clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Northwestern in the NFL: Wildcats settle into their roles during Week Two

This season is looking very...Kafkaesque.

Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

We all know that this week stunk for Northwestern football here at home in Evanston, but thankfully, some Wildcats found greener pastures this week in the NFL. Here are how some NU football alum fared in their professional outings this past week:

Rashawn Slater — LA Chargers, OT

Slater played every offensive snap for the Chargers in their highly anticipated matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. He allowed no sacks, but his efforts were not enough to boost LA to a win as they fell to KC 27-24.

Slater has not allowed a sack this season, which is an impressive follow-up to only allowing four sacks last season. He has also yet to commit a penalty and only has six career penalties despite playing 18 games and 1,339 total snaps. He is quietly becoming one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL, which bodes well for the Chargers as they seek to protect their franchise quarterback Justin Herbert. If he continues this quality of play, Slater should see himself representing the Chargers at the Pro Bowl for the second year in a row.

The Chargers take on the Jaguars on Sunday as they look to rebound from their TNF loss.

Week three matchup: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday, 3:05 p.m. CT)

Greg Newsome II — Cleveland Browns, CB

It has been a tale of two cities so far this year for the two 2021 first-round picks out of Northwestern. While Slater has shined, Newsome II and the Browns secondary have struggled tremendously, which was highlighted in their 31-30 loss to the New York Jets this week. Newsome II made five total tackles, but he and the rest of the secondary were unable to prevent Joe Flacco and the NYJ offense from scoring two touchdowns in the final two minutes of the game to complete an impressive comeback.

The Browns face the Steelers on Thursday Night Football, and Newsome & Co. will hope to shut down Mitch Trubisky and his black and yellow compatriots.

Week three matchup: vs. Pittsburg Steelers (Thursday, 7:15 p.m. CT)

Anthony Walker Jr. — Cleveland Browns, LB

The Browns may have lost, but some Northwestern camaraderie in the locker room between Newsome II and Walker Jr. might’ve dampened some of the pain. Walker Jr. tallied four total tackles and two tackles-for-loss while playing 74% of the defensive snaps. The veteran will look to build on a solid first season with the Browns and help them recuperate after a shaky start to the season.

Walker Jr. will also be facing off against the Steelers on TNF.

Week three matchup: vs. Pittsburg Steelers (Thursday, 7:15 p.m. CT)

Ben Skowronek — LA Rams, WR

Despite being in a wide receiver room with reigning OPOY Cooper Kupp and veteran Allen Robinson II, Skowronek still gets his reps in, playing an average of 87% of offensive snaps. He has 41 receiving yards so far this season and has pulled in six of his nine targets, including two receptions in the Rams’ win over the Falcons.

Skowronek will look to haul in his first touchdown of the season when the Rams take on the Cardinals on Sunday.

Week three matchup: at Arizona Cardinals (Sunday, 3:25 p.m. CT)

Justin Jackson — Detroit Lions, RB

The Lions defeated the Commanders to earn their first win of the season, and the offense looked competent. Northwestern fan-favorite Justin Jackson was nowhere to be seen in the backfield, however. He took zero offensive snaps, but he did take 22 snaps on special teams, which seems increasingly likely to be his full-time role this season.

Perhaps Jackson will see some time on offense this coming week as the Lions take on the Vikings on Sunday.

Week three matchup: vs. Minnesota Vikings (Sunday, 12:00 p.m. CT)

Dean Lowry — Green Bay Packers, DE

Lowry is now in his seventh season as a Green Bay Packer, and although his role has diminished over the years, he has eight total tackles so far this season. Versus the Bears last weekend, he notched five of those eight tackles in a more productive performance than he had week one.

He will hope to have a greater impact next week as the Packers challenge the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their injured o-line on Sunday.

Week three matchup: at Tampa Bay Bucs (Sunday, 3:25 p.m. CT)

Mike Kafka — New York Giants, OC

The New York Giants are 2-0 for the first time since 2016, and former Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka is running the offense from the sidelines. Kafka was hired in February to lead Brian Daboll’s offense. His offense has only averaged 20 PPG so far this season, but it has proved enough to keep the Giants undefeated. Kafka has been the lead play caller thus far, which may lead to head coaching gigs in the future. Some fans have called for him to be Pat Fitzgerald’s successor when and if that day comes, so it’s worthwhile to keep an eye on his career.

Kafka will look to scheme up a game plan to take down their division rival Dallas Cowboys who travel to MetLife for Monday Night Football.

Week three matchup: vs. Dallas Cowboys (Monday, 7:15 p.m. CT)

Other Wildcats in the NFL: Earnest Brown IV (Rams/defensive end), Joe Gaziano (Chargers/defensive end), Blake Hance (49ers/offensive guard), Joe Jones (Titans/inside linebacker), Kyric McGowan (Commanders/wide receiver), Trevor Siemian (Bears/quarterback), Ifeadi Odenigbo (Colts/defensive end)