Penn Staters At The Next Level: Week 11

While it wasn’t a spectacular weekend for Nittany Lions in the NFL, a few former Penn Staters turned in solid performances for their respective teams.

Amani Oruwariye, CB, Detroit Lions

The Lions had a miserable Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, getting shut out for the first time in 11 years by the Carolina Panthers, 20-0.

The score could have been worse if not for a pair of red zone interceptions by Detroit’s defense, including one from Amani Oruwariye, his first of the season.

Oruwariye has been the Lions best cornerback this season, outperforming top-three pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Jeff Okudah of Ohio State.

As noted by MLive.com, Oruwariye is allowing just one yard per coverage snap for the season, which ranks among the top 25 cornerbacks who have played at least half their team’s defensive snaps. 

According to Pro Football Focus, the former Nittany Lion was the Lions highest-graded defensive player in Week 11 and third-best among all defenders in the NFL. 

Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Godwin’s fourth quarter touchdown to tie Tampa Bay with the Rams looked as though it was going to give his team a huge boost heading into crunch time on Monday Night Football.

Photo By Steve Manuel

That didn’t prove to be the case, though, as the Los Angeles offense connected on a field goal on its ensuing drive and Tom Brady subsequently threw an awful INT on the next Bucs possession. 

No team has been more up and down this season by Tampa Bay. The Bucs have some impressive wins over Green Bay and Las Vegas, but equally out-of-sync performances like the one against the Rams. 

Godwin has remained a consistent contributor, however. He finished Monday’s game with 53 yards on seven receptions and that touchdown. 

Even with Tampa’s eventual defeat, it was a heck of an effort on the part of Godwin to reach the end zone for the tying score, leaping over a defender near the goal line and stretching out for six. 

Adrian Amos, S, Green Bay Packers

It’s tough to put all the blame on the Packers’ defense for the team’s second half collapse in Sunday’s loss at the Colts, as the Green Bay offense was stagnant and turnover prone after halftime.

Amos was his usual solid self in the Green Bay secondary, coming up with seven tackles and a pass defended. 

Photo By Steve Manuel

He and the Packers’ defense held their own for as long as they could, but too many mistakes by the offense — including a fumble on their own side of the field in OT — proved decisive in Indianapolis’ 34-31 win.

Amos and his teammates will look to bounce back at home on Sunday Night Football against the Chicago Bears in Week 12.

Nittany Lions In The NFL
Baltimore Ravens (1): Trace McSorley
Buffalo Bills (1): Ryan Bates
Carolina Panthers (2): Yetur Gross-Matos, Shareef Miller 
Chicago Bears (2): Jordan Lucas, Allen Robinson II
Dallas Cowboys (2): Sean Lee, Connor McGovern
Denver Broncos (2): DaeSean Hamilton, KJ Hamler 
Detroit Lions (3): Jason Cabinda, Jesse James, Amani Oruwariye
Green Bay Packers (1): Adrian Amos 
Houston Texans (1): John Reid 
Indianapolis Colts (1): Robert Windsor 
Kansas City Chiefs (1): Stefen Wisniewski
Las Vegas Raiders (2): Nick Bowers, Carl Nassib
Los Angeles Rams (1): Nick Scott
Miami Dolphins (1): Mike Gesicki
Minnesota Vikings (1): Dan Chisena 
New Orleans Saints (1): Blake Gillikin 
New York Giants (3): Saquon Barkley, Cam Brown, Austin Johnson
New York Jets (1): Sam Ficken, Chris Hogan, Ross Travis
Philadelphia Eagles (2): Miles Sanders, Shareef Miller
Pittsburgh Steelers (1): Marcus Allen
San Francisco 49ers (2): Kevin Givens, Robbie Gould 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3): Chris Godwin, A.Q. Shipley, Donovan Smith 
Tennessee Titans (2): Jack Crawford, DaQuan Jones
Washington Football Team (1): Troy Apke 

Nittany Lions On NFL Coaching Staffs
Matt Rhule – Carolina Panthers Head Coach
Tom Bradley – Pittsburgh Steelers DBs Coach
Bobby Engram – Baltimore Ravens TEs Coach
Al Golden – Cincinnati Bengals LBs Coach
D’Anton Lynn – Houston Texans Secondary Coach
Mike Munchak – Denver Broncos OL Coach
Jeff Nixon – Carolina Panthers Senior Offensive Assistant

Penn Staters At The Next Level: Week 10

It was another productive weekend for some former Penn State stars in the NFL, so let’s get to the highlights.

