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Wolverines in the NFL: Woodson is Ironman

Week 2 sees Tom Brady do his thing by dismantling the Bills defense, Leon Hall step up big on a fourth quarter two-point conversion attempt by the Chargers, and Charles Woodson demonstrate to everyone that even at age 38, he's still one tough S.O.B.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Tom Brady (New England Patriots)

Week 2 stats: 38/59 for 466 yards and 3 touchdowns

Whether or not he's "out for vengeance" following an offseason dealing with Deflategate, the numbers don't lie, and Brady spells disaster for any defense he's facing. He's currently on pace for over 6,000 yards passing and 56 touchdowns on the season (Peyton Manning holds both records for a single season at 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns). T-shirts honoring his ascent from the 199th draft pick to the GOAT "immediately" sold out yesterday. So until his right arm falls off, I think it's safe to say never doubt Tom Brady.

Running Back

Denard Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars)

Week 2 stats: 1 carry for 9 yards

After his lone carry on Sunday, Denard left the game and failed to return. He's been diagnosed with a sprained MCLwhich could take "anywhere from 2-4 weeks, depending on the severity." Let's hope Shoelace gets back on the gridiron sooner rather than later.

Wide Receiver

Jason Avant (Kansas City Chiefs)

Week 2 stats: None

Another week, another blank stat line for Avant. He's not getting much playing time - only nine offensive snaps this week - but he's also failing to make himself stand out as a receiving threat in Kansas City.

Devin Funchess (Carolina Panthers)

Week 2 stats: 1 catch for 15 yards on 4 targets

Funchess's lone catch in Week 2 gives him a two-game reception streak to start his NFL career. Without watching the game, it's hard to tell if his other three failed targets were on him or Cam Newton. Regardless, it seems Funchess will be used sparingly until he proves his worth in Carolina's offense.

Offensive Line

Jake Long (Atlanta Falcons)

Long headed into the NFL regular season sitting at home, but the Falcons scooped him up this past week on a one-year deal loaded with incentives. He's struggled with injuries in recent years, so, for now, I'd expect him to add depth and potentially compete for a starting role as the season wears on.

Defensive Line

Alan Branch (New England Patriots)

Week 2 stats: 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

As a rotational member of the Pats defensive line, Branch made his presence known this week by recording a sack and forced fumble on the same play. New England's front seven is receiving praise, and Branch is part of that equation.

Mike Martin (Tennessee Titans)

Week 2 stats: None

Martin saw limited time this week, playing on a mere three defensive snaps. That doesn't bode well for the rest of the season.


Kenny Demens (Arizona Cardinals)

Week 2 stats: None

Demens remains relegated to special teams work, seeing 21 (62%) snaps this week.

Brandon Graham (Philadelphia Eagles)

Week 2 stats: 2 solo tackles

With a second consecutive sackless game, Graham's goal of breaking the single-season sack record with 32 sacks seems ridiculously farfetched. Graham isn't really standing out after starting the season as a starter for the first time in his career. Granted, the Eagles are a complete disaster as a team right now, but Graham should still be making more plays than he is right now.

David Harris (New York Jets)

Week 2 stats: 6 solo tackles, 1 assist, 1 forced fumble

I'll hand it off to Gang Green Nation for a recap of Harris's performance against the Colts on Monday night:

This looked like the David Harris I grew to love early in his career. He was constantly around the ball. He forced a fumble. He wasn't a catastrophe working in space. Harris finished with 7 tackles.

Here's the forced fumble:

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Jake Ryan (Green Bay Packers)

Week 2 stats: 1 solo tackle

Following an injury ahead of him on the depth chart, I expected Ryan to see some playing time on defense this week after only seeing the field on special teams last week. Alas, I was wrong, and Jake only played on special teams against the Seahawks. On 19 (70%) special teams snaps, he recorded one solo tackle, his second of the season.

