Cowboys Vikings Football

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) fumbles the ball as he is tackled by Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

Week in and week out, a number of former Penn State players dominate on the NFL stage.

While offensive stars like Saquon Barkley, Miles Sanders and Chris Godwin have stolen much of the spotlight, this week was all about the defensive players.

Here’s a look at how former Nittany Lions fared in the NFL this past week.

Micah Parsons, linebacker, Dallas Cowboys

It’s becoming very likely that Micah Parsons wins Defensive Player of the Year this year, following up his phenomenal 2022 campaign with another standout performance on Sunday.

Parsons tallied four tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble to lead the Dallas Cowboys to a dominant 40-3 win over the 8-2 Minnesota Vikings.

He exited the game briefly with a knee injury but returned shortly after. It looks like Parsons will be good to go against Barkley and the New York Giants on Thursday.

Jaquan Brisker, safety, Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears have lost their last three games by three or fewer points, but Jaquan Brisker has played to win in every single one of them.

While he’s been outstanding his entire rookie year, Sunday may have been Brisker’s best overall performance.

In a 27-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Brisker forced a fumble, had a tackle for loss and tallied 11 total tackles — a single-game career high.

Juwan Johnson, tight end, New Orleans Saints

Despite transferring to Oregon after four years at Penn State, Juwan Johnson is still putting on in the NFL as a former Nittany Lion.

As of Sunday, Johnson has now caught five touchdown passes in his past five games, most recently tallying three receptions for 47 yards and a score in a 27-20 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Allen Robinson II, wide receiver, Los Angeles Rams

It hasn’t been the year for Allen Robinson II and the reigning Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams that many expected in the preseason.

After a rough few weeks in Los Angeles, Robinson is now showing signs of consistency.

On Sunday, Robinson hauled in four receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown — his first in five weeks — but it wasn’t enough to defeat the New Orleans Saints, falling 27-20.

Arnold Ebiketie, defensive end, Atlanta Falcons

While Brisker has stolen much of the spotlight surrounding rookies from Penn State, Arnold Ebiketie is quietly defining himself as one of the best young edge rushers in the NFL.

In a 27-24 win over Brisker and the Chicago Bears, Ebiketie tallied a sack and six tackles, his highest single-game tackle total of his young career.

Pat Freiermuth, tight end, Pittsburgh Steelers

Despite being on the receiving end of a struggling young quarterback, Pat Freiermuth is still paving a dominant 2022 campaign.

Freiermuth tied a season high with eight receptions, covering 79 yards in the process.

However, the Pittsburgh Steelers ultimately fell 37-30 to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Yetur Gross-Matos, defensive end, Carolina Panthers

It was a defensive showcase in the Carolina Panthers’ 13-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and Yetur Gross-Matos played his role in the process.

Gross-Matos tallied three tackles and a sack, his first full sack of the season.


If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.