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Hokies in the NFL

Gobbler Country explores at the performance of former Hokies in the NFL during week four, and looks ahead to what they can expect in week five.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The first month of the NFL has passed. Former Virginia Tech players are having a significant impact for their respective professional teams. Gobbler Country explores the results of their efforts and what they will be facing this week.

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills, QB: As a team Buffalo struggled against the New York Giants, and they lost last week 24-10. Tyrod’s play was steady as he completed 28-42 throws for 258 yards, threw one touchdown, and one interception. He was sacked twice and ran six times for 15 yards. His passer rating was an acceptable 82.8, but his QBR was a stumpy 16.6. For much of the game the Buffalo offense struggled to generate any downrange movement before Tyrod connected with backup RB, Karlos Williams, for a 23 yard touchdown. Penalties were the name of the game for the Bills. They had 17 infractions for 135 yards. One holding call in particular, which negated a 31 yard touchdown run by Tyrod, illustrates the impact of the self-inflicted mistakes. Tyrod was without starting RB LeSean McCoy and WR Sammy Watkins when he faced the Giants. This week the Bills travel to Tennessee to face the Titans without McCoy or Williams. Sammy Watkins is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report. The Titans have a defense that has shown susceptibility in the passing game, and having Watkins play would provide a much needed option for Tyrod since the Bills’ running game looks to be of little factor.

Michael Vick, Pittsburgh Steelers, QB: Michael Vick, the offense, and the defense put the Steelers in position to win this game during regulation and overtime, but the kicking game came up short. Vick filled the role of game manager well and kept the Steelers in the fight for the entire match. He was 19-26 for 96 yards, threw one TD, and zero interceptions. He also ran nine times for 33 yards, but was sacked four times. Vick’s passer rating was a respectable 95.7 with a 25.1 QBR. Michael’s actions were not simply limited to throwing and running, he also provided the key block that allowed Bell to score the go ahead touchdown. This week the Steelers are hosted by the San Diego Chargers who are coming off an exciting win and a dominate performance by Phillip Rivers. Vick and the Steelers’ offense are going to need to put up points against SD to win this game.

Eddie Royal, Chicago Bears, WR; Will Montgomery, Chicago Bears, C; Kyle Fuller, Chicago Bears, CB: Chicago earned their first win of the season, against the Oakland Raiders, last week. Eddie Royal played no small part in stepping up to fill the void left by the injured Alshon Jeffery. Royal had seven receptions for 54 yards, a 7.7 yard per reception average, and one TD. Kyle Fuller had four tackles and single pass defended. Unfortunately, Will Montgomery suffered a season ending injury during the game, and the NFL veteran’s year is over. Chicago travels to Kansas City this week to face a beleaguered Chief’s team that just got eviscerated by Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals. But, Alex Smith had a huge game, passing for 348 yards. In a bizarre offensive effort the Chiefs failed to record a single touchdown. Instead they earned 21 points through seven Field Goals! Both the Bears and the Chiefs are 1-3 and entering desperation mode to remain a factor in their respective divisions. The Bears have Cutler and Clausen both listed as questionable. If neither is available, to get the ball to Royal, it is unlikely that Eddie will be able to produce much. On the other side of the ball Fuller will be facing a robust passing attack from the Chiefs.

Duane Brown, Houston Texans, OL: Brown is back after aggravating a hand injury in the season opener. This last Thursday, against the Indianapolis Colts, Houston allowed only a single sack, but the running game struggled, producing only 82 yards on 28 attempts. Houston is currently dead last in the AFC South’s battle for the bottom, and they look to jumpstart their season when they face the Jaguars on October 18th.

Darryl Tapp, Detroit Lions, DL: Even though the Lions lost to the Seattle Seahawks, Darryl had a solid game. Tapp recorded four tackles, one sack, and one tackle for a loss. Next up for Darryl, and the struggling Lions, are the Arizona Cardinals who are coming off their first loss of the season. Arizona will be looking to get back on track against a desperate Lions team.

Kam Chancellor, Seattle Seahawks, DB: Ohhhhhhh Kam! There is not a football fan alive that is not aware of the controversial ending of the Seattle – Detroit game. But, let us not focus on the infraction that went uncalled. Instead, let us relive the amazing fumble that Chancellor caused when he punched the ball out of Calvin Johnson’s grip mere inches before crossing the goal line and scoring a touchdown that would have put the Lions ahead with less than two minutes to play. The Seahawks are 2-0 since Chancellor’s return. Are there any remaining questions about Chancellor’s impact on this team? Kam and the Legion of Boom invade Cincinnati and look to slow down Andy Dalton who has thrown for over 300 yards in his last two games.

Kyshoen Jarrett, Washington Redskins, DB: Jarrett had a nice game as the Redskin’s became the most recent team to beat up on the Eagles. Kyshoen had five tackles and one pass defended. Due to injuries in the Washington secondary, including DeAngelo Hall, Jarrett has been seeing time at corner rather than his traditional role as a safety. Hall is expected to return to play this weekend as the Redskin’s travel to Atlanta. Hall and Jarrett will have their hands full with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Jones is officially listed as questionable, but expected to play.

Brandon Flowers, San Diego Chargers, DB: Last week Flowers showed why he is one of the better corners in the NFL. Against the Cleveland Browns Brandon had seven tackles and two passes defended. Next up for Flowers and the Chargers will be hosting the Michael Vick led Steelers.

Jayron Hosley, New York Giants, DB: Hosley had two tackles in the Giants victory over the Buffalo Bills. Next up Jayron and New York host the nuclear meltdown that is the San Francisco 49ers.