Adrian Amos, S, Green Bay Packers

Photo By Steve Manuel

Amos continues to shine in Green Bay’s secondary. In Sunday’s win over the Jaguars, it was the Green Bay defense, not it’s high powered offense, that had to carry the Packers for most of the game. 

With Jacksonville approaching midfield in the second quarter, Amos jumped in front of the intended receiver and snagged an interception — his first of the 2020 season. 

Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

It’s safe to say Tampa Bay was a little ticked off after its drubbing at the hands of the New Orleans Saints a week ago on Sunday Night Football. 

The Bucs offense was unstoppable in their bounceback win over Carolina in Week 10, racking up 46 points and 544 yards of total offense. 

Photo By Steve Manuel

Godwin was once again a focal point, with six receptions for 92 yards. 

Even with Antonio Brown in the lineup, the former Nittany Lion is sure to continue to receive a high-amount of targets from Tom Brady. 

Carl Nassib,  DL, Las Vegas Raiders

Photo By Steve Manuel

Hey, who doesn’t love when a defensive lineman gets an interception?

Nassib snagged his first career INT in Las Vegas’ 37-13 win over divisional rivals Denver on Sunday, catching Broncos QB Drew Lock completely by surprise as he dropped into coverage in the middle of the field.

Nasib and the Raiders will now host the Kansas City Chiefs for a huge matchup on Sunday Night Football in Week 11. 

DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Denver Broncos

It was a tough day at the office for the Denver offense, but Hamilton came up with another touchdown grab. 

That gives him two touchdowns in as many weeks.

Photo By Steve Manuel

He finished the game with three receptions for 33 yards and that score.

Nittany Lions In The NFL
Baltimore Ravens (1): Trace McSorley
Buffalo Bills (1): Ryan Bates
Carolina Panthers (2): Yetur Gross-Matos, Shareef Miller 
Chicago Bears (2): Jordan Lucas, Allen Robinson II
Dallas Cowboys (2): Sean Lee, Connor McGovern
Denver Broncos (2): DaeSean Hamilton, KJ Hamler 
Detroit Lions (3): Jason Cabinda, Jesse James, Amani Oruwariye
Green Bay Packers (1): Adrian Amos 
Houston Texans (1): John Reid 
Indianapolis Colts (1): Robert Windsor 
Las Vegas Raiders (2): Nick Bowers, Carl Nassib
Los Angeles Rams (1): Nick Scott
Miami Dolphins (1): Mike Gesicki
Minnesota Vikings (1): Dan Chisena 
New Orleans Saints (1): Blake Gillikin 
New York Giants (3): Saquon Barkley, Cam Brown, Austin Johnson
New York Jets (1): Sam Ficken, Chris Hogan, Ross Travis
Philadelphia Eagles (2): Miles Sanders, Trevor Williams, Shareef Miller
Pittsburgh Steelers (1): Marcus Allen
San Francisco 49ers (2): Kevin Givens, Robbie Gould 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3): Chris Godwin, A.Q. Shipley, Donovan Smith 
Tennessee Titans (2): Jack Crawford, DaQuan Jones
Washington Football Team (1): Troy Apke 

Nittany Lions On NFL Coaching Staffs
Matt Rhule – Carolina Panthers Head Coach
Tom Bradley – Pittsburgh Steelers DBs Coach
Bobby Engram – Baltimore Ravens TEs Coach
Al Golden – Cincinnati Bengals LBs Coach
D’Anton Lynn – Houston Texans Secondary Coach
Mike Munchak – Denver Broncos OL Coach
Jeff Nixon – Carolina Panthers Senior Offensive Assistant

Penn Staters At The Next Level: Week 9

After our first eight Penn Staters At The Next Level recaps were dominated by offensive players, Week 9 saw defensive players take the spotlight. 

DaQuan Jones, DL, Tennessee Titans 

The Titans defense had struggled mightily in recent weeks, but had a nice performance against the Bears in Week 9.

At the heart of this improved effort was former Nittany Lion DaQuan Jones. The seven-year vet was a force along Tennessee’s defensive line, recording five solo tackles, two assisted stops and a half sack. 

Jones and the Titans D held Chicago to just 56 yards rushing. 

