As the leaves turn brilliant colors and begin to fall to the ground, the NFL is in full bloom. With week six of the season nearly behind us, the winners have separated themselves from the bottom feeders, with numerous teams mingling in between. Many Spartans have also distinguished themselves as stars and dependable players.
Of the 14 former MSU footballers currently on NFL rosters, 11 were in action this week.
Filling in for a quarterback as talented as Michael Vick is not an easy task. But Nick Foles has done an admirable job since Vick left last week’s Eagles-Giants game with a hamstring injury. Foles completed 16 of his 25 attempts for 197 yards and two touchdowns to lead Philadelphia to a 36-21 victory last week, and followed up that performance with an even better one on Sunday.
Going up against the Buccaneers, Foles finished 22 of 31 for 296 passing yards and three scores, guiding the Eagles to a 31-20 victory. He completed touchdown passes of 12, 47 and 36 yards. Foles even recorded a rushing touchdown from one yard out. The second-year signalcaller seemed completely comfortable in head coach Chip Kelly’s no-huddle offense, as Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com noted after the game. Though Vick will return as a starter when he recovers from his injury, the Eagles now know they have a reliable backup in Foles.
Tampa Bay defensive tackle Will Gholston was inactive during his team’s loss to Philadelphia.
The Spartan-Bengal duo of Kyle Cook and Domata Peko helped Cincinnati capture a narrow 27-24 overtime win over the Bills on Sunday. Cook, playing center, did not make his way onto the stat sheet, but Peko recorded a bevy of stats. The veteran defensive tackle notched one tackle, two assists, a sack for seven yards, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit. Peko now has 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks on the season.
Kellen Davis started at tight end for the Seahawks, but did not have any catches during Seattle’s 20-13 win over the Titans.
Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson and a stout Broncos defense limited the Jaguars offense in a 35-19 victory at home. Vickerson started for Denver, racking up three tackles, an assist and a pass defensed on the day.
LeVeon Bell has received an increased role at running back for the Steelers in recent weeks, becoming the team’s feature back. Bell rushed for 34 yards on 16 carries in a 19-6 win over the Jets on Sunday, also hauling in three passes for 22 yards. The rookie did have to leave the game in the fourth quarter after injuring his right foot, rolling over his right ankle and foot after catching a pass. But he did return soon after, easing the concerns of Spartans and Steelers fans who thought Bell might have aggravated a right foot injury suffered in the preseason. With a total of 91 yards and two touchdowns in two games, Bell should be the team’s primary back again next week.
49ers tight end Garrett Celek saw some action during his team’s 32-20 win over the Cardinals, but did not have any stats. Fellow Spartan Drew Stanton, a backup quarterback for Arizona, did not play.
The Texans struggled in all facets of the game on Sunday, dropping a 38-13 decision to the Rams. Houston wide receiver Keshawn Martin caught two passes for 12 yards and averaged over 26 yards on three kickoff returns, but he fumbled one of them, leading to a St. Louis touchdown.
Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins did not play during Washington’s 31-16 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday evening.
On Bye: P Brandon Fields, Dolphins; TE Dion Sims, Dolphins