Former Tigers Ballin' in the Pros
Statistically, it was a great weekend for a slew of former LSU football players on their respective NFL teams. Perhaps none more notable than former standouts Dwayne Bowe, Brandon LaFell, Stevan Ridley and Patrick Peterson.
It's time to take a look at these former LSU ballers, turned professional shot callers.
Dwayne Bowe, WR - Kansas City Chiefs
Bowe led the Kansas City Chiefs with an impressive eight receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns. The outburst from Bowe came in a losing effort, falling to the Buffalo Bills 35-17 on the road in a game that was never even close. In fact, both of Bowe’s scores came late in the fourth quarter after the game was already out of reach.
The Chiefs have loads of issues on both sides of the ball that are sure to affect Bowe’s production this season. If the defensive line doesn’t improve their pass rush, led by former first round LSU picks Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey, look for another losing season in Kansas City; behind another "all for naught" All Pro season from Bowe, LSU’s leading all time receiving touchdown leader.
Brandon LaFell, WR - Carolina Panthers
To the dismay of Saints fans, fellow former LSU wide receiver Brandon LaFell’s production may not have been as flashy as Bowe’s were Sunday, but came in a winning effort in clutch situations. LaFell finished the game with six receptions for 90 yards and one rush for 25 yards that came on an end around reverse, catching the Saints off guard and leading to a big score on the way to 35-27 Panthers victory over New Orleans.
LaFell is due for a great season with Carolina, stepping in as the starting receiver opposite of veteran Steve Smith in an offense that has been known to put up big numbers, behind second year quarterback Cam Newton. Expect LaFell to have a drastically better season than a year ago. LaFell compiled 613 yards receiving and added three touchdowns in 2011. With 155 yards and a score through two games, LaFell is well on his way to living up to the hype coming out of LSU.
Stevan Ridley, RB - New England Patriots
Much like Bowe, former LSU running back Stevan Ridley’s output Sunday came in a losing effort, as the New England Patriots fell to the resurgent Arizona Cardinals, 20-18. Ridley followed up his week one explosion of 125 yards rushing and score with a solid 71 yards rushing against the Cardinals.
After a rookie season that saw Ridley gain 441 yards on the ground in a limited role, the second year back has solidified himself as the starter in New England this season after the departure of the of the "law firm" Benjarvus Green-Ellis.
Patrick Peterson, CB - Arizona Cardinals
Perhaps the main reason for the Cardinals shocking the world and winning in New England came in the form of another former Tiger who is turning into one of the most dynamic cornerback and special team players in the entire NFL, Patrick Peterson.
Peterson intercepted All Pro quarterback Tom Brady on the Patriots first offensive play of the game, leading to a Cardinals field goal.
The former defensive player of the year has been nothing short of brilliant since making his way to the NFL last season as the fifth overall pick. Peterson’s explosiveness on defense and special teams has proved just how valuable he is after helping improve the Cardinals win total by three games in his rookie season, and now helping lead the team to their first 2-0 start since 2008.
When it comes to rooting on former LSU studs in the NFL, there’s a lot for Tigers fans to look forward to this season. One thing is for sure, its hard to look around the NFL on Sunday and not see purple and gold alums making a difference.
Banks of the Bayou >> Monday’s Man of the Hour – Sophomore Stud RB Kenny Hilliard