Adrian Amos, S, Green Bay Packers

It was another strong showing for Adrian Amos as Green Bay got a little bit of revenge on a depleted 49ers squad with a 34-17 win. 

Photo By Steve Manuel

Amos recorded five tackles (second highest on the team) and Green Bay turned the tables on San Francisco after an embarrassing loss to the same foe in the NFC Championship Game just over 10 months ago.  

Amos and the rest of the Packers defense will look to keep this momentum going against a bad Jacksonville team in Week 10. 

Carl Nassib,  DL, Las Vegas Raiders

Don’t look now, but the Raiders are 5-3 and look to have a very good shot to make the playoffs in this year’s expanded format.

Former Lion Carl Nassib had two tackles and a sack in Las Vegas’ 31-26 win over the division rival Chargers on Sunday.

Photo By Steve Manuel

Two more clashes with AFC West Opponents — the Broncos and Chiefs — loom large in the Raiders’ quest to make the postseason for the first time since 2016. 

KJ Hamler, WR, Denver Broncos

A week after snagging the game-winning touchdown for Denver against Los Angeles, Hamler turned in another strong showing for the Broncos in Week 9.

The rookie wideout hauled in six receptions for 75 yards on a team-high 10 targets. 

He seems to be developing a good rapport with Denver QB Drew Lock, and assuming the pair can stay healthy, that bodes well for the team from Mile High.

Photo By Steve Manuel

Nittany Lions In The NFL
Baltimore Ravens (1): Trace McSorley
Buffalo Bills (1): Ryan Bates
Carolina Panthers (2): Yetur Gross-Matos, Shareef Miller 
Chicago Bears (2): Jordan Lucas, Allen Robinson II
Dallas Cowboys (2): Sean Lee, Connor McGovern
Denver Broncos (2): DaeSean Hamilton, KJ Hamler 
Detroit Lions (3): Jason Cabinda, Jesse James, Amani Oruwariye
Green Bay Packers (1): Adrian Amos 
Houston Texans (1): John Reid 
Indianapolis Colts (1): Robert Windsor 
Las Vegas Raiders (2): Nick Bowers, Carl Nassib
Los Angeles Rams (1): Nick Scott
Miami Dolphins (1): Mike Gesicki
Minnesota Vikings (1): Dan Chisena 
New Orleans Saints (1): Blake Gillikin 
New York Giants (3): Saquon Barkley, Cam Brown, Austin Johnson
New York Jets (1): Sam Ficken, Chris Hogan, Ross Travis
Philadelphia Eagles (2): Miles Sanders, Trevor Williams, Shareef Miller
Pittsburgh Steelers (1): Marcus Allen, Stefen Wisniewski 
San Francisco 49ers (2): Kevin Givens, Robbie Gould 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3): Chris Godwin, A.Q. Shipley, Donovan Smith 
Tennessee Titans (2): Jack Crawford, DaQuan Jones
Washington Football Team (1): Troy Apke 

Nittany Lions On NFL Coaching Staffs
Matt Rhule – Carolina Panthers Head Coach
Tom Bradley – Pittsburgh Steelers DBs Coach
Bobby Engram – Baltimore Ravens TEs Coach
Al Golden – Cincinnati Bengals LBs Coach
D’Anton Lynn – Houston Texans Secondary Coach
Mike Munchak – Denver Broncos OL Coach
Jeff Nixon – Carolina Panthers Senior Offensive Assistant

Penn Staters At The Next Level: Week 8

Even with Chris Godwin out of Tampa Bay’s lineup due to a finger injury, it was still a stellar weekend for Penn State wide receivers in the NFL.

KJ Hamler, WR, Denver Broncos

It seemed like the Broncos were finished in the third quarter of Sunday’s game with their division rival Los Angeles Charges. Trailing 24-3 and an offense that was sputtering, it seemed pretty improbable Denver had enough firepower to turn it around.

Photo By Steve Manuel

That proved not to be the case as the Broncos rallied for a stunning 31-30 win and the fourth largest comeback in franchise history.

Former Nittany Lion KJ Hamler one of the biggest heroes of the day for Denver, doing just enough to stay in bounds and corral a pass from Drew Lock to score the game-winning touchdown — the first touchdown of Hamler’s NFL career.

DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Denver Broncos

Hamler’s teammate (and fellow former Penn Stater) DaeSean Hamilton also had a big day for Denver.

