RB Donald Brown, San Diego Chargers: 31 carries for 62 yards, 5 catches for 27 yards
We were in town for the Chargers matchup against the Bills this weekend, all sporting our Donald Brown gear. Every single one of his 31 carries made that 7-hour haul to Buffalo worth it. The newly established workhorse back for San Diego just got another promotion after Danny Woodhead went down with a severe ankle injury, placing him on injured reserve. With initial starter Ryan Matthews out for at least another four weeks, Donald will have another chance to shine. He did not run as poorly as his 2.0 average yards per carry shows, as he ran the ball 15 times for just 7 yards in the second half when San Diego was just looking to kill clock. Brown's 31 carries were the most of any Charger since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006 and his most since his Junior year at UConn when he went for 189 yards on 34 carries against Pittsburgh. We are all chargers fans for the foreseeable future, and I can't wait to see what Don can do in a starting role on a run-heavy offense.
Also, more playing time means more time at the podium. Watch the man talk about talk about winning.
CB Darius Butler, Indianapolis Colts: 2 tackles, 1 fumble recovery
With 10 turnovers (8 INTs, 2 FRs) in the last two years, Darius Butler continues to make his case as an elite NFL nickel corner by constantly making game-changing plays for the Colts. On Sunday against the struggling Jaguars, Darius had a solid game other than a costly missed tackle that led to a meaningless Allen Hurns touchdown reception for the Jags. For the second straight week, Butler and the Colts will face off against another former UConn starting cornerback on the Tennessee Titans, from Dwayne Gratz to Bilidi Wreh-Wilson. Gotta love the AFC South.
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Tennessee Titans: 3 tackles, 1 pass deflection
The Titans struggled against the leagues burgeoning powerhouse, the Cincinnati Bengals, and so did Blidi. The Titans starting corner had a chance to make a game-altering play, but instead was victim of one of the wackiest plays of the week in the NFL. Bengals QB Andy Dalton threw a backwards pass to former Rutgers QB Mohammed Sanu, who went back to Dalton just a few seconds later where Wreh-Wilson was poised to jump in front the lame-duck pass and take it back for a 70 yard interception for a touchdown, or at least lay a huge hit against Dalton. Instead, Bildi couldn't make up his mind quick enough, "Deciding between making a play on the ball or the man, that's where things got a little tricky for me," he said. Next thing he knew, Andy Dalton was spinning into the end zone for the first score of the game. In only his third start of his career, Wreh-Wilson will have to bounce back trying to read the most fun-loving quarterback in the NFL, Andrew Luck.
TE Ryan Griffin, Houston Texans
Ryan Griffin couldn't get on the stat sheet in a disappointing loss to the New York Giants. The 3rd string tight end has solidified a roster spot after a decent rookie season, but doesn't look like he will be making an impact on offense unless starter Garrett Graham goes out with an injury. However, it seems the GM for the Texans sees a future in Houston for Griffin.
FB Anthony Sherman, Kansas City Chiefs: 1 carry for 4 yards, 1 reception for 1 yard
The Shermanator refuses to perish with the evaporation of the fullback position in the pass-heavy NFL. He paved the way for second year back Knile Davis, who rushed 32 times for 132 carries and a touchdown. Hopefully Sherman doesn't lose playing time with Jamaal Charles' return to the starting lineup. He is a key cog in the Kansas City running game and will play an important role in the Chiefs attempt to return to winning ways.
Marcus Easley, Buffalo Bills:
The Bills lost their best special teams player on Sunday when Easley went down with a sprained MCL on the first punt of the game. Easley stayed on the ground for a couple of minutes before walking off under his own power. Reports are saying he will miss 4-6 weeks. It is a tough break for the wide receiver from Stratford, Connecticut who has been unable to stay on the field for long periods of time due to multiple injuries and ailments.
