The NFL has finally started, and I'm sure that all you Mid-American fanatics are just itching to see how your favorite players from last year did in the first week at the pro level. It may just be preseason, but for a handful of these players, these games are vital for them to make the 53 man roster.
Dri Archer - Pittsburgh Steelers RB (Kent State)
The fastest player in this year's draft class certainly stood out against the Giants even though the Steelers lost 20-16. Archer had nine yards on two rushing attempts, but his catch that went for 46 yards was the play of the night. He had two catches on two targets for a total of 50 yards.
Ken Bishop - Dallas Cowboys DT (Northern Illinois)
Dallas fell to the Chargers pretty hard this week, losing 27-7. Fortunately, Ken Bishop was able to rack up three solo tackles against the Chargers this week. He even managed to run down former Buffalo running back, Branden Oliver, stopping him from reaching the endzone. He didn't start, but I expect him to get more playing time next week.
Austin Brown - Houston Texans DT (Miami)
The Texans went up against the Cardinals in the first week of the preseason. Even though they were blown out 32-0, Austin Brown was able to pick up one solo tackle.
Jairus Campbell - Kansas City Chiefs DT (Bowling Green)
The Chiefs managed to beat the Bengals 41-39 in an offensive battle. Jairus Campbell snagged one solo tackle, and he was able to deflect a pass as well.
David Fluellen - Philadelphia Eagles RB (Toledo)
David Fluellen had the second most rushing attempts on the Eagles in their loss to the Bears 34-28. He had six carries for 25 yards. Fluellen was targeted twice through the air, and he grabbed one for 14 yards.
Jordan Lynch - Chicago Bears RB (Northern Illinois)
The former NIU quarterback actually led the Bears in rushing in their win against the Eagles. He had 24 yards on seven ushing attempts. He even had more rushing yards on less attempts than former Arizona running back star, Ka'Deem Carey. It's starting to look like Lynch could be a legitimate offensive weapon for the Bears this year.
Khalil Mack - Oakland Raiders LB (Buffalo)
MAC fans finally got to see some MACKtion in the NFL. Oakland went down to the Vikings 10-6, but Mack was still able to pick up some tackles. He had two solo tackles, and one of those tackles was for a loss. Not too bad for his first game, but I have no doubt that Mack will get better and better as the year goes on.
Jonathan Newsome - Indianapolis Colts DE (Ball State)
The Colts fell to the Jets 13-10 this week, but that didn't stop Newsome from getting a few tackles. He was able to get three tackles, one of which being solo.
Branden Oliver - San Diego Chargers RB (Buffalo)
My former MAC player of the week award definitely goes to Branden Oliver. He stole the show in the Chargers win over the Cowboys. Oliver had the best performance out of any running back this week. On seven carries, he had 64 yards and a touchdown. That's a 9.1 yard average. I don't think anyone predicted Oliver to do as well as he did. I'm sure that he will get even more carries as preseason goes on.
Bernard Reedy - Atlanta Falcons WR (Toledo)
Bernard Reedy had the most receiving yards in the Falcons 16-10 win over the Dolphins. He had two catches for 61 yards. His longest catch was for 35 yards, so both of his two catches were for a good chunk of yardage. He also got to return a kick return for 30 yards, and two punt returns for six yards.
Willie Snead - Cleveland Browns WR (Ball State)
I'm shocked that Willie Snead couldn't come down with a catch in the Browns 13-12 loss to the Lions. He was targeted three times, but unfortunately he ended the night empty handed. He returned a punt for one yard, but that was it for him. Even though this was a disappointing night, I'm sure Snead will continue to get targeted throughout the pre season.
Zurlon Tipton - Indianapolis Colts RB (Central Michigan)
The former Central Michigan running back was given plenty of opportunity to show off his skills against the Jets, but he didn't do much with them. On eight rushing attempts, he had 14 yards. That's a measly 1.8 yards per carry. On a positive note, he had one catch for nine yards. Still, not a very successful night.
Jimmie Ward - San Francisco 49ers SS (Northern Illinois)
The 49ers first round pick was able to have a decent game in their 23-3 loss against the Ravens. He had two solo tackles, and one was for a loss. He also deflected a pass as well. Nothing jaw-dropping, but he will be putting up great numbers soon enough.
Keith Wenning - Baltimore Ravens QB (Ball State)
It's hard to believe that Wenning didn't attempt a pass this week. He had three rushes for -3 yards. Not a great night. In his defense, he didn't get a lot of opportunity to show off his skill. This makes me think that the quarterback 2 spot may already be on lock for Tyrod Taylor. Nevertheless, Wenning will for sure get more opportunity next week.
Now, this may just be the first week of the NFL preseason, but the MAC is being represented very well so far. Some of these guys are looking like they can play with the best of them at the pro level. Hopefully they will continue playing this well next week.