Photo By Steve Manuel

Hamilton snagged Lock’s pass near the Chargers’ 20-yard line and sped toward the end zone to cut the deficit at that point to just three points at 27-24.

Overall, Hamilton finished with four receptions for 82 yards and that touchdown. The receiving total was Hamilton’s highest in a single game in his NFL career.

Allen Robinson II, WR, Chicago Bears

Photo By Steve Manuel

Another week, another Allen Robinson II appearance in our recap.

Even with the Bears offense continuing to struggle in their second straight loss, Robinson II continues to be a workhorse for Chicago.

He finished with six passes for 87 yards and this terrific touchdown grab. That’s some elite concentration to haul that one in while diving on to the cold turf of Soldier Field.

Nittany Lions In The NFL
Baltimore Ravens (1): Trace McSorley
Buffalo Bills (1): Ryan Bates
Carolina Panthers (2): Yetur Gross-Matos, Shareef Miller 
Chicago Bears (2): Jordan Lucas, Allen Robinson II
Dallas Cowboys (2): Sean Lee, Connor McGovern
Denver Broncos (2): DaeSean Hamilton, KJ Hamler 
Detroit Lions (3): Jason Cabinda, Jesse James, Amani Oruwariye
Green Bay Packers (1): Adrian Amos 
Houston Texans (1): John Reid 
Indianapolis Colts (1): Robert Windsor 
Las Vegas Raiders (2): Nick Bowers, Carl Nassib
Los Angeles Rams (1): Nick Scott
Miami Dolphins (1): Mike Gesicki
Minnesota Vikings (1): Dan Chisena 
New Orleans Saints (1): Blake Gillikin 
New York Giants (3): Saquon Barkley, Cam Brown, Austin Johnson
New York Jets (1): Sam Ficken, Chris Hogan, Ross Travis
Philadelphia Eagles (2): Miles Sanders, Trevor Williams, Shareef Miller
Pittsburgh Steelers (1): Marcus Allen, Stefen Wisniewski 
San Francisco 49ers (2): Kevin Givens, Robbie Gould 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3): Chris Godwin, A.Q. Shipley, Donovan Smith 
Tennessee Titans (2): Jack Crawford, DaQuan Jones
Washington Football Team (1): Troy Apke 

Nittany Lions On NFL Coaching Staffs
Matt Rhule – Carolina Panthers Head Coach
Tom Bradley – Pittsburgh Steelers DBs Coach
Bobby Engram – Baltimore Ravens TEs Coach
Al Golden – Cincinnati Bengals LBs Coach
D’Anton Lynn – Houston Texans Secondary Coach
Mike Munchak – Denver Broncos OL Coach
Jeff Nixon – Carolina Panthers Senior Offensive Assistant

Penn Staters At The Next Level: Week 7

After a few weeks out of the spotlight with an injury, Chris Godwin returned to form with an excellent performance for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He leads off our Penn Staters At The Next Level recap for Week 7. 

Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Photo By Steve Manuel

Godwin looks to be the favorite target of quarterback Tom Brady among all the impressive offensive weapons at his disposal. 

Brady targeted Godwin a team-high nine times in Sunday’s 45-20 when over the Oakland — check that, I mean Las Vegas — Raiders. Godwin caught all nine of his targets for 88 yards, including this tip-toed touchdown reception to put the Bucs up by double digits in the fourth quarter. 

The only bad news from Godwin’s performance is that he suffered an injury to his index finger and underwent surgery on Tuesday.

He will miss his team’s Monday Night matchup against the New York Giants in Week 8, but there’s a possibility he returns to the lineup in Week 9. 

Adrian Amos, S, Green Bay Packers

Photo By Steve Manuel

As I mentioned earlier in the season, Amos seems to be the leader of the Packers’ secondary and had another strong showing in Green Bay’s 35-20 win over the Texans. 

Amos notched six tackles and his first sack of the season against Houston, as the Packers rebounded from their first loss of the season a week ago. 

Kevin Givens, DL, San Francisco 49ers

Photo By Steve Manuel

That had to feel good! Givens recorded his first career sack as a pro, taking down Patriots backup QB Jarret Stidham late in the fourth quarter of the 49ers’ dominant road win over New England.

It might have been a garbage time sack, but hey, they all count the same in the record book.

With San Francisco dealing with a ton of injuries to their defensive line, Givens has seen more and more playing time this season. 

