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Hokies in the NFL: Week Five

Gobbler Country captures the performance of former Hokies in week five of the NFL.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Week five of the NFL is in the books! Gobbler Country checks in and highlights the performance of former Hokie titans during their professional efforts!

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills, QB: As was discussed last week, the Bills suffered from significant injuries on offense. Against the Tennessee Titans Taylor was again without first string RB, LeSean McCoy (as was my fantasy team…), also injured was second string RB, Karlos Williams (whom I had handcuffed McCoy with! Ugh!), and last year’s first round pick, WR Sammy Watkins. The Bills were shut out during the first half and only mustered up a total of 52 offensive yards. The Titans did not perform much better and the second quarter ended with the score 0-3, Titans. The second half was a completely different game, and Taylor was instrumental in leading Buffalo to their eventual 14-13 victory. With the Titans leading 10-0 Tyrod engineered an 80 yard drive capped by a 22 yard, touchdown run by the former Hokie. During the next Buffalo possession the collective masses held their breath as Tyrod was hurt, but thankfully returned shortly thereafter. Deep in Titan’s territory Taylor showcased his athleticism during a trick play in which Buffalo WR, Chris Hogan, threw a complete pass to Tyrod and put the Bills inside the Tennessee five. The very next play Tyrod returned the favor throwing a TD to Hogan to put the Bills in the lead.

Tyrod finished the day 10-17 for 109 yards and one TD. Taylor made a lot of plays with his legs on Sunday, running eight times, earning 76 yards, and a TD. He was sacked four times, and also had one reception for four yards. His passer rating was 97.4 and his QBR was a very respectable 85.9. With those numbers Tyrod Taylor became the second QB, in the Super Bowl era, to achieve a reception, run for over 70 yards, and pass for over 100 yards. An intangible that was apparent to anyone who witnessed the performance of Taylor is that he carried the team. That is not meant to diminish the effort and contributions of all the players on the field, but Taylor played like a champion. Champions win in the face of adversity. The fact that Taylor was able to win, despite the significant injuries on offense, shows that he has the will, drive, and passion to take a team on his back and win when there is no one else there to do it. The Bills are 3-2 and host the surging Cincinnati Bengals next week.

<b>Update:</b> It looks like Tyrod has suffered a sprained MCL and could miss multiple games.  Taylor joins a growing list of starting QBs that have sustained injuries during the first half of this season.  Gobbler Country wishes him well and hopes for a speedy recovery!

Michael Vick, Pittsburg Steelers, QB: Vick had a difficult first half, but his performance in the fourth quarter made up for any lack of previous productivity.  Mike invigorated the struggling Steelers offense with a 72 yard touchdown pass to Markus Wheaton.  But, the best part of Vick's performance Monday night may be the management of Pittsburgh's hurry up offense.  The Steelers trailed the Chargers 17-20 with just under three minutes in regulation.  Michael drove the Steelers 80 yards, keeping the drive alive with a 24 yard run, on third down, into the Chargers' red zone.  That play set up an incredibly risky direct snap to Bell, who scored the winning TD as time expired.  Michael finished the game going 13-26, 194 yards, one TD, and one INT.  He also ran one time for 24 yards, and was sacked three times.  He earned a 73.1 passer rating and a QBR of 62.8.  Vick and the Steelers next host the dangerous Arizona Cardinals.

Darryl Tapp, Detroit Lions, DL: The woes for Detroit continue. Arizona recovered nicely from their loss in week four and hung 42 points on the struggling Lions. Tapp only had one tackle on the game. The Lions allowed 187 yards rushing, including a 63 yard touchdown run by Andre Ellington and a 40 yard run by Chris Johnson. Johnson had 103 yards on 11 carries for an absurd 9.4 yard average. The completely defeated Detroit lions face former Hokies Fuller and Royal next week when the Lions host the Bears.

Kam Chancellor, Seattle Seahawks, DB: Seattle lost a nail biter to the Cincinnati Bengals. Kam Chancellor led Seattle with 11 tackles, but was unable to repeat his heroics from last week and save the Seahawks. Dalton torched the Seahawks for 331 yards, passed for two TDs, and ran for another. Seattle’s defense imploded in the fourth quarter, allowing Cincinnati to score 17 unanswered points and tie the game at the end of regulation. Seattle couldn’t answer the mail in OT and Bengals kicker Mike Nugent banged one in with just 3:26 left on the clock. The Legion of Boom allowed their first 300 yard passing QB on Sunday, even Aaron Rogers was unable to muster up the numbers Dalton did, and will look to reconstitute against an undefeated Carolina Panthers team.

Kyshoen Jarrett, Washington Redskins, DB: DeAngelo Hall was out for the Washington game against the Atlanta Falcons. Jarrett was again leaned upon and answered with a solid game. He had three tackles and a pass defended, but the Redskins fell short in OT against the stubborn Atlanta Falcons. Hopefully Hall will be ready to go when the Redskins face off against the surprising Jets next week.

Brandon Flowers, San Diego Chargers, DB: Flowers struggled against the Steelers.  He was burned by Markus Wheaton for a 72 yard touchdown.  He finished the game against Vick and the Steelers with one pass defended and six tackles.   Brandon will have his hands full when the Chargers travel to Green Bay and face Aaron Rogers and the Packers.