’ 34-20 win over the Washington Football Team.
Janovich was present for 27% of snaps as he began to become more incorporated in Kevin Stefanski’s new offense in Cleveland.
Janovich helped lead the way to 158 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. With his help, the Browns are third in the league in rushing yards per game at just over 170.
Next week, the Cleveland Browns will head to AT&T Stadium to face the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at noon on FOX.
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh contributed three tackles and a quarterback hit in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos.
Suh anchored a defensive line that harassed the Broncos all day, absorbing double blocks on the interior to free up rushing lanes for others. This led to the Bucs compiling six total sacks as a team, eight tackles for a loss and 10 quarterback hits.
Suh appeared on 71% of Tampa’s defensive snaps, slightly down from previous weeks, but this can likely be attributed to the large lead the Bucs accumulated in the second quarter.
Suh is still a great player and can be very impactful, but Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is learning how much he can play the 11-year veteran. Pacing Suh’s snaps this season is especially important considering the Buccaneers’ playoff ambitions.