Football: Former Panthers perform well in week three

By Mike Furlong

In week three of the NFL season, many former Pitt football players put up strong performances… In week three of the NFL season, many former Pitt football players put up strong performances across the league.

The matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants featured four former Panthers on the field.

LeSean McCoy (RB, 2007-2008) — playing in his third season at running back for the Philadelphia Eagles — highlighted the day for former Panthers as he rushed for 128 yards on 24 carries with one rushing touchdown in the Philadelphia loss to the Giants. So far this season, McCoy has rushed for 345 yards and four touchdowns.

Rookie running back Dion Lewis (RB 2009-2010) backs up McCoy for the Eagles, but he did not have an offensive touch in the game, although he did return two kicks for a total of 45 yards. After being drafted in the fifth round this year, Lewis has been featured as the Eagles kick returner in the first three weeks and has seen limited time on the offensive side of the ball.

The Giants targeted Henry Hynoski (FB, 2007-2010) with one pass and he served as a lead blocker for a rushing attack that ran for more than 100 yards against the Eagles. After going undrafted and signing on with the Giants, Hynoski has looked impressive so far as a rookie. The matchup was a reunion for the three former Pitt backs, as Hynoski served as a lead blocker for both McCoy and Lewis in his tenure at Pitt.

Also on the field during the game — not as a player but as a sideline NFL analyst — was Tony Siragusa (DL, 1986-1989), who mentioned Hynoski as one of the few remaining fullbacks in a position that is no longer featured by many teams. Siragusa recorded more than 400 tackles in his 12-year NFL career.

Larry Fitzgerald (WR, 2002-2003) pulled in five catches for 64 yards and one touchdown for the Cardinals. In just three weeks playing with Kevin Kolb, Fitzgerald seems to have developed great chemistry with the new quarterback. The two have connected 16 times this season.

In the game between San Francisco and Cincinnati, punter Andy Lee (P, 2000-2003) punted seven times for the 49ers, with an average of nearly 46 yards. Two of the punts dropped inside the 20-yard line. Lee’s punting helped the 49ers edge out a 13-8 victory by controlling field position.

Cornerback Shawntae Spencer (CB, 2000-2003) also played with the 49ers and finished with one tackle and one pass deflection in the win against the Bengals.

In his third week as a rookie for the Cleveland Browns, Jabaal Sheard (DE, 2007-2010) finished with one tackle and deflected one pass at the line of scrimmage in a 17-16 win over Miami. Sheard recorded his first career sack just last week, in a game against the Colts.

Quarterback Joe Flacco (QB, 2003-2004) of the Baltimore Ravens rounded out the day for former Panthers. Flacco threw for 389 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-7 win over the St. Louis Rams. Flacco played two seasons for the Panthers as a backup to Tyler Palko before transferring to Delaware to finish his collegiate career.