Cougars in the NFL: Week 4 recap

Ten Cougars in the NFL saw playing time in week four of the league’s season. Let’s take a look at how BYU alumni performed this past week.

Puka Nacua

Nacua continues to be an NFL story each week. He picked up right where he left off with an early one-handed catch that circulated on social media. With the game headed into overtime, Nacua had seven receptions for 121 yards. He set the record for most receptions and yards in a player’s first four career games but was still looking for his first career NFL touchdown. After a 20-yard catch early in the OT drive, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford connected with Nacua for a 22-yard walk-off touchdown.

Nacua received the game ball in the locker room following the win from head coach Sean McVay. Nacua has also captured the attention of the NFL with his excellent play through four weeks. At one point, the NFL even changed its social media cover photo to feature Nacua.

Zach Wilson

After being called out by NFL Hall of Famer Joe Namath, Wilson bounced back in yesterday’s primetime matchup vs. the Chiefs. Against the reigning Super Bowl champions, Wilson outplayed former MVP Patrick Mahomes and received a lot of praise for his performance.

At one point, Zach Wilson was the number one trending topic on social media.

With injured Aaron Rodgers in attendance, Wilson’s final stat line was 28 of 39 for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns. Wilson did not throw an interception in the game and had a QBR of 105.2. However, Wilson’s impressive showing was not enough as the Jets would end up losing 23-20. Wilson was leading a drive late in the fourth quarter before fumbling a snap, giving the ball back to the Chiefs. The Jets’ offense would not get another chance to take the field. Wilson took the blame after the game, saying, “I lost us that game.” Many of the Jets’ teammates showed their support for Wilson and still have trust in him as their QB.

Head Coach Robert Saleh said after the game, “If he plays like that, we’re gonna win a lot of football games.” Wilson even received praise from Mahomes directly after the game: “He played his tail off, he battled. We have a good defense, and he made a lot of big-time throws into windows and down the field. I’ve watched him since his BYU days, so I was proud of him to go out there and show out.”

Wilson will look to lead the Jets to their second victory of the season this Sunday at 2:25 PM MST.

Sione Takitaki

The Cleveland Browns squared off in a divisional matchup with the Baltimore Ravens. Takitaki has played a significant role in the top five NFL defense. According to Pro Football Focus, Takitaki missed 20 percent of his tackle attempts and had a poor grade of 40. Takitaki left the game late in the third quarter with cramps. The Browns’ defense surrendered 28 points to the Ravens’ offense.

Kyle Van Noy

Van Noy signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens this past week. Now wearing number 50, Van Noy played 23 snaps in his season debut. He had four total pressures with three hurries and one hit. Kyle also recorded a critical tipped pass, forcing a punt. Van Noy took to social media after the win and said, “Feels good to win and be back on the field! Feel super blessed! A lot of work to do!!”

Blake Freeland

In a matchup against former teammate Puka Nacua, Freeland got the start for injured left tackle Bernhard Raimann. This was no easy task as he would match up against a tough defensive line and future Hall of Famer Aaron Donald. He played 64 offensive snaps. In the rookie’s first significant playing time, he received an overall grade of 44.6, weighed down by a poor pass block grade of only 19.6.

Tyler Allgeier

Allgeier and the Falcons traveled to London for an early matchup with the Jaguars. Allgeier was not featured in the offense much this week. Fighting for snaps with rookie Bijan Robinson, Allgeier only saw 15 plays and had 7 carries for 16 yards.

Taysom Hill

Hill touched the ball six times in the matchup with the Buccaneers and continued to be a Swiss Army knife for the Saints. He completed one pass for 13 yards, had four carries for 10 yards, and one reception for seven yards. The Saints’ offense had a disappointing day, only putting up six points.

Fred Warner

Warner finished the 49ers’ dominant performance against the Cardinals with 10 total tackles and 8 solo tackles. Warner continues to be one of the best and most reliable linebackers in the NFL on a good 49ers’ defense as they improve to 4-0.

Michael Davis

Davis had 8 solo tackles in a win vs. the Raiders. He now has 24 total tackles on the season and 3 passes defended. Through four games, Davis has not been as good as in seasons past. He has still been good in run defense but has allowed 23 receptions for 286 yards this season.

Chris Brooks

Brooks found himself playing on special teams this week. After 13 plays in the backfield last week, Brooks played 10 kick and punt return snaps. He received a 70.4 PFF grade on those plays.

Other Cougars

Other former Cougars on active rosters who did not see playing time were Zayne Anderson, Jaren Hall, Khyiris Tonga and Dax Milne. Brady Christensen is out for the year with a bicep injury suffered in week one, and Jamaal Williams remains on injured reserve after an injury to his hamstring in week two.

BYU also has four players on practice squads. Rookie Kaleb Hayes is with the Giants. Matt Bushman is on the Chiefs, Daniel Sorensen with the Saints, and Chris Wilcox with the Chargers.

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