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Northwestern NFL Recap, Weeks 3 and 4: Ok, maybe Trevor Siemian isn’t actually an MVP candidate

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Touchdown Trevor is 3-1 this season though!

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A couple weeks ago, we were convinced Trevor Siemian was going to be an NFL MVP candidate this season. And how can you blame us? I mean, the guy was leading the league with 7 touchdowns after two games and had propelled his team to a 2-0 start. It was pretty much in the bag.

Then that stupid regression to the mean thing happened. Over the last two weeks, Touchdown Trevor hasn’t exactly lived up to his nickname.

It started in Week 3 when Siemian, on the road for the first time in 2017, threw two really bad interceptions in a loss to Buffalo. He did record his season high in passing yards with 259, but it took 40 attempts to get there.

Don’t fret, our guy bounced back this past Sunday! Back in the confines of Denver’s Mile High Stadium, Siemian put together a vintage Alex Smith game-managing performance in a victory over the Oakland Raiders. He completed 16 of 26 passes for 179 yards, ZERO INTs for the first time this season, and a touchdown pass that AJ Derby made possible with a beautiful one-handed grab.

The Broncos’ run game and defense led the way, but Siemian did everything that was asked of him in improving to 3-1 this season. Here’s a quick roundup of Northwestern’s other NFL names from a terrible, awful* Week 4.

*My Vikings will never beat the Lions again and Dalvin Cook is probably out for the season. Being a Vikings fan makes you dead inside.

Austin Carr - New Orleans Saints

The big news from Sunday’s London game was that Austin Carr, the best receiver in the Big Ten last season, was active for the first time in his NFL career!

He played, too!

Unfortunately, Carr did not record a catch in the Saints’ 20-0 shutout of the Miami Dolphins. Snead has served his suspension but is still nursing a hamstring injury. If he’s ready to go next week, Carr might be relegated to inactivity again.

Zach Strief - New Orleans Saints

This has been a tough couple of weeks for the longest-tenured (and best) Northwestern grad in the NFL. Strief got hurt in Week 2, missed last week, and returned for the London game only to get injured again and was carted off the field. The team hasn’t given word on his status yet, but let’s hope he can come back soon.

Dean Lowry - Green Bay Packers

Lowry is a meaningful piece of the Green Bay defensive line, which is awesome to see. In Thursday night’s blowout of Da Bears, he played a very nice 69 percent of the snaps and showed off impressive strength on a bull-rush that helped cause a Mike Glennon fumble. Check it out:

Another angle:

And here he shows off the speed, catching Joe Mixon in Green Bay’s Week 3 victory over Cincinnati.

Lowry has 5 tackles so far this season, but as the Rockford Register Star writes, much of his work has been in a supporting role.

Sherrick McManis - Chicago Bears

McManis, a special teams whiz for the Bears, had one of the best games of his career two Sundays ago in a win over the Steelers. First, McManis recovered a muffed punt that led to a Jordan Howard rushing touchdown. Then, he blocked the field goal that led to the biggest blooper of the season.

The 2010 NU grad got plenty of recognition following the big win.

“Sherrick McManis just makes plays,” defensive end Akiem Hicks said. “I talked about him at meetings this week. I was telling [a teammate], ‘It’s so awesome to see a guy find his niche in this league.’ He’s a highlight special-teams player, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw him in Orlando [at the Pro Bowl] for special teams.”

Others

  • Dan Vitale, Cleveland Browns — no stats but has been playing. Cleveland might go 0-16
  • Brian Peters, Houston Texans — no special teams tackles in Weeks 3 or 4
  • Anthony Walker Jr., Indianapolis Colts — still injured and inactive
  • Joe Jones, Seattle Seahawks and Ifeadi Odenigbo, Minnesota Vikings - practice squad