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UConn in the NFL: Week 2

With Ryan Matthews hurt, UConn's only NFL first round draft pick Donald Brown will have a chance to start in the coming weeks for the San Diego Chargers

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Here's a look at how UConn football alumni fared in week 2 of the NFL season:

SS Tyvon Branch, Oakland Raiders

According to ESPN, Tyvon Branch recorded 12 tackles (10 solo), tying a career-high, in a 30-14 loss to the Houston Texans. Branch has now recorded 12 tackles for the third time in his seven year career. The 12 tackles are the most he has had in a game since week 13 of the 2012 season against Cleveland. Tyvon is off to a good start to the season as he had 7 tackles in Week 1 against the Jets.  He will certainly be tested next week when the Raiders travel to New England to take on Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Shamar Stephen, Minnesota Vikings

Stephen recorded 3 tackles (2 solo) in a 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots.  This is the second straight week he has logged at least one tackle as he had one against the Rams last week.  Stephen and the Vikings could not get much pressure on Tom Brady and they’ll have to do a much better job next week when they take on Drew Brees and the Saints.

CB Robert "Reggie" McClain, Atlanta Falcons

Reggie McClain only recorded 2 tackles (1 solo) in the Falcons 24-10 loss to the Bengals. While Dalton didn’t tear apart the Falcons secondary, the Falcons still had a tough time stopping the Bengals, especially Giovani Bernard.  This week was a bit of a step-down from last week’s 5 tackle, 1 INT performance but I am sure we will hear McClain’s name in a positive way this season.   He will be on national television on Thursday Night Football against the Buccaneers this week

OT William Beatty, New York Giants

Beatty was a part of a Giants offensive line that only allowed 2 sacks in a 25-14 loss to Drew Stanton and the Arizona Cardinals.  He actually recorded a tackle off one of the Giants’ 4 turnovers, the 10th of his career.  Beatty had a much improved day from week 1 as he allowed only 1 QB hurry in Eli Manning’s 42 dropbacks.  He played in all 72 offensive plays which is a very good sign as he has been battling injuries throughout his young career.  Beatty and the Giants offensive line will have a tough test next week going against J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans.

Marcus Easley, Buffalo Bills

Easley had a relatively quiet game in the Bills’ emotional 29-10 victory over the Dolphins (Squishing the Fish), but remains a key cog in a Buffalo special teams unit that has been dominant on its way to a 2-0 start. The former Husky wide receiver helped the Bills win the field position battle with the Dolphins average starting field position being their own 21 yard line, while Buffalo’s was their own 43.

This video from week one shows why Easley is considered such a valuable member of the special teams.

Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Tennessee Titans: 6 Tackles

Despite 6 tackles, the Titans’ new starting cornerback had a rough day during the 26-10 loss to the Cowboys. He was matched up on a few occasions against Dez Bryant and didn’t go well, drawing a pass interference call, and giving up a touchdown to Bryant that put the Cowboys up two scores late in the 3rd quarter. Blidi will have to refocus his attention quickly as he will likely see time against another elite receiver in A.J. Green this week in Cincinnati.

Dwayne Gratz, Jacksonville Jaguars:

5 Tackles, 2 Pass Deflections

Gratz had an up and down day in the 41-10 loss against the Redskins. While he did have a couple of pass breakups, including a nice one on a deep ball to Pierre Garcon, he was hit with a pass interference penalty and provided little opposition to Kirk Cousins as he passed all over the Jaguars defense. This can be attributed to growing pains as the rebuilding Jaguars are very high on him, especially after his solid week one performance.

Ryan Griffin, Houston Texans

The tight end was one of the few negatives in an overall positive day for the Texans. Griffin was hit with three holding calls during the game, a 30-14 win in Oakland, including two on consecutive plays. He is not known for his run blocking, which has led to Houston using J.J. Watt as their second tight end on the goal line, which led to this. Griffin will look to rebound this week against the Giants in New York.

Donald Brown, San Diego Chargers: 7 carries for 21 yards, 3 receptions for 10 yards

In the Chargers' upset of the Seattle Seahawks, Brown wasn't entirely effective but took on an expanded role in the offense when starting running back Ryan Matthews went down with a MCL sprain that will sideline him for 4-5 weeks. With Danny Woodhead solidified as the passing down back, look for Donald to get significant action on early downs and on the goal line, with the potential to start this week against Buffalo. He will be a trendy fantasy pick up this week as he looks to build on the momentum from an excellent 2013 campaign in Indianapolis where he ran for 537 yards, 6 touchdowns, and a 5.3 per carry average.

Kendall Reyes, San Diego Chargers: 0 tackles

Reyes is in the starting rotation for the Chargers' defensive line, but did not show up on the box score by the end of Sunday's game. In a 3-4 scheme like the Chargers' defense, for Reyes at 6'4 and 300 pounds, his job is to eat up blockers and create lanes for a solid pass rush that includes Dwight Freeny, Melvin Ingram, and Jarret Johnson, though he still has proven to be able to get to the quarterback, recording 10.5 sacks in his first seasons in the league.

Darius Butler, Indianapolis Colts: 5 tackles, 2 pass deflections

Darius Butler had a fantastic game on Monday night in the Colts' last second loss to the Eagles. Butler is making his case as one of the better nickel corners in the NFL as he is asked to cover nearly every type of receiver on the opposing team. He had a few touchdown-saving open field tackles on two of the shiftiest backs in the NFL in LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. Butler has reinvented his career after a shaky start after getting drafted and then cut in New England and has been a bright spot in a very inconsistent 2014 Colts defense.

Danny Lansanah, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 3 Tackles

Lansanah’s inspirational story continues as he had three tackles in a 19-17 loss to Rams.    After this week, some Bucs fans began clamoring for more Lansanah as middle linebacker Dane Fletcher struggled in pass coverage.

Jordan Todman, Jacksonville Jaguars:

5 Kickoff Returns, 27.4 Average, Long of 40

Todman did not get a touch on offense as the Jaguars only rushed the ball 10 times and Chad Henne led the way with 3 carries for 17 yards. Todman made his presence known on special teams, breaking off a 40 yard return.

Sio Moore, Oakland Raiders:

6 Tackles

Moore has been one of the only bright spots (along with Tyvon Branch) on a poor Raiders defense. In a loss to the Texans he had 6 tackles including one for a loss before heading to the locker room with an ankle injury. The Raiders said today that Moore has a chance a play this week.

Dan Orlovsky, Detroit Lions

Dan O is chilling on the sidelines until something bad happens to Matt Stafford.