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That’s Some Next Level - Week One Highs and Lows

News and Notes for Baylor Bears in the NFL. Will Mariota to Wright be the next Montana to Rice? That's probably a stretch, but it's still going to be a fun year. Plus we make a trip to the Android's Dungeon.

And they're not gonna get him!
And they're not gonna get him!
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Welcome back to That’s Some Next Level; your weekly update on Bears in the NFL. Compared to the preseason editions, the regular season updates will be more Bruno Mars-like; shorter and mostly derivative, but still not quite bad enough to make you click away.

Kendall Wright (TEN) – There’s no better place to start than with the start Wright had on Sunday.  We heard all preseason about how Mariota and Wright seemed to be developing a chemistry.  If there was any doubt, it evaporated in the first drive, when Mariota hit Wright for 52 yd score.   It was really a 12 yd toss, with Wright outrunning the Bucs secondary for the remaining 40.  Doors blown.  Mind blown.  Check out the highlight here.

On the day, Wright led Tennessee receivers with 4 catches on 4 targets for 101 yds and 1 TD.  Mariota was equally impressive, going 13/16 for 209yds and 4 TDs in route to a 42-14 win.

This could be a fun duo to watch all year.  You can say the Bucs defense isn’t a good benchmark, but let me remind you that the Titans schedule includes divisional rivals Indy x2, Jax x2, Hou x2, as well as Oakland and New Orleans.  All of these teams lost in week one, and most of them looked bad doing it. 
Next Game: @CLE, Sun 12:00CT

Terrance Williams (DAL) – Williams had a solid 5 catches for 60 yds in Sunday night’s comeback win over the Giants.  He was targeted twice in the end zone.  One was behind him and the other resulted in a pretty questionable PI call against the Giants.

The big news of the night was Dez Bryant’s broken foot.  With Bryant sidelined for 4-6 weeks (optimistically), T-Will is posed to be the go-to receiver for Romo.    
Next Game: @PHI, Sun 3:25CT

Bryce Hager (STL) – Hager saw lots of special teams action and recorded on tackle on a KO return in the 2nd qtr.  In case you missed it, the Rams defense had 6 sacks on Sunday.  They’re going to feast in Washington this week. 
Next Game: @WAS, Sun 12:00CT

Matt Bryant (ATL) – The elder statesman of Bears in the NFL, Bryant was 4/4 on FGs, including 41, 29, 39 and 47 yds.  He was 2/2 on XPs.  That means Bryant accounted for more than half of the Falcons point total in their 26-24 victory over Philly. Note to current Baylor Bears: Special teams matters.
Next Game: @NYG. Sun 12:00CT

Jon Weeks (HOU) – The Texans became an answer to a trivia question Sunday by being the first team to miss an extra point from the new 33 yd distance. The snap looked good though. They were 2/2 on FG though, and had not a punt blocked or fumbled.  
Next Game: @ CAR, Sun 12:00CT

Robert Griffin III (WAS) – On Thursday, Griffin was cleared to participate.  And Friday, practice he did.  AS A SCOUT-TEAM SAFETY!  I’m crappin’ you negative.  Who could make that up?

Come Sunday, Griffin was inactive while Cousins delivers in this impressive stat line: 21/31 for 196 yds, 1TD and 2INTs for a QBR of 38.2. Redskins lose 17-10.  There can be only one reaction to all this:

Demetri Goodson – Goodson dressed for Green Bay’s season opener vs. Chicago, but I’m not sure he saw the field.  His name didn’t show up in the box score.

Even though he made the 53 man roster, Goodson is still in some jeopardy.  Packers DE Datone Jones returns this week from a one game suspension for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.  To make room for him, they’ll have to release a player.  Goodson’s name is definitely in the mix.

Very Obscure Side Note – There’s a Baylor Bear on the roster of every NFC division leading team (and two of the four AFC division leaders).

Bryce Petty (NYJ) – Petty also dressed but did not play.  He did issue this tweet earlier in the week, which leads us to this week’s BTWIOTW

BTW Item of the Week: I’ve never been a football card guy (I’m not a memorabilia-of-any-kind guy, for that matter). I don’t know if kids even still trade and collect them. But if you’re a football player, one indication that you’ve gone Next Level, would be to see your picture on a trading card.  So here are former Baylor Bears included in this year’s Topps set.

Three observations:

  1. Gig ‘em Petty? What’s that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?
  2. Not including a 15 year starter like Bryant seems like a miss, especially considering the Falcons roster isn’t teaming with icons.
  3. Ironically, Goodley and Norwood didn't make a final roster, so maybe having your face on a card isn’t the best bench mark after all.

If you misspent your youth hanging out at your local card store and have been waiting for the chance to tell everyone about the sickest, most awesomeist, trading card ever to feature a Baylor Bear, then be sure to stick it in the comments.

That’s it for this week.  Until next week, good luck to Baylor Bears at Next Levels everywhere.  And that includes you!