Nittany Lions In The NFL
Baltimore Ravens (1): Trace McSorley
Buffalo Bills (1): Ryan Bates
Carolina Panthers (2): Yetur Gross-Matos, Shareef Miller 
Chicago Bears (2): Jordan Lucas, Allen Robinson II
Dallas Cowboys (2): Sean Lee, Connor McGovern
Denver Broncos (2): DaeSean Hamilton, KJ Hamler 
Detroit Lions (3): Jason Cabinda, Jesse James, Amani Oruwariye
Green Bay Packers (1): Adrian Amos 
Houston Texans (1): John Reid 
Indianapolis Colts (1): Robert Windsor 
Las Vegas Raiders (2): Nick Bowers, Carl Nassib
Los Angeles Rams (1): Nick Scott
Miami Dolphins (1): Mike Gesicki
Minnesota Vikings (1): Dan Chisena 
New Orleans Saints (1): Blake Gillikin 
New York Giants (3): Saquon Barkley, Cam Brown, Austin Johnson
New York Jets (1): Sam Ficken, Chris Hogan, Ross Travis
Philadelphia Eagles (2): Miles Sanders, Trevor Williams, Shareef Miller
Pittsburgh Steelers (1): Marcus Allen, Stefen Wisniewski 
San Francisco 49ers (2): Kevin Givens, Robbie Gould 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3): Chris Godwin, A.Q. Shipley, Donovan Smith 
Tennessee Titans (2): Jack Crawford, DaQuan Jones
Washington Football Team (1): Troy Apke 

Nittany Lions On NFL Coaching Staffs
Matt Rhule – Carolina Panthers Head Coach
Tom Bradley – Pittsburgh Steelers DBs Coach
Bobby Engram – Baltimore Ravens TEs Coach
Al Golden – Cincinnati Bengals LBs Coach
D’Anton Lynn – Houston Texans Secondary Coach
Mike Munchak – Denver Broncos OL Coach
Jeff Nixon – Carolina Panthers Senior Offensive Assistant

Penn Staters At The Next Level: Week 6

While Miles Sanders makes his return to our Penn Staters At The Next Level series for Week 6, we also highlight two new faces in Amani Oruwariye and DaQuan Jones. 

Amani Oruwariye, CB, Detroit Lions

Oruwariye continues to improve and has become a steady presence in a Lions secondary that badly needed some consistent performers. 

He was tasked with locking down Jaguars star DJ Chark Jr. and was well up to the challenge, holding the wide receiver to just 43 yards on a game-high 14 targets. 

Oruwariye also recorded two tackles and two passes defended as the Lions improved to 2-3 on the season following a bye week in Week 5. 

Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Photo By Steve Manuel

For the first time this season, Sanders rushed for over 100 yards as Philadelphia nearly pulled off an incredible comeback over the Baltimore Ravens. 

His 74-yard rush in the third quarter saw Sanders fumble near the goal line but the ball was recovered in the end zone by teammate JJ Arcega-Whiteside for an Eagles touchdown. 

Unfortunately for Sanders, he left the game with a knee injury and did not return. The Eagles have already announced he will miss the team’s Thursday Night Football clash against the Giants in Week 7. 

DaQuan Jones, DL, Tennessee Titans

Photo By Steve Manuel

In his return to action after testing positive for COVID-19 a few weeks ago, Jones sacked Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and notched another four tackles.

Now that’s how you mark your comeback into the lineup. 

The Titans remained undefeated on the season by defeating Houston in a 42-36 thriller. 

Nittany Lions In The NFL
Baltimore Ravens (1): Trace McSorley
Buffalo Bills (1): Ryan Bates
Carolina Panthers (2): Yetur Gross-Matos, Shareef Miller 
Chicago Bears (2): Jordan Lucas, Allen Robinson II
Dallas Cowboys (2): Sean Lee, Connor McGovern
Denver Broncos (2): DaeSean Hamilton, KJ Hamler 
Detroit Lions (3): Jason Cabinda, Jesse James, Amani Oruwariye
Green Bay Packers (1): Adrian Amos 
Houston Texans (1): John Reid 
Indianapolis Colts (1): Robert Windsor 
Las Vegas Raiders (2): Nick Bowers, Carl Nassib
Los Angeles Rams (1): Nick Scott
Miami Dolphins (1): Mike Gesicki
Minnesota Vikings (1): Dan Chisena 
New Orleans Saints (1): Blake Gillikin 
New York Giants (3): Saquon Barkley, Cam Brown, Austin Johnson
New York Jets (1): Sam Ficken, Chris Hogan, Ross Travis
Philadelphia Eagles (2): Miles Sanders, Trevor Williams, Shareef Miller
Pittsburgh Steelers (1): Marcus Allen, Stefen Wisniewski 
San Francisco 49ers (2): Kevin Givens, Robbie Gould 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3): Chris Godwin, A.Q. Shipley, Donovan Smith 
Tennessee Titans (2): Jack Crawford, DaQuan Jones
Washington Football Team (1): Troy Apke 

