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Mountaineers In The NFL: Week 3 Brings Touchdowns

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Week 3 in the NFL saw several former Mountaineers make their NFL debut and perform quite impressively.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Karl Joseph - Oakland Raiders

The Raiders SB Nation site, Silver and Black Pride, had this to say about Karl’s first start in the NFL.

Yes, the final of the Raiders four starting defensive backs. As a safety, when you lead the team in tackles (10) while not being on the hook for any big plays, you’ve done your job. If you wanted a peek at the alternative, you got it too. Keith McGill came in the game for a total of two defensive snaps and one of them he gave up a 17-yard catch to the tight end on third and six.

Bruce Irvin earned an honorable mention for his fumble recovery.

Bruce Irvin – Forced the fumble on the scramble by Marcus Mariota by slapping the ball out from behind. It led to a field goal to go up 10-3 in the second quarter. He finished with 4 solo tackles.

Wendell Smallwood - Philadelphia Eagles

Wendell’s first significant playing time came against the usually stout Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers rush defense came in allowing under 3.5 yards per carry but that didn’t matter to Wendell. BleedingGreenNation, had this to say.

Carson Wentz is the mayor of Philadelphia, but he’s not the only rookie who had a good game. In the offseason the coaching staff said they see Wendell Smallwood as a future “#1” running back. Against a stout Steelers run defense, he looked the part. He gained 79 yards on 17 attempts, good for 4.6 yards per carry against a defense averaging 3.4. He had four runs of 10 or more yards, showing good speed and vision.

That looks a lot like the Wendell who used to play for the Mountaineers.

Charles Sims - Tampa Bay

Bucs Nation labeled him as a winner on their weekly game reviews.

Okay, yes, he did tip that ball into an interception. That was unfortunate, to say the least. But he was also an integral part of the Bucs offense, and produced 124 yards from scrimmage, and a touchdown. I’m not sure whether he can carry the load as an inside runner, but he’s certainly a very valuable part of the offense.

Tavon Austin - St Louis Rams

Tavon made it three different Mountaineers to score on Sunday.

Here’s what Turf Show Times had to say

It might not be elite production, but 5 receptions for 82 yards and a TD in Fisherball is impressive. Is he still fighting to live up to the massive extension he signed a few short weeks ago? Absolutely. But Sunday was a step in the right direction.

Kevin White - Chicago Bears

Kevin is beginning to do GAM things in the NFL and it started with him completely owning the cornerback to grab this underthrown ball from Brian Hoyer. Windy City Grid Iron had this comment.

Then of course, there was the catch everyone was talking about, where White made a spectacular circus catch while draped over the back of Dallas cornerback Morris Claiborne. Corralling an under-thrown ball in with your left hand while a corner has tight coverage is the kind of play White was hyped for coming out of college. You expect those kinds of receptions out of the DeAndre Hopkins and Alshon Jeffery’s of the world. But not of the struggling White in his third professional game.

Update: Nick Kwiatkoski

Regular reader WVUinLaLaLand reminded me that Nick Kwiatkoski may have had the play of the weekend with his tremendous man shaming of Dallas Cowboys guard La’el Collins.

Just watch how badly Collins stumbles back before falling on his rear. Mountaineer fans aren’t surprised but now the NFL knows.