Chris Olave did it again.
For the second week in a row, the former Ohio State receiver made a spectacular catch for the New Orleans Saints. In the final minute of the first half of the Saints’ game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Olave made a silky-smooth one-handed catch along the right sideline for a 28-yard gain.
Olave makes the impossible look easy.— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 24, 2023
That reception came as part of Olave’s second 100-yard game of the season, as he caught eight passes for 104 yards in Sunday’s game even though Saints starting quarterback Derek Carr was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury in the third quarter. That wasn’t enough for the Saints to earn a win, as they lost 18-17 after surrendering 18 fourth-quarter points to the Packers, but Olave’s performance was enough to earn our Pro Buck of the Week award for Week 3.
|Week 1||Saints CB Marshon Lattimore||1 INT, 3 PBU, 2 tackles|
|Week 2||Texans QB C.J. Stroud||30-47 passing, 384 yards, 2 TD|
|Week 3||Saints WR Chris Olave||8 catches, 104 yards|
(Correction: This article initially stated that it was Olave’s first 100-yard game of the season, but it was actually his second, as he caught eight passes for 112 yards in the Saints’ season opener against the Tennessee Titans.)
Three weeks into his second NFL season, Olave ranks sixth in the league with 302 receiving yards.
Fellow former Ohio State receiver Michael Thomas caught six passes for 50 yards in the Saints’ loss to the Packers, while Pete Werner (11 tackles) and Marshon Lattimore (seven tackles, one pass deflection) were New Orleans’ top two tacklers on the day.
Stroud off to historically great start
C.J. Stroud earned his first win as an NFL quarterback on Sunday as he led the Houston Texans to a surprise 37-17 road victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The former Ohio State quarterback played a major role in the Texans’ success, completing 20 of his 30 passing attempts for 280 yards and two touchdowns while also running the ball three times for 14 yards.
Through his first three NFL games, Stroud has now completed 78 of 121 passing attempts (64.5%) for 906 yards and four touchdowns with zero interceptions. His 121 attempts without an interception are the most ever for an NFL quarterback through his first three starts.
Making his mark pic.twitter.com/CdNxtPtxcJ— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 24, 2023
According to ESPN, Stroud is also the first quarterback in NFL history to have at least 900 passing yards and four passing touchdowns with zero interceptions in his first three career starts. His 906 passing yards are the third-most for an NFL quarterback through three starts behind only Cam Newton (1,012) and Justin Herbert (931).
Stroud received high praise from Texans coach DeMeco Ryans and his teammates after his most recent start on Sunday, giving them reason to celebrate landing Stroud with the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft after the Carolina Panthers drafted Bryce Young with the top pick.
"The best thing that happened to the Houston Texans franchise was us beating the Indianapolis Colts last game, last year," Texans tight end Brevin Jordan told ESPN. "We drafted the right guy. Man, he's a leader. He's a phenomenal player and a phenomenal guy with God-given talent. Dude, he's unbelievable."
In addition to celebrating his first NFL win this weekend, Stroud also celebrated watching his former Ohio State teammates beat Notre Dame on Saturday night. Stroud gave shoutouts to Ryan Day, Kyle McCord and the Buckeyes’ defense in his postgame press conference Sunday, and his new Texans teammates from Notre Dame had to pay off a bet by wearing Ohio State gear on Monday.
CJ Stroud gave the Buckeyes, Kyle McCord, and the Buckeye defense a shout-out in his press conference today pic.twitter.com/e54s0r1Kud— AthletesInSpace (@AthletesInSpace) September 24, 2023
Zeke runs strong in Patriots win
After rushing for only 42 yards on 12 carries in his first two games as a New England Patriot, Ezekiel Elliott had a strong showing against the New York Jets in Week 3 as he gained 80 yards on 16 carries and also had a 7-yard catch, helping lead the Patriots to their first win of the season in a 15-10 victory.
The former Ohio State running back, who is now preparing to face his former team in Week 4 when the Patriots face the Dallas Cowboys, drew praise after the game from Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who said he thought Elliott “did a nice job of getting his pads down and got some tough yards” while also showing good vision as a ballcarrier.
