NFL Week 1: Which former Nittany Lions stood out?
The NFL season's first week is now behind us, and with 40 Nittany Lions on NFL rosters across the league, there's plenty to analyze.
Below, let's look at the three standout performances among Penn Staters in the pros, while also touching on those who had a day to forget.
One of the NFL's most productive wide receivers, it's hardly a surprise that Allen Robinson produced one of the best performances among Penn Staters in the first week of NFL action. Robinson was targeted nine times and came away with five catches — which amounts to a modest return. But when he did get the ball in his hands, he was sure to make it count. He accumulated 74 yards — good for an average of 14.8 yards per catch — and a score to help lead the Bears to an opening week win over the Lions.
Carl Nassib didn't see too much time on the field during his debut with the newly minted Las Vegas Raiders, but that didn't stop him from being productive. He was very effective as a pass rusher despite playing just 30 percent of the defense's snaps, coming away with half a sack and a total of two quarterback pressures in Las Vegas' thrilling 34-30 win over the Panthers. Nassib has generally been used with much more frequency over the first four years of his career, so it will be interesting to see how a reduced workload impacts him should it continue.
Sam Ficken and Robbie Gould
It was a good Sunday to be a former Penn State kicker. Robbie Gould, a veteran and very much an established presence in San Francisco, was again solid. He connected from 52 yards out in his first attempt of the season and added 24-yarder late in the second half, while also hitting both of his extra points. Sam Ficken, who won a kicking competition in Jets camp to earn the starting job, was also perfect, hitting a 31-yarder and converting on both of his extra point attempts.
Days To Forget
The season got off to a rough start for Saquon Barkley, who seemed to be heading for a wall of yellow and black Steelers jerseys every time he touched the ball. He notched just 6 yards on 15 rushing attempts, though he did have 60 receiving yards, plus another hurdle to add to his collection.
Offensive lineman Donovan Smith also got off to a slow start, allowing a sack, two hurries and four pressures against the Saints while being criticized by head coach Bruce Arians postgame, who said Smith had "probably the easiest guy to block up there and he did a poor job."
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