Jordan Todman, Jacksonville Jaguars: 1 carry, 10 yards; 1 kick return, 26 yards
Todman had a 10-yard carry on a Jaguars touchdown drive, and had a decent return. He only saw 13 snaps on offense and gave up a sack. He's sharing the load with Denard Robinson as the Jags backup running back behind Toby Gerhart.
Kendall Reyes, San Diego Chargers: 4 tackles, 1 sack
Reyes had a great game in the Chargers 22-10 win in Buffalo as he was causing pressure in the backfield all game, highlighted by a 4th quarter sack of E.J. Manuel deep in Bills territory which led to a safety that caused fans to rush out of Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Dwayne Gratz, Jacksonville Jaguars: 7 Tackles
Gratz was third on the team in tackles during the 44-17 blowout loss to the Colts. In his post-game press conference, Gratz said "We need to stop the bleeding and progress from that. We're going to get things done quickly, hopefully. We just need to do our job." It has been a frustrating season from the Jaguars secondary as a whole.
Shamar Stephen, Minnesota Vikings
Stephen didn't record any stats during the 20-9 loss to the Saints, but was in the game for 36 snaps as he took reps away from Sharrif Floyd. The rookie has been seeing more action each week.
Dan Orlovsky, Detroit Lions
Orlovsky was active but did not play per usual, but if you search his name on twitter you can find plenty of running out of the end zone jokes every week. Orlovsky is on a one-year, $855,000 contract.
Tyvon Branch, Oakland Raiders: 10 tackles (7 solo)
Branch led the Oakland Raiders in tackles for the second straight week in a heartbreaking 16-9 loss to the New England Patriots but had to leave the game after suffering a fractured foot. It is uncertain whether he will be back this season which is a devastating blow to the Raiders as he leads the team with 29 total tackles. Branch's 29 total tackles also ranks 9th in the NFL right now. Although it is early in the season, he was on pace for one of his best season's of his career but is sidelined for the second straight year as he broke his right fibula last season after just two games.
Robert "Reggie" McClain, Atlanta Falcons: 7 tackles ( 5 solo)
McClain led the Atlanta Falcons in tackles in a 56-14 thrashing of ex-UConn player Danny Lansanah and theTampa Bay Buccaneers. He was apart of a Falcons defense that forced five total turnovers in the victory. McClain is now up to 14 total tackles on the season, trying to make the most of his nickel Cornerback position. He will take on the Minnesota Vikings next week and potentially rookie Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Sio Moore, Oakland Raiders: DNP
Moore was ruled out of Sunday's game against the Patriots with an ankle injury. He hopes to return next week as the Raiders take on the Miami Dolphins.
Danny Lansanah, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 4 tackles (4 solo), 1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 TD
Lansanah was one of the bright spots for the Huskies in the NFL and the only bright spot for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the Bucs down 56-7 with just over 7 minutes remaining in the game, Lansanah picked off T.J. Yatesand returned it 27 yards to the house for his first career NFL interception and touchdown. Lansanah, who has played for the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Hartford Colonials, Las Vegas Locomotives and New York Jets seems to have found a home in Tampa Bay. He will continue his inspiring journey next week as the Bucs take on the Steelers. Listen to Lansanah talk about the pick 6.
Will Beatty, New York Giants: 1 tackle
Beatty played all offensive snaps and recorded a tackle for the second straight week in the Giants' first win of the season, a 30-17 victory over the Houston Texans. He was apart of an offensive line that only allowed 1 sack and contributed to Giants' 193 rushing yards. Beatty's tackle came early in the first quarter after Jonathon Joseph picked up a Larry Donnell fumble on the Texan's 4 yard line. Joseph looked like he was going to have an opportunity to set up great field position for the Texans until Beatty took him down. It set the tone for the rest of the game as the Texans did not score on the ensuing drive. In some post-game comments, he was extremely optimistic about the Giants season, "Better is to come. Two bad games to start a season do not make a season. This is not the team of last year. In this locker room, there is a culture of Giants football that matters."