LaMarr Woodley (Arizona Cardinals)

Week 2 stats: 1 solo tackle

In Week 2, Woodley recorded a single tackle before leaving the game due to injury. Hopefully he won't miss anything more than some practice time this week.


Leon Hall (Cincinnati Bengals)

Week 2 stats: 4 solo tackles, 1 pass defended

The Bengals secondary held Philip Rivers under 250 yards passing after he lit up the Lions secondary for over 400 yards in Week 1. Hall played a major role in Cincy's defensive stand, recording a "huge tackle on a two-point conversion try after he read the play to perfection," which you can see below, courtesy of Cincy Jungle:

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That stop kept the Bengals lead at five late in the game, forcing the Chargers to need a touchdown to win rather than a field goal to send the game to overtime.

Jordan Kovacs (Miami Dolphins)

Week 2 stats: None

Like Demens, Kovacs is still only seeing action on special teams with 21 (62%) snaps this week.

Charles Woodson (Oakland Raiders)

Week 2 stats: 3 solo tackles, 1 assist

Stand up and give Charles Woodson a round of applause for playing on all but one snap seven days after dislocating his shoulder. That's just crazy strong and illustrates his dedication to his team. However, Woodson may have helped the Raiders more by taking a lesser role in Week 2 as he "was clearly not himself" and "missed several tackles he would make 9 out of 10 times, and the defense suffered a bit because of it."


Tom Brady

Pulled a Leonard Fournette and made Buffalo look like Auburn.


Leon Hall

Stopped a critical two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter to help seal the Bengals victory


Last week we previewed the Week 2 matchups to keep an eye on between former Wolverines and their competition. Here, we summarize their performance and made a decision on who won the matchup:

Tom Brady vs. the Bills Secondary

See above

WINNER: Tom Brady

Charles Woodson vs. Steve Smith

Just one week after dislocating his shoulder, Woodson played 81 of 82 snaps for the Raiders in their defeat over the Baltimore Ravens. However, Woodson was not himself during the game and missed several tackles that he can make with ease when healthy.

WINNER: Steve Smith

LaMarr Woodley vs. the Bears Offensive Line

Woodley had a quiet game against the Bears on Sunday, only recording one tackle for a loss. However, the Cardinals defense as a whole had a fantastic game, sacking the Bears quarterbacks twice and registering seven tackles for a loss.



David Harris vs. the Eagles Offensive Line

Coming off another dominant performance against the Colts (7 TOT, 6 solo), Jets LB David Harris looks to continue his hot streak against the woeful Eagles offensive line. Last week against the Cowboys, the Eagles rushing attack only managed seven yards and quarterback Sam Bradford was under pressure for a good portion of the game. According to Eagles' offensive coordinator Pat Shurmer, the Cowboys linebackers were getting the most penetration throughout the game. If these struggles continue in the Eagles' matchup against the Jets, expect Harris to have another impressive showing.

ADVANTAGE: David Harris

Patrick Omameh vs. the Seahawks Defensive Line

The Bears offensive line has struggled during the first two games of the season thus far, and the Seahawks boast some of the most feared pass rushers in the league. The quickness of this line may be all Omameh and company can handle.

ADVANTAGE: Seahawks Defensive Line

Taylor Lewan vs. the Colts Defensive Line

The Titans offensive line, including LT Taylor Lewan, allowed seven sacks and eleven hits on quarterback Marcus Mariota on Sunday against the Browns.

Said Lewan of their performance,

"It was just disgusting. We have to do a better job of protecting. Seven sacks is sad and disturbing. To have a guy like Marcus on your team, he is a guy you want to play for, he is a guy you want to block for and to see him on the ground and to have him get picked up so many times, it's sad. We'll fix it."

Lewan will face a Colts defensive line this weekend that has been riddled with injuries, forcing inexperienced players to become starters. Because of this, the Colts' pass rush is nearly nonexistent. Look for Lewan and the rest of the Titans' offensive line, who had a solid performance in week 1, to rebound against the Colts.

ADVANTAGE: Taylor Lewan