With Week Three of the 2020 NFL Season just hours away, teams begin to see unheralded players emerge. Now, these players may receive attention within the fanbase, the overhaul community may not know their names. Clips and highlights are the only way many will become familiar with them. Yet, they should play a role in this week’s slate of games.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins TE
If you watched him outjump defenders at Penn State, tight end Mike Gesicki’s name should ring a bell. Blessed with verticality, Gesicki will convert 50/50 balls in his favor. In his third year, after two games, he’s on pace to exceed the stats for his first two games. Expect to see him in the red zone for Miami
Micah Kiser, LA Rams LB
On a defense with Aaron Donald up front and Jalen Ramsey in the backfield, players like Micah Kiser can easily slip from view. Yet, on film, the insider ‘backer from Virginia makes his presence felt. Now, nothing about Kiser’s approach is pretty or aesthetic pleasing. However, what he does is fly towards the ball. Kiser will take on blocks early. He attempts to affect and disrupt the play, dictating the running lanes. Meanwhile, the Bills bring a potent, multiple-headed running game to the field. Kiser will see an ample dose of the run. As a result, he’ll figure into the plans. While Donald and Ramsey get the glory, Kiser will provide ample run support. Although the Bills only sport the fifteenth-ranked rush offense, look for them to slow down Aaron Donald by pounding the ball, in hopes of wearing him out. Kiser looms large here.
Shilique Calhoun, New England LB/DE
Granted, outside of East Lansing, Foxborough, and Oakland, you may not recognize the name. In Sunday’s game, Calhoun could play a pivotal role. First, playing against the team that drafted him should inspire Calhoun. The Raiders never seemed to be the proper fit for him. The Patriots use Calhoun to the best of his abilities. while he may not start or see bountiful reps, Meanwhile, when he’s on the field, Calhoun will get upfield. Fewer defensive snaps keep him fresher in the long run. Additionally, as a standout college edge rusher, Calhoun will use bend and nimbleness to slip under blocks of the much larger Raider tackles.
Jessie Bates III, Cincinnati Bengals FS
Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Jessie Bates? Yes, the 23-year-old free safety continues to cement himself as a leader on the young Bengals defense. Now, Cincinnati is rather young on this side of the ball. Under those circumstances, wins remain few and far between. However, with a young team, the chance to get reps matters. While last year saw Bates torched for four touchdowns and 17 yards an attempt, Bates pulled down three picks. Fast forward to this year, and Bates finds himself the second-most tackles on the team. Staying under the radar while compiling two hundred-plus tackle seasons, is difficult. The Eagles, due to their reliance on TE Dallas Goedert should see Bates heavily involved on Sunday. Despite being outweighed, Bates displays a feistiness when battling bigger opponents. The NFL fanbase needs to know him.
In reality, these players will make the key third down play this week. None may score. In contrast, they will affect the outcome of their particular game. Teams win with a combination of stars and lesser-known players that seemingly rise to the occasion. For every superstar, some you’ve never heard of eagerly awaits their chance. The NFL will always be unpredictable