Take a break from Penn football and turn to the pros. It's time to recap Penn alumni’s performances in their second week of the NFL season.
Greg Van Roten — Guard, Las Vegas Raiders
Van Roten, who has secured a starting position at guard for the Raiders this season, had a mixed performance during Las Vegas’ dramatic 38-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills this past week. On the bright side, Vegas’ offensive line ranked second in pass block win rate in the NFL, which reflects highly on Van Roten’s ability. On the down side, Vegas also boasted only the 13th best run blocking win rate while not providing much room for star running back Josh Jacobs to get downfield.
To make things worse for the Raiders offensive line, they are now set to play the Pittsburgh Steelers in week three, who boast one of the most physical defensive fronts in the league. All in all, Van Roten has his work cut out for him this year trying to play in what seems to be one of the weaker offenses in the league.
Justin Watson — Wide Receiver, Kansas City Chiefs
Being only a back up rotational piece last season, Watson has shown up and shown out in his second year in Kansas City so far. Tallying 62 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars this week, Watson has already amassed 107 yards of offense on the year, which is good for just under one-third of his total yardage from 2022. Watson continues to be an important part of the Chiefs' offense by acting as quarterback Patrick Mahomes' number one deep threat.
Kansas City did have to overcome a fumble that Watson lost in the first quarter, but his overall performances have been a bright spot in a Chiefs offense that has been underwhelming so far in 2023. Watson has been featured in a multitude of roles, with the Chiefs constantly cycling in and out different wide receivers. Despite this, Watson is primed to have his best season yet as a professional.
Kevin Stefanski — Head Coach, Cleveland Browns
Going into the season with high expectations, Stefanski and the Browns have stumbled hard coming out the gate. After a dominating win over the Cincinnatti Bengals in week one, the Browns gave a terrible performance on offense in their week two loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns were dominated at the line of scrimmage by a plethora of Steelers defensive lineman, and the Browns’ wide receivers found themselves locked up by cornerbacks such as Patrick Peterson and Joey Porter Jr. for most of the game.
On top of the loss, Stefanski finds himself in an awkward position regarding multiple key offensive starters. Stefanski’s highly-paid quarterback, Deshaun Watson, threw a pick-six for the first play of the game and never truly recovered for the ensuing four quarters. Watson was given the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history over a year ago, and has so far delivered lackluster statistical performances. On top of this, Stefanski lost his star running back Nick Chubb to a season-ending knee injury. The offense's struggles can be chalked up to injury and underperforming talent, but if the Browns have many other performances like Monday's, Stefanski may receive a share of the blame and could end up on the hot seat by the end of the season.