Eagles in the NFL: September Edition
By: Bryan Bruwer
With the new NFL season a quarter of the way complete, it’s time to break down how some of BC’s premier NFL talents have performed so far in the young season.
Matt Ryan (QB) Atlanta Falcons: After struggling through much of the 2017 season, the man known as “Matty Ice” has started off red hot so far this season. Through four games, Ryan has tossed 10 touchdowns (none to Julio Jones, mind you), and is on pace to throw for upwards of 5,000 yards, with only two interceptions. Although the Falcons currently occupy the NFC South’s basement with a middling 1-3 record, they’ve been victims of some bad breaks late in games. Look for Ryan to continue to shine and guide a talented Falcons team back to their winning ways of old.
Luke Kuechly (LB) Carolina Panthers: The four-time First Team All Pro has continued his success so far this season. Kuechly has accumulated 22 solo tackles in three games so far this season, putting him on pace for 117 on the year, which would be a single season personal best in his illustrious career. He also notched an interception in a 31-21 victory against Cincinnati. As is usually the case with Kuechly, remaining healthy is a high priority, as he has struggled with concussions and other injuries in past seasons.
John Johnson III (S) Los Angeles Rams: After an impressive rookie season in which he was touted as a “secret superstar’ by PFF, John Johnson III is facing lofty expectations in his sophomore season as a starter for a Rams squad that is now considered to be a Super Bowl favorite. So far, he has answered his detractors to the tune of 20 tackles and 5 pass deflections. Anticipate Johnson continuing to his impressive season, and for the Rams to keep the good times rolling as one of the two undefeated teams remaining in the NFL.
Matt Milano (LB) Buffalo Bills: Although Milano had a hard time seeing the field at times during his rookie season, he has embraced a starting role on the Bills defense and has seized his opportunity. Milano has racked up 24 total tackles, as well as two pass deflections and an interception, the latter coming in a shocking 27-6 upset of the Minnesota Vikings. Although the Bills season has largely been characterized by growing pains, Milano appears to be developing into a nice NFL player.
Justin Simmons (S) Denver Broncos: Simmons enjoyed a nice season last year, and appears to be building on that solid campaign. He recorded an interception in a Week 1 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, and has made 23 tackles thus far, meaning that Simmons is already halfway to eclipsing his mark of 46 tackles last season. Denver’s mighty defense should continue to keep the team competitive throughout the season, despite being the latest victim of Patrick Mahomes’ breakout tour.
Harold Landry (LB) Tennessee Titans: Despite being banged up to start the year, the Titans’ second round selection has found a way to make his mark. This past Sunday, Landry strip-sacked Carson Wentz, providing a key momentum shift for Titans, who were struggling to kick it into gear until late in the game on Sunday. Expect Landry to get more reps as the season goes on, and continue making noise in his rookie season.