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Cats in the NFL: Benny Snell Emerges in Pittsburgh

Robert Deutsch-USA Today Sports

Robert Deutsch-USA Today Sports

In the blink of an eye, week one of the NFL is done, and what a week it was.

It was a relatively quiet week one for the NFL Cats. For most, it was a very bad week one, but for two guys in the Steel City, the season couldn’t have started any better.

Here is your NFL Cats week one recap.

Benny Snell Jr.

The spinning mouth guard is back and so is Benny Snell Jr. I would tell anyone who would listen that Benny Snell would emerge as the best running back in Pittsburgh, and at least in week one, that appears to be the case. Sure James Connor got hurt, and sure Benny Snell coughed up the ball once, but just watching the game Benny Snell passed the eye test. Snell finished the game with 113 yards on 19 carries — a whopping 5.9 yards per carry.

No touchdowns for Mr. Snell Yeah, but if the volume stays the same, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Not only did he affect the game on the ground, but in the first half Snell picked up a crucial block on a New York blitz to allow Ben Rothlisberger to connect on his first touchdown pass of the season.

He’s lighter, he’s more agile and he still runs with that chip on his shoulder. Color me more than excited for Benny Snell Football in 2020.

Bud Dupree

Not only was Benny Snell shining for the Steelers on Monday night, but so was Bud Dupree. Last week I mentioned that Bud Dupree was in a big contract year, playing under the franchise tag, and it sure looked like he was playing with money on the line in week one.

Bud Dupree wore out the Giants O-line all night. He finished the game with four tackles and it seemed like he was around the ball on every play.

He made big plays all game, but none bigger than this deflection to deflate a 19-play drive from the Giants.

Steelers, PAY THIS MAN!

Steel Curtain rolls in week one, 26-16.

Josh Allen

It was a quiet week one for Josh Allen, but it was mostly due to cramping. Allen only played 46 snaps In Jacksonville’s upset win over the Colts, where he hauled in two tackles. Even though he had two tackles, Allen did make one of the most crucial plays late in the game. With the Colts down a score and on their last possession, Allen got in the pocket to disrupt Phillip Rivers’ third-down throw.

The Colts would turn the ball over on downs the next play to seal a week one victory for the Jags.

In true Josh Allen fashion, he fought through a missed hold call for a crucial play. That may be part of the reason why he was named a team captain in only his second year in the league.

Lonnie Johnson

Lonnie Johnson was nowhere to be seen in the first half, but even after Bill O’Brien put him in the second half, he was still relatively ineffective. Johnson finished the night with one solo tackle. Hopefully, Johnson can turn it on in week two.

Randall Cobb

It was an extremely unproductive week one for the ten-year vet. In his first game with the Texans Randall Cobb only saw three targets in week one despite playing on 84% of Texans’ offensive snaps. Cobb hauled in two catches for 23 yards, but with injury-prone wide receivers on the Houston depth chart, I would like to think Cob gets some more usage as the season goes on.

Mike Edwards

Poor Mike Edwards, man. In the league’s most high-profile game on Sunday Edwards didn’t see a single snap on defense in Tampa Bay’s loss to the Saints. But on special teams, Edwards made one of the many crucial mistakes in Tampa Bay’s deflating week one loss. Quite possibly, the worst one.

After the game, Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians wasn’t too pleased with the botched kick return, saying, “you never go backwards on a football. You learn that shit in high school.”

A rough start for Mike Edwards in 2020.

Corey Peters

Par for the course with the NFL Cats this week, it was a quiet week one for Corey Peters. Despite being one of only three former Cats being team captains in 2020 (Za’Darius Smith and Josh Allen), Peters only hauled in one tackle when his Cardinals knocked off the defending NFC champion 49ers.

Za’Darius Smith

It might not show up in the box score, but Za’Darius Smith is one of the most disruptive pass rushers in the NFC. He only finished the day with two tackles and a sack, but Big Z was a problem in Green Bay’s 43-34 victory over the Vikings.

With a Pro Football Focus grade of 74.6, Za’Darius was Green Bay’s highest-rated defender in week one.

Logan Stenberg

Logan Stenberg was listed as inactive for week one, but can we talk about that game for a second? How did the Lions blow that? Shout out to the Bears (and D’Andre Swift) for keeping my Sunday parlay alive with their miraculous 27-23 week one victory.

Danny Trevathan

Speaking of that wild Bears-Lions game, Danny Trevathan finished the game with seven total tackles. However, Bears twitter seems to think Trevathan has lost a step.

Trevathan is in his ninth year in the league but has had a laundry list of injuries in the last few years, including a ruptured right patellar tendon and an elbow injury the forced the linebacker to finish two of his last four season on injured reserve.

Avery Williamson

We’re going to have to wait at least one more week to see Avery Williamson’s return to the field. The former Cat hasn’t played a regular-season down since 2018 and was ruled out ahead of Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury.

Lynn Bowden Jr.

It was an empty stat line for Lynn Bowden Jr. in week one, but I wouldn’t put any stock into Bowden’s absence. He was traded to Miami just a week ago and I still think he’s a great fit in that Dolphin offense. No need to panic.

Follow with me all season long for NFL Cats Coverage: @BrentWainscott_

Article written by Brent Wainscott

Twitter: @BrentWainscott_

2 Comments for Cats in the NFL: Benny Snell Emerges in Pittsburgh

  1. michaelb
    10:40 am September 15, 2020 Permalink

    I’m not sure why Connor was so ineffective … Benny came in and looked like wildcat Benny though , it was nice to see his improvement from year 1 to 2 . He lets that hole / block develops now then uses his power

  2. Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
    1:42 pm September 15, 2020 Permalink

    Dupree was double teamed most of the night and still caused havoc.