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Northwestern in the NFL, Week Nine: Touchdown Trevor starts, Cleveland ‘Cats set season-highs

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Another great week for the Pro ‘Cats.

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Week Nine featured the first appearance of 2021 NFL starting quarterback Trevor Siemian, plus a number of season-highs in snap percentage and other statistics by a variety of NU alums. With the season now past its midway point, here’s this week’s edition of Northwestern in the NFL:

Trevor Siemian: New Orleans Saints, QB

In his first start replacing the injured Jameis Winston, the man famous to many Wildcats’ fans was solid but not stellar enough to lead his team to victory against a middling Atlanta Falcons squad. He tossed the ball around for 249 yards and two touchdowns, completing 25 of his 41 passing attempts without being intercepted and was sacked only once, but Atlanta still topped New Orleans, 27-25. Regardless, Siemian’s play was probably adequate enough to earn him the bulk of snaps at QB over fellow backup Taysom Hill for Week 10’s clash with the Tennessee Titans.

Rashawn Slater: Los Angeles Chargers, OT

In yet another impressive performance, Slater did his part to ensure that QB Justin Herbert wasn’t sacked. The result was a 32-for-38, 356 yard and two touchdown passing performance from Herbert, his second best of the year by passer rating. All year long, the big man has been dominant on the line, and all year long, it’s paid dividends for the Chargers, who are still tied for the divisional lead in the AFC West after besting the Philadelphia Eagles 27-24 on Sunday.

Dean Lowry: Green Bay Packers, DE

After being listed as questionable to play, Lowry did indeed suit up for Green Bay’s Rodgers-less tussle at Arrowhead Stadium. However, the NU alum played a season-low 34 percent of snaps and recorded only one combined tackle as the Packers fell to the Chiefs, 13-7.

Tyler Lancaster: Green Bay Packers, DL

With starter Kenny Clark out, Lancaster saw the field against Kansas City for a season-high 55 percent of Green Bay’s defensive snaps. In that time, he wracked up three total tackles, including one for a loss.

Greg Newsome II: Cleveland Browns, CB

In a dominant 41-16 win for the Browns over their in-state rival Cincinnati Bengals, Newsome set a number of season-highs — and, given his rookie stature, career-highs too. He totaled five tackles and two passes defended while playing 100 percent of Cleveland’s 75 defensive snaps. All of those numbers — the 75 snaps played included — represented the most he has put up in 2021, continuing an already-impressive first professional campaign.

Anthony Walker Jr.: Cleveland Browns, ILB

Newsome wasn’t the only ex-NU Brown to set a season-high on Sunday. The veteran Walker Jr. put up 14 total tackles, — 12 of which were solo and one of which was for a loss — on 83 percent of Cleveland’s defensive snaps. Both tackle numbers represented season-bests for Walker, who has become a force to be reckoned with in the center of a fearsome unit for the Browns.

Blake Hance: Cleveland Browns, OL

Hance played 100 percent of Cleveland’s offensive snaps, helping the Browns put up 41 points, their second-highest scoring performance of the year.

Ifeadi Odenigbo, Cleveland Browns, DE

While playing a season-high 44 percent of Cleveland’s defensive snaps, Odenigbo also had a 2021-best two tackles (both solo) and added a quarterback hit.

Ben Skowronek: Los Angeles Rams, WR

Skowronek played four percent of LA’s offensive snaps and 56 percent of its special teams snaps in its 28-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Joe Jones: Tennessee Titans, OLB

Jones played 81 percent of Tennessee’s special teams snaps without recording a statistic in the Titans’ 28-16 win over the Rams.

‘Cats that didn’t play or record stats this week: Godwin Igwebuike, Detroit Lions; Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers; Joe Gaziano, Los Angeles Chargers; Ibraheim Campbell, Indianapolis Colts; John Raine, Atlanta Falcons; Earnest Brown IV, Los Angeles Rams; Blake Gallagher, Baltimore Ravens.