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FSU football: ’Noles in the Pros

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Derwin James is the real deal

New Orleans Saints: Jameis Winston, QB

The Saints took on the winless New York Giants in their homecoming rally in the Caesars Superdome. After a back and forth meeting between the two, the Giants came out on top with a 27-21 victory in overtime.

Jameis Winston and the Saints played an efficient match of both sides of the ball with zero turnovers, over 230 receiving yards and 170 rushing yards. Winston threw for 226 yards and one touchdown with a season high 73.91 completion percentage. Although the Saints fell just short of another win, Winston has shown that he’s continued to grow under this coaching staff and will likely get more freedom as the season moves forward.

Minnesota Vikings: Dalvin Cook, RB

The Minnesota Vikings fall to 1-3 on the season after a dominant performance from the Cleveland Browns defense. Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson connected for the only score of the game in the Vikings opening drive.

After a touchdown in the first quarter, they were held scoreless for the rest of the game. Dalvin Cook saw most of his success in the first half with six carries for 17 yards and was then sidelined in the second half for most of the matchup, dealing with the same ankle injury he’s been tormented with this season. The Vikings are set to face the Detroit Lions next week and they’ll likely head into the matchup with a running back by committee approach featuring Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison.

Los Angeles Rams: Jalen Ramsey, CB

The Rams played their third game of the season at SoFi stadium with an NFC West matchup of 3-0 squads. Their defense couldn’t stop the Arizona Cardinals elusive scoring, now placing second in the division with a 3-1 record.

Jalen Ramsey went head to head against one of the games best receivers in DeAndre Hopkins. The two have always shared mutual respect for one another, facing off twice a year for their entire careers. Ramsey had a great performance with one tackle for loss, two passes defended and five total tackles. He had an incredible goal-line deflection to stop the superstar from scoring on his only red-zone target but it wasn’t enough; Hopkins finished with four receptions on 67 yards. The Rams are set to face yet another difficult matchup in Week 5 against a star studded Seattle Seahawks receiving core where Ramsey and company will have their hands full the entire game.

Carolina Panthers: Brian Burns, DE

The Panthers No.1 ranked defense couldn’t stop the Dallas Cowboys offense who seem to have an answer for every scheme they’ve faced. The Cowboys dominated their way through every quarter, putting up 36 points to the Panthers 20.

Although the Cowboys offensive line is a bit shaken up they still have some key assets that can hold down the fort. The Panthers defense was held to zero sacks for the first time this season while adding just one QB hit. Defensive End Brian Burns had one pass defended and four total tackles. After their toughest matchup of the season they should have a smooth ride till Week 10 as they face five consecutive teams below .500.

Los Angeles Chargers: Derwin James, SS / Asante Samuel Jr., CB

The Los Angeles Chargers faced the undefeated Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football. Both offense’s have been electric to start the season, so this matchup came down to who’s defensive presence could make the biggest impact. The Chargers took on the challenge and controlled Derek Carr like a puppet for most of the matchup. They held the Raiders to a scoreless first half while adding four passes defended, four tackles for loss, four sacks, seven QB hits, and 58 total tackles.

Star safety Derwin James led the Chargers secondary with one interception, one pass defended and six total tackles on the night. James sealed the deal with a game clinching interception late in the fourth quarter, with perfect pass coverage against Darren Waller.

Rookie Asante Samuel Jr. had to face a multitude of explosive receivers, seemingly ready for the challenge allowing just one receiver to earn more than five receptions. He finished the contest with one pass defended and four total tackles. Samuel Jr. was recently awarded the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Month and has continued to show he’s a star in the making, forming one of the NFL’s best secondaries with FSU alum Derwin James.