Nittany Lions On NFL Coaching Staffs
Matt Rhule – Carolina Panthers Head Coach
Tom Bradley – Pittsburgh Steelers DBs Coach
Bobby Engram – Baltimore Ravens TEs Coach
Al Golden – Cincinnati Bengals LBs Coach
D’Anton Lynn – Houston Texans Secondary Coach
Mike Munchak – Denver Broncos OL Coach
Jeff Nixon – Carolina Panthers Senior Offensive Assistant

Penn Staters At The Next Level: Week 5

It was another impressive performance from Allen Robinson II, while Miles Sanders starred in his homecoming.

Here were this week’s standout Nittany Lion performers in the NFL for Week 5.

Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Despite his team’s loss to the Steelers in the battle of Pennsylvania’s two teams, Sanders had a productive outing in his return to his native Pittsburgh.

Sanders collected his career-long rush with a 74-yard gallop to the end zone in the first quarter.

He posted a second touchdown midway through the second quarter by powering through a few defenders at the goal line to tie the score at 14. 

Sanders leads the Eagles in rushing yards with 316 on the season.

Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins

Photo By Steven Manuel

Speaking of career longs, Gesicki posted his longest NFL catch to date with a 70-yard catch on a beautifully run route against the 49ers.

Gesicki was tabbed by many to be a breakout player at the tight end position this season and he has not disappointed. He seems to be getting better each week and has developed a great rapport with Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

The former Penn State star is second on the team in receptions (18) and yards (281) this season. He’s also found the end zone twice.  

Allen Robinson II, WR, Chicago Bears

Photo By Steve Manuel

In a weekend full of upsets, Robinson II and the Chicago Bears got the party started on Thursday night football in a 20-19 upset over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

He was Nick Foles’ favorite target in the win, snagging 10 catches on 16 targets for 90 yards.

Robinson II currently sits sixth in the league with 35 receptions and eighth in receiving yards with 421. 

Not bad for a receiver playing for an offense that has struggled to move the ball with consistency early this season. 

Nittany Lions In The NFL
Baltimore Ravens (1): Trace McSorley
Buffalo Bills (1): Ryan Bates
Carolina Panthers (2): Yetur Gross-Matos, Shareef Miller 
Chicago Bears (2): Jordan Lucas, Allen Robinson II
Dallas Cowboys (2): Sean Lee, Connor McGovern
Denver Broncos (2): DaeSean Hamilton, KJ Hamler 
Detroit Lions (3): Jason Cabinda, Jesse James, Amani Oruwariye
Green Bay Packers (1): Adrian Amos 
Houston Texans (1): John Reid 
Indianapolis Colts (1): Robert Windsor 
Las Vegas Raiders (2): Nick Bowers, Carl Nassib
Los Angeles Rams (1): Nick Scott
Miami Dolphins (1): Mike Gesicki
Minnesota Vikings (1): Dan Chisena 
New Orleans Saints (1): Blake Gillikin 
New York Giants (3): Saquon Barkley, Cam Brown, Austin Johnson
New York Jets (1): Sam Ficken, Chris Hogan, Ross Travis
Philadelphia Eagles (2): Miles Sanders, Trevor Williams 
Pittsburgh Steelers (1): Marcus Allen, Stefen Wisniewski 
San Francisco 49ers (2): Kevin Givens, Robbie Gould 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3): Chris Godwin, A.Q. Shipley, Donovan Smith 
Tennessee Titans (2): Jack Crawford, DaQuan Jones
Washington Football Team (1): Troy Apke 

Nittany Lions On NFL Coaching Staffs
Matt Rhule – Carolina Panthers Head Coach
Tom Bradley – Pittsburgh Steelers DBs Coach
Bobby Engram – Baltimore Ravens TEs Coach
Al Golden – Cincinnati Bengals LBs Coach
D’Anton Lynn – Houston Texans Secondary Coach
Mike Munchak – Denver Broncos OL Coach
Jeff Nixon – Carolina Panthers Senior Offensive Assistant

Penn Staters At The Next Level: Week 3

From Allen Robinson II muscling through defenders to help the Chicago Bears complete another crazy comeback to Jesse James’ first touchdown for the Detroit Lions, it was another productive day for Penn Staters in the NFL.

