It’s only Week 2 of the 2018 NFL season and several former Ohio State players are already setting themselves apart. From Michael Thomas continuing to rack up records for targets, to rookie Sam Hubbard having himself a day in primetime on “Thursday Night Football,” it was a good week to be a Buckeye, whether in college or the pros.
After spending the entire offseason as a free agent, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins finally signed with the Oakland Raiders earlier this week and was on the field Sunday for his first taste of action in 2018.
Here’s a look at how Buckeyes in the NFL fared in Week 2.
Sam Hubbard earns more snaps
After only lining up for seven snaps in his NFL debut, rookie DE Sam Hubbard earned way more plays for the Bengals on Thursday, and made his presence known in the first quarter. Not only did he nab his first career sack, but had 1.5 heading into the second quarter.
The Buckeye finished his second NFL game with five total tackles (three solo) and 2.5 tackles for loss (including the sack and a half). It was his first time playing on the big stage in his hometown, and he made the most of his opportunity. Seems fair to say that Hubbard will continue getting more and more snaps if he keeps performing the way that he did on Thursday.
The were a ton of Buckeyes on the field Sunday in New Orleans when the Saints (Vonn Bell, Kurt Coleman, Ted Ginn Jr., Marshon Lattimore, Michael Thomas) hosted the Cleveland Browns (Carlos Hyde, Denzel Ward). The Saints barely nabbed the win, but Buckeyes on both sides had some impressive performances. Maybe if Cleveland had signed Mike Nugent this offseason they’d be 2-0 by now.
Lets’ just start by saying that Michael Thomas is still on pace to be one of the greatest receivers to ever play in the NFL — and one of the most targeted. He continued this campaign on Sunday with 12 catches for 89 yards and two scores.
With 28 catches so far this year, @Saints WR Michael Thomas has the most receptions through the first 2 games of the season since at least 1950.— NFL Throwback (@nflthrowback) September 16, 2018
He's on pace for 224 catches this season...that's 81 more than the current record (143 by the @Colts Marvin Harrison in 2002) pic.twitter.com/0mMprH5NJo
Ginn didn’t get into the endzone for the Saints, but he did have four catches for 55 yards, including an impressive 43-yard run late in the game.
For New Orleans’ defense, Vonn Bell made five total tackles, safety Kurt Coleman had four, and reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Marshon Lattimore had five of his own and a forced fumble.
Buckeyes weren’t just leading the offense for the Saints either, running back Carlos Hyde had 16 carries on Sunday for 43 yards and a touchdown, and is a big part of the game plan for the Browns in his first year with the team.
Just a week after his rookie debut, Browns’ cornerback Denzel Ward had six total tackles against the Saints.
Plays of the Week
The Eagles suffered their first loss since winning the Super Bowl, but the former Buckeye safety had a decent game with five total tackles and a forced fumble that looked more like a “give me that!” moment.
Terrelle Pryor Sr.
The wide receiver had a bigger game for the Jets in Week 2, making four catches for 84 yards, including a 44-yarder. He’s included in the Plays of the Week because its his biggest game since the 2016 season and a glimpse of what he can bring to the Jets this season.
Injuries and Inactives
- Bengals center Billy Price went to the locker room during the first half of Thursday night’s game with a “foot strain”, and didn’t return, but should be ready for Week 3 with the 10-day break in-between games.
- We knew early in the week that Joey Bosa would be out for the Chargers in Week 2 with a bone bruise on his foot, and it’s looking like the injury could keep him sidelined for a couple of weeks.
- Curtis Samuel was out again for the Panthers as he recovers from a minor procedure on his heart— I don’t know how you can consider heart surgery minor, but what do I know.
- Pat Elflein was still out for the Vikings, but is getting close to being ready to go. Similarly, teammate Jalyn Holmes was also inactive for Week 2.
- There’s also one Buckeye suiting up for “Monday Night Football” when the Seattle Seahawks (Nick Vannett) take on the Chicago bears.
- Miami is still enjoying having a tandem of Buckeye linebackers, with Raekwon McMillan making three tackles and Jerome Baker with two on Sunday against the Jets — for New York, Darron Lee made four tackles in the follow-up to his two-pick Week 1 game.
- The Broncos pulled off a one-point victory over the Raiders in Week 2, and Bradley Roby claimed five solo tackles in the matchup, and tight end Jeff Heuerman had two catches for 10 yards. For the Raiders, Gareon Conley had a great game with four total tackles and four passes defended.