Bill Belichick commented that Ezekiel— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 25, 2023
Elliotts vision was evident on a couple cutback plays, and here is one example (14 yards, 2Q, 1:21) of what he was talking about. https://t.co/Mb9dKpX9Gg pic.twitter.com/kGfnzZQo2n
Garrett Wilson was the Jets’ leading receiver in defeat, catching five passes for 48 yards on a day that Jets quarterback Zach Wilson completed 18 of 36 passing attempts for 157 yards.
- Former Ohio State teammates Nick Bosa and Sam Hubbard bookended the week by recording their first sacks of the season. Bosa’s first sack of the year came in a Thursday night win for the San Francisco 49ers over the New York Giants, while Hubbard’s came in a Monday night win for the Cincinnati Bengals over the Los Angeles Rams.
- Curtis Samuel made his longest reception of the season to date as he snagged a 37-yard deep ball from Sam Howell in the Washington Commanders’ loss to the Buffalo Bills.
- Paris Johnson Jr. led James Conner into the end zone with a strong block on Jayron Kearse, driving the Dallas Cowboys safety out of bounds to clear a path for a 5-yard touchdown run early in the Cardinals’ 28-16 surprise win.
- The Indianapolis Colts signed Trey Sermon to their active roster before their Week 3 game against the Baltimore Ravens. He carried the ball five times for 17 yards in his Colts debut, a 22-19 overtime win.
- The Seattle Seahawks released Tyreke Smith on Wednesday, but signed him back to their practice squad on Friday after he cleared waivers.
- Justin Fields’ struggles to begin his third NFL season continued as he completed just 11 of 22 passing attempts for 99 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the Chicago Bears’ 41-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Full Week 3 and season stats for every Buckeye who has played in at least one NFL game this season and/or is currently on an NFL team’s roster can be found below. The table, which was compiled by Eleven Warriors researcher Matt Gutridge, includes only players who finished their collegiate careers at Ohio State.
|PLAYER||POSITION||TEAM||WEEK 3 STATS||SEASON STATS|
|ELI APPLE||CB||DOLPHINS||Played at CB||9 tackles, 2 PD|
|JEROME BAKER||LB||DOLPHINS||3 catches, 2 QB hits||15 tackles, 2 QB hits|
|VONN BELL||S||PANTHERS||8 tackles||17 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PD|
|JOEY BOSA||DE||CHARGERS||1 tackle, 1 sack (7 yards), 1 QB hit, 1 PD||6 tackles, 3 sacks (28 yards), 3 TFL, 3 QB hits, 1 PD|
|NICK BOSA||DE||49ERS||3 tackles, 1 sack (8 yards), 2 QB hits||7 tackles, 1 sack (8 yards), 2 TFL, 6 QB hits|
|NOAH BROWN||WR||TEXANS||Injured reserve (groin)||3 catches, 20 yards|
|BARON BROWNING||OLB||BRONCOS||Physically unable to perform||Has not played|
|PARRIS CAMPBELL||WR||GIANTS||6 catches, 24 yards||11 catches, 47 yards|
|JONATHON COOPER||OLB||BRONCOS||7 tackles||18 tackles, 2 sacks (20 yards), 1 FF, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit|
|TAYLOR DECKER||OT||LIONS||Inactive||1 start at LT|
|J.K. DOBBINS||RB||RAVENS||Injured reserve (Achilles)||8 carries, 22 yards, 1 TD|
