Epps ‘posterized,’ but gets last laugh in San Fran
LARAMIE -- Growing up, we all had posters on our bedroom walls, right?
Maybe it was the iconic Farrah Faucet photo? Perhaps it was Michael Jordan floating effortlessly through the sky or the last Hollywood flick you saw?
Jaws? Star Wars? Scarface?
Those would be considered iconic to many.
My room was littered with John Elway, Ozzy Osbourne and Kathy Ireland.
'Posterized' is a made-up American slang term. All the cool kids are using it, mainly referring to big dunks on the basketball court.
When it comes to that made-up word, it's always better when your favorite player is the one doing the damage. Not so much if you're the poor guy on the other end.
Here are some examples of what I'm talking about:
Get the picture?
And, yes, using former Cowboy hoopster Larry Nance Jr. was very much on purpose.
Basketball isn't the only sport that dishes out athleticism fit for a poster.
Just ask 49ers rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Or better yet, Philly safety Marcus Epps.
Late in the first quarter Sunday night in San Francisco, the Niners executed a perfect wide receiver screen to Aiyuk. He caught the ball behind the line of scrimmage and patiently waited for a whole host of blockers to escort him toward the end zone.
Aiyuk had just one man to beat -- the former Wyoming walk-on, Epps.
My words won't do it justice:
That hurdle could already be a snapshot on Aiyuk's bedroom wall.
Yes, that was a sweet show of talent by the rookie. Yes, it got the home team on the board. Yes, it was shown on loop on SportsCenter.
Epps, who made his first career NFL start Sunday, got the last laugh though.
That play will be what most remember, but Epps quietly put together his best game as a pro, registering eight tackles. The previously winless Eagles also escaped the Bay Area with their first victory of the season, outlasting the defending NFC Champions, 25-20.
Epps now has 16 tackles and a pass deflection this season.
Oh, and with that win, Philadelphia now sits atop the NFC East.
Here's how the rest of the Wyoming alums performed in Week 4.
QB-Josh Allen-Buffalo Bills
You can almost hear a chant echoing out of Western New York. It sounds a lot like "M-V-P." While it might be a tad early to be crowing anyone the best player in the NFL, Josh Allen is certainly making a solid case. Sunday afternoon in Sin City, the former Wyoming signal caller connected on 24 of 34 passes for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also ran for another in a 30-23 win over the Raiders. There was a scary moment for Allen and the unbeaten Bills in this one. Late in the second quarter, Allen, rolling to his left and under immense pressure, backhanded a pass (ala Brett Favre) to Stefon Diggs. Allen landed awkwardly on his non-throwing shoulder and immediately went to the visiting locker room. "It’s good, it’s good," Allen told the media. "I just kind of landed on it a little funky … Just the left shoulder hurts, it’s not the right one, you know, thank God … I’ll be alright, it’s no big deal, I got to play through the pain and will obviously get some treatment on it probably this week, but it shouldn’t inhibit anything.” Through four games, Allen has passed for 1,326 yards and 12 scores. He also has three rushing touchdowns. Most importantly, he is silencing the doubters with a 70.9 completion percentage.
S-Andrew Wingard-Jacksonville Jaguars
Andrew Wingard, like Marcus Epps, should probably stay off social media and Jaguars message boards. Despite racking up a career-high 10 tackles and batting down a pass, and being named the fourth-best safety in the NFL this week by Pro Football Focus with a grade of 78.3, the locals were awfully critical of the long-haired wild man in the Jags' secondary. Why? The word aggressive comes to mind. Dewey drilled a defenseless Tyler Boyd in a 33-25 road setback in Cincinnati, Jacksonville's third-straight loss. He was also called for an illegal chop block on special teams. Maybe we're just used to that play from him around here?
S-Tashaun Gipson-Chicago Bears
Like with age, Tashaun Gipson just seems to be getting better -- with age. The Bears' ninth-year safety had his best day so far in the Windy City, tallying nine tackles and a pass deflection. Gipson, 30, now has 24 tackles, a pair of pass breakups and an interception through four weeks. The only blackmark on Gipson's day? Chicago is no longer unbeaten, falling at home 19-11 to the Colts.
DE-Carl Granderson-New Orleans Saints
It's hard to put up a lot of numbers when you play just 27 of the defense's 61 snaps in a game. Especially when a week ago Carl Granderson was the team's highest-rated pass rusher, according to Pro Football Focus. Maybe that's why Granderson finished with just one tackle in the Saints 35-29 road win Sunday in Detroit. Deuce Windham, a Saints' beat reporter for The Athletic, is busy on social media clamoring for more snaps for the former Poke. Granderson has just four tackles this season to go along with a sack, a forced fumble and a pass deflection.
C-Chase Roullier-Washington Football Team
Chase Roullier and the Washington Football team were forced to abandon the run early in Sunday's 31-17 loss to their Beltway foe, Baltimore. Not that the running game was doing much anyway. Washington amassed just 69 yards on the ground in 22 carries. The leading rusher was Antonio Gibson who racked up 46 yards on 13 of those carries. The ball -- quite literally -- was in the hands of second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who threw for 314 yards on 32-of-45 passing. Haskins was sacked three times in Washington's three straight losses. Any of this Roullier's fault? Not really. The former Cowboy has yet to give up a sack and has just two penalties on the season, per Pro Football Focus.
DT-Mike Purcell-Denver Broncos
Hey, the Broncos finally won, knocking off the "mighty" New York Jets 37-28 Thursday night in the Meadowlands. OK, maybe the Jets aren't that good, but we are looking for positives here. One of those was the play of run-stuffer Mike Purcell. The former Cowboy racked up five tackles, including one for loss on the opening play. If it wasn't for a 46-yard touchdown jaunt by New York quarterback Sam Darnold, the Broncos held the Jets to just 83 rushing yards on 23 carries. That's 3.6 yards per carry. Denver hasn't been solid at much this season, but stopping the run has been a bright spot. Purcell now has 13 tackles and a sack through four games.
LB-Logan Wilson-Cincinnati Bengals (DNP-Concussion)
WR-Rico Gafford-Las Vegas Raiders (DNP-Hamstring)
LB-Mark Nzeocha-San Francisco 49ers (DNP-Quadriceps)
DE-Eddie Yarbrough-Minnesota Vikings (DNP)
TE-Jacob Hollister-Seattle Seahawks (No stats)
RB-Brian Hill-Atlanta Falcons (Plays Monday Night Football)
DB-Tyler Hall-Atlanta Falcons (Practice squad)
LB-Cassh Maluia-New England Patriots (Plays Monday Night Football)
Editor's note: In the original posting of this story, we reported that Chase Roullier recently signed a two-year, $12.3 million deal. That was not correct. We regret this error.