NFL rookies out of Ohio State continue to make valuable contributions to their teams in Week 6, with Joey Bosa making his first ever NFL start and Michael Thomas finding his way to the endzone for the third time this year. A few Buckeye veterans rode the bench, while another wide receiver stepped up to make a throw. And Ezekiel Elliott continues to crush the spirits of all of his opponents.
‘Thursday Night Football’
This week’s TNF matchup was a who’s who of former Ohio State defensive greats. The Denver Broncos (Bradley Roby) were on the road against the San Diego Chargers (Joey Bosa, Joshua Perry). The Chargers were able to best the reigning Super Bowl champs in large part thanks to the resurgence of Joey Bosa.
Bosa earned his first career start just a week after his incredible debut, and didn’t disappoint. He went to the sideline early with a hand injury, but returned just a few series later without missing a step. The defensive ends’ first collegiate sacks were against (now-Broncos) quarterback Trevor Siemian in 2013 — who on Thursday was reminded quickly and often what a hit from Joey Bosa feels like.
Despite getting his first career start last week for the Broncos, tight end Jeff Heuerman was inactive this week — not due to injury, it was a coaches decision.
Panthers vs. Saints
Sunday’s round of early games included the two NFL teams that boast the most Buckeye talent. The Panthers (Philly Brown, Kurt Coleman, Ted Ginn Jr., Andrew Norwell) fell just short of a win on the road against the Saints (Vonn Bell, James Laurinaitis, Michael Thomas).
The Panthers tried getting tricky in Week 6, using veteran wideout Ted Ginn Jr. as quarterback on a fake for a long pass to teammate Brenton Bersin. Ginn finished the day with five catches on eight targets for 54 yards. Wide receiver Philly Brown had only two catches on four targets for 33 yards and a fumble in the team’s loss.
Wideout Michael Thomas is making friends in New Orleans, especially with quarterback Drew Brees, who looks to the rookie often. Thomas scored his third career touchdown on a nine-yard pass that cushioned the Saints lead early in the game. He finished the day catching all five targets for 78 yards and a score.
On the other side of the ball, Vonn Bell keeps getting better, but still has some difficulty with his assignments — teammate BW Webb was visibly upset with the rookie following a miscommunication that led to a Panthers’ score. Linebacker James Laurinaitis was limited at practice during the week and was essentially benched during the Saints’ win.
Zeke keeps eating
The already legendary running back had his fourth consecutive game with over 100 rushing yards, making Elliott’s career total 703 yards on the ground just through Week 6. He finished Sunday’s game with 24 rushes for 157 yards -- a new career game-high -- and two receptions for 17 yards, but no touchdowns. So long as he keeps barreling through defenses, the Cowboy’s will certainly keep feeding Zeke.
Not only is he already incredibly important to the Cowboys offense, but he’s well on his way to post season honors and records. With the Eagles losing this week to Washington, the Cowboys have a one game lead at the top of the NFC East after their win over Green Bay.
Which lab was Ezekiel Elliott built in? https://t.co/S8cqrYh5XX— TheLead (@theleadsports) October 16, 2016
Running back Carlos Hyde suffered a shoulder injury in the third quarter in the 49ers game against the Bills, and despite heading to the locker room, was able to return to action. He finished the day with 14 rushing attempts totaling 52 yards.
Giants’ defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins was able to push through the line and record a sack on Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco, but had to be helped off the field by the training staff.
Plays of the week
The veteran has been so close to several interceptions this season, with more than a few bouncing right off his hands. The Eagles might have lost to Washington Sunday, but Jenkins not only got his take away, but he ran it back for a touchdown. With a rookie quarterback, Philadelphia will take any and all help they can get getting into the endzone, and Jenkins is more than happy to help.
The Browns’ wide receiver continues to be a bright spot on a team that just lost to Tennessee. He finished the day with nine receptions for 75 yards and two touchdowns. One of those scores came among double coverage in the endzone, with Pryor’s physicality once again proving too much for defenders to handle.
At this point, the chances of having both the Offensive AND Defensive Rookies of the Year coming from Ohio State is a very real possibility. Despite missing all of training camp and preseason, followed by an injury that kept him sidelined a few weeks, Bosa is back and better than ever. His ability to adjust and react is uncanny.
- Three Buckeyes will be featured on ‘Sunday Night Football’ as the Houston Texans (Braxton Miller, John Simon) host the Indianapolis Colts (Jack Mewhort).
- This week’s ‘Monday Night Football’ matchup includes several Buckeyes, when the New York Jets (Darron Lee, Jalin Marshall) face off against the Arizona Cardinals. After 10 months of rehabbing a torn ACL, Devin Smith is finally able to return to the practice field for the Jets this week and center Nick Mangold is still sidelined with a knee injury.
- Rookie Adolphus Washington (Bills) made his first career sack last week against the Rams, but he also earned his first fine by the league, owing $18,231 for roughing up Case Keenum early in the game.
- Only one team — the Minnesota Vikings (Alex Boone) -- has a bye this week.
- Teammates Ryan Shazier (sprained MCL) and Cam Heyward (hamstring) are both out this week for the Steelers — with Shazier expected back after the team’s Week 8 bye.
- Other Buckeyes who sat out in Week 6: Eli Apple (Giants) who missed his second game this season due to injury, and A.J. Hawk (Falcons) who was inactive, despite signing with Atlanta just over a week ago.