Let’s take a look at some of the standout Sunday Nittany Lions. 

Allen Robinson II, WR, Chicago Bears
There’s been a fair amount of trade speculation with Robinson II in recent weeks, but that hasn’t affected his performances at all. He leads Chicago in targets, receptions and receiving yards.

He didn’t skip a beat as the Bears transitioned from Mitchell Trubisky to Nick Foles midway through Chicago’s matchup with the Falcons on Sunday. Foles connected with Robinson for a big 37-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter to continue the Bears’ comeback. 

Robinson II finished with 10 catches for a 123 yards as Chicago pulled off the 26-23 win to become one of the more surprising 3-0 teams in the league. 

Trip Down Memory Lane: Robinson outmuscles Ohio State defender for leaping grab

Photo Credit: Steve Manuel

Adrian Amos, S, Green Bay Packers
Amos continues to be one of the leaders in the Green Bay secondary and despite New Orleans putting up 30 points on Sunday, the defense did enough to give the Packers a road win on Sunday Night Football.

With Aaron Rodgers playing at a terrific level, the Packers defense merely has to hold their own against opposing offenses. 

Amos recorded five tackles in Green Bay’s  37-30 win. 

Trip Down Memory Lane: Amos has impressive day against Ohio State in 2013

Photo Credit: Steve Manuel

TE Jesse James and FB Jason Cabinda, Detroit Lions
Cabinda has made the move from linebacker to fullback this season and its resulted in a significant increase in playing time for the Lions.

Cabinda’s sound blocking on this touchdown allowed fellow former Nittany Lion Jesse James to score his first touchdown with Detroit. 

Photo Credit: Steve Manuel

The Lions pulled off the eventual upset over the Cardinals 26-23. 

Trip Down Memory Lane: James tiptoes down the sideline for the score against Nebraska.

Penn Staters At The Next Level: Week 2

Photo Credit: Steve Manuel

We start this week’s Penn Staters At The Next Level blog sending our best to Saquon Barkley. 

Barkley left the New York Giants’ loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday with a knee injury and it was confirmed yesterday that he had torn his ACL.

Like everything Saquon does, we know he’ll attack rehab with everything he’s got. We hope he can come back better than ever and we look forward to seeing him star on Sundays again soon. 

With that being said, let’s highlight which Penn Staters stood out in Week 2 of the NFL season. 

Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins
Following a strong finish to his sophomore campaign in 2019, Gesicki was a popular candidate to have a breakout season at the tight end position. After a quiet first week, Gesicki exploded in Week 2, putting up 130 yards on eight receptions. 

Photo Credit: Steve Manuel

He became just the eighth tight end in Dolphins history to record a 100-yard game and broke a franchise record for receiving yards by a tight end in a single game. 

He might have also had the catch of the season with this grab in the third quarter. 

Trip Down Memory Lane: Gesicki goes up high for a one-handed catch against Temple

KJ Hamler, WR, Denver Broncos
Hamler missed Week 1 of the season with an injury, but flashed why the Broncos drafted him in the second round of the draft against the Steelers on Sunday. He snagged three passes for 48 yards and also carried the ball once for nine yards.

Photo Credit: Steve Manuel

With Courtland Sutton out for the year with a torn ACL, Hamler’s role within Denver’s offense is sure to expand as the season develops. 

It was also nice to see a Nittany Lion reunion of sorts after the Steelers-Broncos game, when Hamler, DaeSean Hamilton and Marcus Allen caught up with one another and grabbed a photo together. 

Trip Down Memory Lane: KJ embarrasses Maryland defense on his way to the end zone

Photo Credit: Steve Manuel

Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
While the Eagles’ early season struggles continued, Sanders’ return to the lineup provided Philadelphia’s ground game a needed boost. Sanders carried the ball 20 times for 95 yards and a touchdown, and also recorded three receptions for 36 yards.  

