PENN STATERS AT THE NEXT LEVEL 2021: WEEK 1

The NFL season is up and running, which means we bring back our Penn Staters At The Next Level series. Similar to last season, we’ll bring you a quick overview of some of the best performances from Nittany Lions in the NFL each week.

Fourty-One Penn Staters appear on NFL rosters to start the season, and you can see the full list by clicking here.

Let’s get started with a recap from Week 1!

Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Steve Manuel/The Football Letter

The Buccaneers started off their Super Bowl defense with a thrilling 31-29 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night.

Chris Godwin got the first points of the new season with a five-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. Despite an untimely fumble late in the game, he got his season off to a strong start with 121 yards and that score. He also caught the game-clinching first down reception that secured the victory for Tampa Bay.

Juwan Johnson, Tight End, New Orleans Saints

Outside of the Raiders’ win over the Ravens on Monday Night Football, there might not have been a more stunning result in Week 1 than the Saints win over the Packers. Not because the Saints aren’t a good team, but because of how they just completely dismantled Green Bay from start to finish.

One of the many standout performers for New Orleans was former Nittany Lion, Juwan Johnson. A wide receiver in his college days, Juwan has made the switch to tight end for the Saints and it’s paid off massively for his career.

Juwan caught two touchdown passes from a terrific Jameis Winston to help propel the Saints to the 38-3 win.

Check out the first of two of his touchdown receptions below, which also marked the first TD catch of Johnson’s career.

Carl Nassib, Defensive End, Las Vegas Raiders

Speaking of that upset win for the Raiders that I mentioned earlier, it was Carl Nassib who came up with perhaps the play of the night.

It was his sack/forced-fumble that gave Las Vegas the ball inside Ravens territory. That set up the eventual game-winning touchdown for the Raiders.

Miles Sanders, Running Back, Philadelphia Eagles

Steve Manuel/The Football Letter

Part of a revamped Philadelphia offense, Miles Sanders shined to the tune of 113 scrimmage yards and a two-point conversion as the Eagles walloped the Falcons, 32-6.

While quarterback Jalen Hurts and first round pick DeVonta Smith will generate much of the headlines (and probably rightfully so), Sanders demonstrated why he can definitely be Philadelphia’s lead back this season.

Odafe Oweh, Defensive End, Baltimore Ravens

Steve Manuel/The Football Letter

While the Ravens ultimately came up short to Nassib and the Raiders, it was a solid debut for former Nittany Lion Odafe Oweh in Baltimore.

Much was talked about Oweh’s lack of sacks in college, but he showed why Baltimore selected him in the first round of this spring’s draft with this burst and pursuit of David Carr for a sack late in the second quarter.

The sack resulted in Las Vegas settling for a field goal.

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