|EZEKIEL ELLIOTT||RB||PATRIOTS||16 carries, 80 yards; 1 catch, 7 yards||28 carries, 122 yards; 6 catches, 21 yards|
|LUKE FARRELL||TE||JAGUARS||1 catch, 4 yards||1 catch, 4 yards|
|JUSTIN FIELDS||QB||BEARS||11/22 passing, 99 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 11 carries, 47 yards||51/78 passing, 526 yards, 3 TD, 4 INT; 24 carries, 109 yards, 1 TD|
|JORDAN FULLER||S||RAMS||4 tackles||19 tackles, 1 FF|
|DaVON HAMILTON||DT||JAGUARS||Injured reserve (back)||Has not played|
|JOHNATHAN HANKINS||DT||COWBOYS||4 tackles||6 tackles|
|MALIK HARRISON||LB||RAVENS||Played at LB||3 tackles|
|ZACH HARRISON||DL||FALCONS||4 tackles||10 tackles|
|CAMERON HEYWARD||DT||STEELERS||Injured reserve (groin)||1 QB hit|
|RONNIE HICKMAN||S||BROWNS||Inactive||1 game played at S|
|MALIK HOOKER||S||COWBOYS||5 tackles||12 tackles, 1 INT, 2 PD|
|SAM HUBBARD||DE||BENGALS||6 tackles, 1 sack (8 yards), 2 QB hits||18 tackles, 1 sack (8 yards), 1 TFL, 3 QB hit|
|JONAH JACKSON||OG||LIONS||Started at LG||3 starts at LG|
|PARIS JOHNSON JR.||OL||CARDINALS||Started at RT||3 starts at RT|
|CAMERON JOHNSTON||P||TEXANS||Injured reserve (calf)||Has not played|
|DAWAND JONES||OT||BROWNS||Started at RT||2 starts at RT, 3 games played|
|DRE’MONT JONES||DE||SEAHAWKS||1 tackle||5 tackles, 1 sack (2 yards), 1 TFL, 1 QB hit|
|MARSHON LATTIMORE||CB||SAINTS||7 tackles, 1 PD||14 tackles, 1 INT, 6 PD|
|TYQUAN LEWIS||DE||COLTS||1 tackle||3 tackles|
|COREY LINSLEY||C||CHARGERS||Started at C||3 starts at C|
|LIAM McCULLOUGH||LS||FALCONS||Played at LS||3 games played at LS|
|TERRY McLAURIN||WR||COMMANDERS||6 catches, 41 yards||13 receptions, 126 yards, 1 TD|
|THAYER MUNFORD||OT||RAIDERS||Played at OT||1 start, 3 games played at OT|
|JOSH MYERS||C||PACKERS||Started at C||3 games started at C|
|JEFF OKUDAH||CB||FALCONS||Played at CB||1 game played at CB|
|CHRIS OLAVE||WR||SAINTS||8 catches, 104 yards||22 catches, 302 yards|
|NICHOLAS PETIT-FRERE||OT||TITANS||Suspended||Has not played|
|ISAIAH PRINCE||OT||FALCONS||Inactive||2 games played|
|JEREMY RUCKERT||TE||JETS||Played at TE||3 games played|
|CURTIS SAMUEL||WR||COMMANDERS||2 catches, 54 yards||10 catches, 127 yards; 2 carries, 19 yards|
|TREY SERMON||RB||COLTS||5 carries, 17 yards||5 carries, 17 yards|
|TYREKE SMITH||LB||SEAHAWKS||Practice squad||1 tackle|
|JAXON SMITH-NJIGBA||WR||SEAHAWKS||1 catch, 10 yards||9 catches, 57 yards|
|C.J. STROUD||QB||TEXANS||20/30 passing, 280 yards, 2 TD; 3 carries, 14 yards||78/121 passing, 906 yards, 4 TD; 10 carries, 35 yards|
|MICHAEL THOMAS||WR||SAINTS||6 catches, 50 yards||18 catches, 166 yards|
|SHAUN WADE||CB||PATRIOTS||1 tackle||3 tackles|
|DENZEL WARD||CB||BROWNS||4 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 PD||13 tackles, 1 TFL, 5 PD, 1 FF|
|PETE WERNER||LB||SAINTS||11 tackles||26 tackles, 0.5 sack (4 yards), 1 QB hit|
|GARRETT WILSON||WR||JETS||5 catches, 48 yards||12 catches, 165 yards, 2 TD|
|LUKE WYPLER||C||BROWNS||Inactive||Has not played|
|CHASE YOUNG||DE||COMMANDERS||3 tackles, 1 TFL||6 tackles, 1.5 sacks (8 yards), 2 TFL, 2 QB hits|