Look for him to have another big day in Week 3 against a Cincinnati Bengals defense that gave up 215 yards rushing to the Cleveland Browns this past Thursday. 

Trip Down Memory Lane: Miles won’t be denied a score vs. Illinois.

Penn Staters At The Next Level: Week 1

Forty Penn Staters hold places on NFL rosters to start the 2020 season, which is good for fifth most in the nation. 

That’s also the most Nittany Lions on NFL rosters on opening weekend since at least 2006. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the standout performers from Week 1 and check the end of this blog for the full list of Penn Staters playing and coaching at the next level.

Allen Robinson II, WR, Chicago Bears 

A-Rob had a fruitful opening day performance in the Bears’ comeback win over the Detroit Lions. Robinson II posted five receptions for 74 yards, including this excellent grab to put his team in the red zone late in the third quarter. 

Feel like we’ve seen a catch or two like that before from him.

Trip Down Memory Lane: Allen Robinson II hauls in big pass in 4-OT win over Michigan in 2013. 

Allen Robinson outleaps defensive back to haul in 36-yard pass in final seconds to set up Lions’ final touchdown in regulation time Steve Manuel/The Football Letter

Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Godwin was targeted a team-high seven times by Tampa Bay’s new quarterback Tom Brady and recorded six catches for 79 yards. Big things are expected from Godwin this season after a breakout 2019 campaign, and Week 1 did little to diminish that. As he and Brady continue to develop their rapport, expect Godwin’s statlines to only get bigger and better. 

Trip Down Memory Lane: Chris Godwin goes off for monster performance in Rose Bowl. 

Chris Godwin had a record-setting showing in the 2017 Rose Bowl Game – Steve Manuel/The Football Letter

John Reid, CB, Houston Texans

While the Texans fell to the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on opening night, Reid made a strong impression in his first career game. Reid finished fourth on the team with six tackles and was credited with a quarterback pressure when sent on a blitz from the secondary. 
Trip Down Memory Lane: John Reid’s pick-six fuels big second half for Penn State against Buffalo.

John Reid provided turning a point in the game with his pick-six early in third quarter – Steve Manuel/The Football Letter

Nittany Lions In The NFL
Baltimore Ravens (1): Trace McSorley
Buffalo Bills (1): Ryan Bates
Carolina Panthers (2): Yetur Gross-Matos, Shareef Miller 
Chicago Bears (2): Jordan Lucas, Allen Robinson II
Dallas Cowboys (2): Sean Lee, Connor McGovern
Denver Broncos (2): DaeSean Hamilton, KJ Hamler 
Detroit Lions (3): Jason Cabinda, Jesse James, Amani Oruwariye
Green Bay Packers (1): Adrian Amos 
Houston Texans (1): John Reid 
Indianapolis Colts (1): Robert Windsor 
Las Vegas Raiders (2): Nick Bowers, Carl Nassib
Los Angeles Rams (1): Nick Scott
Miami Dolphins (1): Mike Gesicki
Minnesota Vikings (1): Dan Chisena 
New Orleans Saints (1): Blake Gillikin 
New York Giants (3): Saquon Barkley, Cam Brown, Austin Johnson
New York Jets (1): Sam Ficken, Chris Hogan, Ross Travis
Philadelphia Eagles (2): Miles Sanders, Trevor Williams 
Pittsburgh Steelers (1): Marcus Allen, Stefen Wisniewski 
San Francisco 49ers (2): Kevin Givens, Robbie Gould 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3): Chris Godwin, A.Q. Shipley, Donovan Smith 
Tennessee Titans (2): Jack Crawford, DaQuan Jones
Washington Football Team (1): Troy Apke 

Safety Troy Apke brings down Buckeye receiver K.J. Hill – Steve Manuel/The Football Letter

Nittany Lions On NFL Coaching Staffs
Matt Rhule – Carolina Panthers Head Coach
Tom Bradley – Pittsburgh Steelers DBs Coach
Bobby Engram – Baltimore Ravens TEs Coach
Al Golden – Cincinnati Bengals LBs Coach
D’Anton Lynn – Houston Texans Secondary Coach
Mike Munchak – Denver Broncos OL Coach
Jeff Nixon – Carolina Panthers Senior Offensive Assistant
Bill O’Brien (Head Coach 2012-13) – Houston Texans Head Coach