After a strong showing in Canton, Ohio at the Hall of Fame Game, second-year defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche follows up with a stellar performance against the Raiders.
An injury and maturity issues were the main concerns for Robert Nkemdiche during his rookie season. This year, so far, only positive things can be written of the second-year man out of Ole Miss.
A look at the stat sheet from Saturday night will show you he finished the game with 3 recorded tackles. Not bad for a defensive tackle with limited playing time. But it was a series in the 2nd quarter that stood out. The Raiders were looking to run the ball and go for it on 4th down, but Nkemdiche and Co. were having none of it. The Raiders turned the ball over on downs, and the young tackle was a huge reason for that.
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He was disruptive, quick, relentless and opened up holes for the linebackers behind him — most notably Scooby Wright. A pair that will hope to make huge strides this season on defense, barring any setbacks.
Selfless. It’s a prerequisite to play in this type of defense and Nkemdiche exhibited that this weekend to perfection. Playing as a sound, cohesive unit is imperative for success and he seems to have bought into the premise.
“I feel like I was getting off and shedding blocks and trying to be as disruptive as possible,” Nkemdiche said of his performance. He’s been the talk of training camp so far, and it’s shown up the first two games. Talks of a wasted first-round pick are starting to go away. The question as to whether departed pro bowler Calais Campbell would be missed is also fading away…quickly.
That question, however, cannot be fully answered until after the end of the season. For now, watching Nkemdiche come into his own will be the talk of the season.
Let’s hope the momentum continues and he only improves from here.